Elbow room

crowd control t-shirtPresident Obama took office yesterday, with over a million people braving the icy winds of the Potomac to stand in the Mall and watch him take office.

After handing out all our free buttons to the thousands of folks on the Mall, the CafePress Ground Crew headed up toward the closest JumboTron to wait for it all to start.  We managed to get to the Washington Monument – about 1.5 miles from the Capitol building.  Which is to say that we had an interesting view of A Lot of (Freezing) People, and a pretty good one of the screen.

crowd at inaugurationLook, there we are!

One of the more interesting things about being in a crowd this size was how mellow and well-behaved it was.  The freezing cold may have helped; it was 13 degrees with the wind chill, and a lot of people spent the wait time trying to concentrate on staying warm.

Our trick: the hokey pokey.  We also did some jumping in place and general fidgeting.

inaug21This regrettably amateurish photo shows the sea o’ people next to us.  (My actual camera had a temper tantrum, so I was forced to document with my phone.  I always knew that camera was a McCain fan.)  Fortunately, my cohorts took tons of Inauguration pictures and some video and we’ll be getting those up soon.

While watching TV from far away in 13 degree weather may not sound like the most fun thing in the world, the crowd itself made the experience one to remember.

obama bandanaWe met tons of interesting people in D.C., and saw an absolutely incredible amount of Obama stuff for sale.  Street vendors, stores and even the trendy boutiques in Georgetown were all selling their own hot Obama merchandise, from blah to bling and everything in between.

In the end, we had a great time handing out our buttons and being part of the Inauguration that seemed so personal to so many people.  This election season was incredibly vibrant in the CafePress community, and we’re happy that so many people were able to be a part of it.

Onward we go…

  1. That’s a lot of people… I remember being there for the 2004 inauguration (christian school…) and we were in the fourth tier, and it was pretty much empty, except from some cool Canadians we met. The other tiers weren’t very crowded, either.

  2. I am very proud of our country. This election has been a remarkable example of how the patriotism and passion of everyday normal people can generate such a change, for a nation that desperately needed one.

    It is interesting to see how quickly the emotion of merchandise has changed. From mimicry (Bush) to awe and inspiration (Obama). Through sources like CafePress, the public has been able to artistically express that same passion, in a very effective way.

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