Back In Four

22 02 2009

Inauguration DayIts been just over a month since inaugural insanity gripped Washington, DC. The happy feeling was tangible for days before and after, and it was so exciting to see so many people come together in celebration of a common cause in my adopted hometown. For now the celebrations have subsided, and more serious matters are once again the focus of the nation’s capitol. But for me and many others, the feeling that sprang from this year’s inauguration hasn’t completely left us–people are volunteering to help others, paying more attention to politics, and doing more than ever to be a part of the solution to whatever our problems are. I personally will spend the next few years doing the same, until its time for the inaugural insanity to start all over again.


Two Days Left to Win Free Inaugural Trip

10 01 2009

A few weeks ago I posted information about the Case Foundation’s Change Begins With Me contest, giving an awesome prize package to a lucky winner who takes the time to share ideas about creating change in their community. With the inauguration only 10 days away there is still time to enter. It really couldn’t be easier–in 250 characters, explain what you can do to help your community. Seriously, there is no reason NOT to enter. I did and I live in Washington DC! Its a chance to do more than win a prize. Seriously, there is no reason NOT to enter. I did and I live in Washington DC! Its a chance to do more than win a prize, although its a pretty good one. The winner receives:

* two tickets to the Inaugural Ceremony & the Hawaii Inaugural Ball
* volunteer opportunities on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Washington,
* three-nights hotel stay
* airfare for you and a guest to the Nation’s Capitol
* a Flip video camera

The entries are online, and there seem to be only about 250 at this point. Here’s a few samples from the site to give you an idea of the scope of issues close to people’s hearts:

Andrea J. wrote: Always actively participating in my government. And staying fluent on the concerns of other people world wide.

Amir I. wrote: Find the solution to the problem between Israel and Palestine. I would do this by asking everyone on the internet to post their solution to the problem. I know there is a solution.We are all creatures created by one God.


Devin M. wrote: improve my community by making it safer for everyone! I commit to making the generation beneath me more intelligent and ready to be respectful, responsible teenagers. I also commit to making all youth be heard in my community, in the world.

See how easy it is? Your turn!

UPDATE: Jay-Z to Perform at Warner Theatre Jan. 19th

6 01 2009

Jay-Z to Perform at Warner Theatre – Inauguration Watch – News and notes on the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States.

Tickets aren’t on sale yet and the show isn’t appearing yet on the LiveNation site, so if you want to go check early and often! The Warner would be a great place to catch a Jay-Z performance. And who knows who will stop by with so many celebrities in town that weekend…

UPDATED: 1/6,  9:24 PM: has general public tickets for this show on sale at 10am Friday, January 9th, with radio and Citibank cardholder pre-sale tickets selling at 10am Wednesday January 7th. No prices listed.

Obama Will Attend D.C., Regional, Youth Balls -Washington Post

6 01 2009

Obama Will Attend D.C., Regional, Youth Balls – Inauguration Watch – News and notes on the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States.

Dropping the Ball: After So Many Inaugurations, Parties Suffer a Downhill Role

4 01 2009

Apparently inaugural balls aren’t what they used to be, at least according to this account comparing some of the earlier ones to those in recent years. I wonder if this year will be any different.

Dropping the Ball: After So Many Inaugurations, Parties Suffer a Downhill Role –

Celebrating on a Budget? Start Here.

3 01 2009

Cash In your Pocket
Apparently presidential inaugurations are completely recession-proof. Despite our country’s current economic state, prices for most things connected to the 56th Inauguration aren’t dropping one bit. Hotel prices are across the region are sky high and ball tickets are through roof. This is a pricey endeavor, specially if you’re planning to roll with the black tie crowd. But fear not: there are more thanenough free or cheap things to do–Obama related or not–that you can still have a fantastic time.

First off, if you haven’t taken advantage of the not one but two opportunities to win a free trip for two to the inauguration with all the trimmings, start there. If you win the only thing you’ll have to worry about is who to take with you and what to wear!

On Sunday afternoon, a welcome event at the Lincoln Memorial marks the official kickoff of the inauguration festivities. Start your day there, then head over to the FDR Memorial and back around to the WWII Memorial to take in some of the sights with the rest of the crowds. 

On Monday, the day before Obama’s swearing in will be a busy one across town, as people take part in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. If you’re traveling with a group from another city, consider signing up for a service project while you’re in town.

Monday will also feature two free concerts in different parts of town. The Kennedy Center, in partnership with Georgetown University (Hoya Saxa!) will present the “Let Freedom Ring” concert featuring Aretha Franklin, Nuttin but Stringz, and the Let Freedom Ring Choir. Starting at 4pm, one ticket per person will be distributed outside the concert hall, and the concert starts at 6pm. I imagine the line will start to form early–to get there, catch the Blue/Orange line train to Foggy Bottom and look for the red Kennedy Center shuttle or take the 15 minute walk.

Also on Monday, a free kids concert hosted by the Presidential Inaugural Committee is planned at the Verizon Center. Details on performers, time, etc. haven’t been announced yet, but tickets will be required.

Several other low cost performance events are planned for Monday night, including the Big Shoulders Inauguration Ball at the Black Cat on 14th St NW, for $50 per person, featuring artists and activists from Chicago. At the Harman Center for the Arts in Chinatown, $25 gets you tickets to A Celebration of Change: From Emancipation to Presidency, featuring the Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra.

Tuesday is the big day when millions are expected to fill the National Mall and downtown DC streets to view the parade and swearing in ceremony for President-elect Obama and Vice-President elect Biden. If you have tickets for the swearing in, plan to be in your seat as close to 9am as possible, when the gates open. For others planning to watch via Jumbotron on other parts of the Mall, get there early too, and don’t bring anything!

wonderballOn Tuesday night ball gowns and tuxedos will fill the city’s hotels, museums and other fancy spaces, but budget partiers have some options. Wonderland Ballroom in Columbia Heights is hosting the Common Man’s Inaugural Ball, where $69 gets all you can drink from 9pm-4am, a commemorative poster and a t-shirt. On your way there, stop by Red Rocks Pizzeria a block away for some great pizza before the party. For those a little less hipster, Soccer Moms for Obama is hosting a celebration at the Women’s Club of Chevy Chase for $60 per person. Entertainment and hors d’Oeurves are included, but drinks are not. 

This is just a taste of some of the free and low cost things to do during this inauguration weekend. For more ideas, check out the DC’s convention and tourism bureau’s list of 44 free things to do around town, and check back for more budget friendly posts. If you are hosting or going to an event that should be included, share!

Inaugural Gowns –

31 12 2008

Inaugural Gowns –

The Washington Post has a photo essay of gorgeous gowns perfect for black-tie inaugural events. The prices are steep for some, but its great inspiration if you’re hitting a ball and want to look fabulous. I hope they’ll follow up with a spread for men’s options–I love to see some variety in men’s formal wear options.