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We'll bring you first-hand accounts of local Seattle-area residents and their journey to D.C. and generally all things inauguration. If you're going to the inauguration and would like to contribute, contact us here.

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January 21, 2009 12:24 PM

BET Inaugural Ball

Posted by seattletimes.com staff

Submitted by Teresa Scribner

After the horrendous start to the day trekking down to the National Mall in the freezing cold after only having 30 minutes of sleep, I was so not in the partying mood tonight. But regret would not be sufficient enough word to describe how I would've felt if I had missed this party.

The BET Inaugural Ball was celebrity packed and over the top crazy fun! When we arrived, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife, Alma, were making a speech on behalf of America's Promise. It's a charity designed to help young kids succeed. Colin Powell made a comment about turning the reins over to his wife when he was appointed to office, and now she wouldn't give them back. But when it was her turn to speak, she zinged him right back and said it was because she did a better job at it. I don't know why I was surprised to see Colin Powell at a hip-hop party, but it turned into a sight to behold. More on that later.

teresa_Colin and Alma Powell

The highlight of the night was a performance by Wyclef that basically turned into an hour-long concert. It was FREAKING AMAZING!!! He sang some of hits plus some from The Fugees. But it was his rendition of "No Woman, No Cry" that led Colin Powell to the front of the dance floor. Before I knew it, his hands were in the air and he was waving them like he just didn't care!!! He even sang along on the chorus!! (He won't be winning "American Idol" anytime soon.)The one thing that surprised me the most was how he moved amongst the crowd like he was one of us commoners. No entourage. No throng of media. Just one body guard who followed him around all evening.

teresa_wyclef

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January 20, 2009 12:40 PM

Lost in the (mall)

Posted by seattletimes.com staff

Submitted by Teresa Scribner

The big day has finally arrived and my friends and I are sick with excitement. We left the house walking at 7:15 am and actually made it to the mall within 50 minutes. To see that many people walking down the streets like that was amazing. You could definitely feel the sense of unity in the air. But that attitude quickly changed when we arrived at the Mall entrance. After scoring tickets to the nice seating area up front, we walked about 10 blocks only to be told we needed to go back to 14th street because the sections were filling up. My friend was exhausted and upset, but I told her we weren't turning back.

We finally made it to the section for ticket holders, but it was a mess. Silver tickets. Blue tickets. Orange tickets. Go here. Go there. This is closed. Hey, there's Spike Lee!! The line is forming this way!!! It was every man for himself at that point and people were no longer full of peace. They were pushy. Literally. At one point my friend and I got separated and I felt like a kid lost in the mall. (No pun intended). We FINALLY make it past the gate just after 10:30, missing all the musical warm-up performances. Once inside we discovered it was a misplaced Port-A-Potty that was causing the long wait. Who puts the bathrooms in the middle of the walking path?

We made it to our seats just as the Cabinet members took the stage. It was so cold my lips were numb and I couldn't even tell if my nose was running or not. After all that pushing and shoving I still couldn't grasp just how large the crowd was until the pictures came up on the big screen. I was amazed we even made it to Independence Ave.

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January 20, 2009 7:48 AM

Long lines on the Metro

Posted by seattletimes.com staff


Submitted by Richard Li

inaug_04

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January 20, 2009 6:05 AM

It helps to have connections

Posted by seattletimes.com staff

Submitted by Teresa Scribner

After a night of bumping into some of hottest Hollywood celebs (I'm talking about you Robert De Niro), it turns out I was sharing a cab with the biggest star of all. The good friend I'm staying with (who works for the New York Times) managed to score us 2 tickets IN THE SEATED AREA at the swearing in!! One of her co-workers casually mentions there are more tickets at the office that no one is using. After a quick phone call they were given the OK to take them. Lucky for me to be sitting in the taxi next to them. I'll wave to you from the good seats Jim McDermott!!

inaug_De Niro


MoveOn.org party: Manifest Hope
I felt like a complete stalker at this party in search of Shepard Fairey, the artist responsible for the cool Obama Hope poster. I never got a chance to see him, but I did happen upon Rosario Dawson. I also ran into Moby and Heather Graham. Funniest line heard from several people all night: "Who's the guy in the glasses?"

Being an art major myself, this party was really cool to me. It was a showcase of artists from across the nation who used their skills to get people out to vote. The paintings were amazing and there were also photographs of the first family and even a pair of Nikes that had been painted with an Obama theme. After an hour or so, we left and went to the real party of the night ...


