Back in 2009 for President Barak Obama’s inauguration security and signage creeped past the southern boundaries of Mt. Vernon Square into Shaw and up to Florida Avenue.
I was very annoyed at the sight of National Guardsmen roaming New Jersey Avenue NW in Shaw. I was full of complaints that week. I understood why, with Obama being the first Black president and huge crowds, but I did not understand why Shaw got caught up in the mess.
Well fast forward to 2021 and Obama’s VP is going to be president. The security Downtown is cranked up to 11. Thankfully, that circus of crazy is south of us. And one positive of covid (besides to go booze and 5 star restaurant delivery) is that the Convention Center is unavailable for inauguration events, so there is no excuse for the National Guard to come up the street.
I was also pissy about a 2016 Nuclear Summit held at the Convention Center, which locked down the neighborhood around the center. There are still some remnants of the security from that event on manhole covers and grates to show that no one tampered with them.
You would think after that, someone would know that residential areas and super security don’t mix. People lost access to their street parking. And you know how people around here love their ability to park in front of/ near their houses (even if they have a perfectly fine parking pad in the rear of their house, another complaint for another day).
Hopefully, come Thursday morning, this is all over and we can get back to normal, 2021 normal that is.
I’m turning off the computer I swear, but, just a few minutes ago a long parade of sirens and blue lights just traveled down New Jersey Avenue.
*7:30PM the National Guard was still on the corner. Friendly enough fellows but I don’t like men hanging on my corner. As of 8:30 I didn’t see them.
*The Neighborhood Ball on TV reminds me of an awards ceremony. Anyone from the neighborhood of Mt. Vernon Sq or Shaw in attendance?
*And to whomever is flying over the neighborhood and has been flying over the neighborhood for the past few days… Stop it. You’re screwing up my HD reception. Everytime the ghetto bird flies overhead my reception goes all crappy. Other aircraft, well if close enough, results in the same problem.
Some one was sending off firecrackers in the direction of Bloomingdale or Eckington. I totally understand your excitement, however, I’m going to bet those fireworks are illegal. I could see them from my 2nd floor window, so more than likely illegal. Now, setting off illegal fireworks while nearby parts are under lockdown, with something in the air flying around and troops on the ground, not smart. Celebrate sans explosives.
Just got a call (that later fell, silly weak cellular service) from the Aunt. She is cold, tired and disgusted. She called from the orange line to tell me she caught the tail end of the benediction. Every street she and her party went to was closed, closed, closed. Closed. The Aunt is of retirement age and doesn’t care to walk beyond a treadmill. Also there were reports of confusion for people trying to find the appropriate entrance. Well at least they could say they were down and around there for the inauguration. But then again, I can also say I was in Washington DC for the inauguration. But then again, I never left Shaw.
Face it, if you weren’t down there super early, then you probably didn’t get on the mall. I look forward to hearing the estimated numbers that filled the Mall and Penn Quarter.
We just… Just had a fender bender on the corner.
I called 911. Busy signal.
So. We have all these National Guardsmen all over the place, and they did make themselves useful. Upon not reaching 911, I run out of the house and ask them to make the call. When I headed back to the house, about 4-5 of them took control of the situation.
An hour or so before our block had a visit from the EMS. Seems a young visitor from one of the neighbors’ house needed to be taken to the hospital. So I guess they were able to get through earlier.
Just too much going on.
It’s about 1:30PM
There are still National Guard personnel on the corners. I don’t know how well they are or if they still are blocking New Jersey Avenue because I still see private vehicles going north and south. Not many mind you, sort of light Saturday dawn traffic. The foot traffic on New Jersey is heavier.
After President Obama’s speech the loudspeakers of the mosque erupted with the call to prayer. I stuck my head out the door because I thought I also heard firecrackers or something with a big boom. As the call to prayer was still wailing on, a big cluster of National Guardsmen walked down the sidewalk. Love it, hate it, the call to prayer is one of those things that makes the TC and parts of central Shaw unique.
I wonder what went though the minds of these visitors in uniform as they walked by the mosque.
OK this is in another part of Shaw. But anyway….
Over on O Street NW between 6th and 7th Street NW there are signs saying No Parking for the inaugural period. The signs are for the whole block. Notice the cars parked down the street, same signs apply. I ran into Daddy 5-O and his partner on my way back from the Giant*. He was concerned about the parking restrictions earlier, concerned about where they’d park the car.
One of the reasons why I’m documenting this is for the next inauguration. Seriously, the powers that be need to understand how their decisions touch and impact those of us in residential areas. And for residents, we need to know what to demand of our government and tell them how far they should and can go.
*I was wrong in my prediction. The milk was on the shelf, it didn’t look like a snow day. Go shopping, it’s ok.
It’s early today, so this is the view of the inauguration from the POV of the TC.
I find it totally hilarious that there are National Guardsmen hanging out exactly where we had drug dealers only a few years ago. There are guardsmen at the mouth of my alley. There are guardsmen hanging out at the fence where the dealers would lean and the difference appears that the guardsmen have a bigger trash bag. I’m guessing the New Jersey Avenue Dunkin Donuts is the most secure place in the TC.
The crowds are walking down New Jersey Avenue and they are sticking to the sidewalks. They are friendly groups waving or saying hello to the guardsmen, and seriously there are a lot, A LOT, of guardsmen. There is parking on the 1600 and 1700 block of New Jersey Avenue. It appears the No Parking signs were removed. Good. These are residences and it’s stupid that the zone came this far north. The 1500 and lower numbered blocks on New Jersey Avenue are free of parked cars, as far as I can see. I did see a few cars (very few) travel north on NJ Ave. Despite the No Buses signs and the National Guard on R Street, I did see a few cars traveling west on R.
I have some of the most boring inauguration parking related photographs on the web in a Flickr set here. Also in the set are some photographs of the Dunbar High School band practicing on the street.
This is from yesterday. I captured a National Guardsmen on the sidewalk taking a look at the Dunbar High School band getting a practice in before the big day.