"Life On The Beach" comes to you on this Inauguration Day from the ABC News bureau in NW Washington... just a few blocks north of the White House. I'm writing this post at 5 am, and I only have time to write because I got to work an hour and a half early today - that's how paranoid I was about getting here.
I chose to drive to work because I loathe Metro even on a good day - and it appears that was a good decision because even at 5 am, the reports coming in are that folks are packed in like sardines on the trains!
My drive down Connecticut Avenue was uneventful for the most part, although the traffic volume was probably 10 times the normal load for 4 in the morning. On a day like this, though, you have to be ready for anything, and in fact, I got to within a half-mile of work, and the road suddenly closed. Now, I had been studying maps and websites and the Washington Post for weeks in preparation for today, and there was no mention of this road closing... Fortunately - and for no discernable reason - I was able to divert around through Dupont Circle and get back onto Connecticut Avenue - which kinda defeats the purpose of closing it in the first place!
As I got down to the area near ABC - just at the northern edge of the security "green zone", the energy was palpable... First of all, the sidewalks were full of people - Some were heading towards the Mall, but more of them were in evening clothes - still heading home after a late night of pre-inauguration partying! It was manna from heaven for cab drivers, who were zigzagging across the street to pick up fares, cutting off any traffic that got in their way... Add cop cars firing their sirens and lights every few seconds, and it got to be quite jarring for those of us trying to detour our way to the office before the SH** really hit the fan!
I realize as I write this that I've really written very little of substance on this inauguration day... but it helps to burn off some of the adrenaline that got me out of bed early and down here before the maddening crowds... Let's hope the rest of the day goes smoothly!