Huffington Post Party

inaug_Huffington Post

Never have I been to a place where they allow celebrities to roam free like this. I thought they kept them in cages and only let the come out during awards season or the occasional stint in rehab. But at this party, everywhere you turned there was someone way more famous than me. Sheryl Crow was wrapping up a set when we walked in. Then Will.i.am (cq) took the stage to perform his catchy little tune "Yes We Can". Check it out on YouTube if you haven't seen it. Afterwards, there was an "Inauguration Countdown" and people started blowing horns and whistles like it as New Years Eve. The performances ended with a couple of songs from Sting. I totally didn't even recognize him and kept wondering why Ringo Starr was covering someone else's songs. In my defense I had a bad vantage point of the stage.

Celeb Sightings:
Robert De Niro being interviewed by D.L. Hughley, then pulled away by his very annoyed looking wife.
Tracee Ellis Ross (TV: Girlfriends) making a mad dash for the elevator.
Keisha Knight Pulliam: Rudy Huxtable has aged very well.
Josh Groban being interviewed (and fawned over) by a gaggle of women.
Isaiah Washington (formerly Dr. Burke on Greys Anatomy) being thankful for every fan he can get. He posed for pictures and stopped to talk to everyone he saw. But he'll never live down that T.R. Knight dust up.

The night ended with a very painful (yes, I wore heels) walk to the Metro terminal where someone tried to initiate an "Obama-Obama" chant. A few people joined in but mostly everyone just jockeyed for a position to get on one of the last trains of the evening. My friend and I only have about 2 hours before we have to get up and walk down to the National Mall. It's a tough job, but ... what am I saying? It's a great job!!

inaug_Farhana Rosario and Teresa

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January 19, 2009 11:14 AM

All planes lead to Obama

Posted by seattletimes.com staff

Submitted by Teresa Scribner

I left Seattle at 8:40 am Sunday and after a quick plane change in Chicago, I only encountered one person who wasn't on the plane for the Inauguration. Marie Powell, from Indianapolis, had to go to a meeting in Syracuse but wanted so badly to get off the plane in D.C. That whole hope and change thing Obama keeps talking about? You can FEEL it in the air. Everyone on the plane to D.C. were such Chatty Cathys, talking about where they were on election night, the Obama speeches, etc. Can't wait to see what happens next.

9:30 p.m. Sunday: I'm surprised the DC Metro isn't as crowded as I thought. I was expecting this huge crowd at the airport, but I got on the Yellow line within 10 minutes of getting off the plane. I changed trains at one of the main stations and all of a sudden it was a madhouse. It was like stuffing your face at your favorite restaurant and then unbuttoning your pants when you're done. The slow release of passengers was a welcomed feeling. But it wasn't the people who were the problem. It was all that luggage.

9:50 p.m. Sunday: I'm staying with a friend and I thought I was meeting her at her apartment. Instead she tells me to grab a cab and come join her at a private party. I'm dressed in "traveling clothes": comfy sweater, jeans and sneakers. Not to mention a laptop and a polka dot duffle bag. I get to the private party and I'm standing on the corner changing shoes so I can at least look decent from the knees down. The party had thinned out but I did meet Obama's speech writer! I missed all the cool celebs but it was a nice way to start the night.

11:30 p.m. Sunday: Crashed a party hosted by The Root/Washington Post. My "entourage" tried to think of people they knew who could get us in but when we got to the door nobody asked any questions. We just walked right in. Biz Markie was the DJ and Samuel L. Jackson made a quick appearance toward the end. They were serving the most awesome drinks (PomObama)... champagne and pomegranate juice. After 2 of those I was done for the night. We finished the evening with an early morning meal at Clydes. (I had the shrimp linguini). After 2 metro transfers, 2 parties and 3 cab rides, me and my polka dot bag finally made it to Dupont Circle. If this is what the rest of the week is going to be like, I really need to pace myself.

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Recent entries

Jan 21, 09 - 12:24 PM
BET Inaugural Ball

Jan 20, 09 - 12:40 PM
Lost in the (mall)

Jan 20, 09 - 07:48 AM
Long lines on the Metro

Jan 20, 09 - 06:05 AM
It helps to have connections

Jan 19, 09 - 11:14 AM
All planes lead to Obama

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