January 3, 2009

Obama’s Inauguration Schedule: it’s a 4-Day Event. A Very Good Reason to Visit DC.

(JFK Inauguration)

Here is just a preliminary schedule for the inauguration. Note: if you have not yet reserved a place to stay in Washington, DC for the inauguration day, January 20th, 2009, don’t bother – according to the latest media and statistics reports – no places are left in the city unless you are willing to pay $400,000 for a hotel room.

Obama’s Inauguration Schedule: it’s a 4-Day Event

The schedule plans an event on Sunday, Jan. 18, to welcome visitors to the nation's capital. Location: TBD, however, during George W. Bush's first inaugural celebration in 2001, a welcoming event took place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

(First Capitol Inauguration)

The schedule plans for Obama and Biden to perform a service project the next day, Jan. 19, the national King holiday. There are no details on what the “guys” will do, but it’s said Obama and Biden would urge others across the country to follow their lead to honor the civil rights leader and activist.

Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, will feature many of the events of past schedules, including the oath of office on the western steps of the Capitol, the parade to the White House and the traditional inaugural balls.

Not all events will be exclusive affairs for tuxedoed insiders. Obama's campaign wants the inauguration to be inclusive and open to the public, including opening the entire National Mall for the millions anticipated to flood Washington for his swearing-in. (Living in DC does have its perks, like all we have to do is to walk down the 14th street a few blocks to White House to become a part of a historic moment.)

After the inauguration, if you have not secured any inauguration balls to attend on the day, I’d suggest you to stop by the legendary Busboys and Poets café, a place to see and be seen – a place of free mic nights, delicious egg benedicts and mimosas, unique lunch and dinner menus and artistic, cozy and laid-back atmosphere. The place is so full of African-American vibe that it will make your feel the inauguration spirit like no where else.

First established in 2005 Busboys and Poets was created by owner Anas "Andy" Shallal, an Iraqi-American artist, activist and restaurateur. After opening, the flagship location at 14th and V Streets, NW (Washington DC), the neighboring residents and the progressive community, embraced Busboys, especially activists opposed to the Iraq War. Busboys and Poets is now located in three distinctive neighborhoods in the Washington Metropolitan area and is a community resource for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers.

The name refers to American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel in the 1930s, prior to gaining recognition as a poet.

Come! Who knows, we might run into each other.

And once you are at visiting DC anyway and might want to spend a few hours here and there, between inauguration events, balls, dinners – you might want to take advantage of the city’s walk-friendly personality and take a sightseeing walk, but bring your sneakers!

According to the Brookings Institution, the nation’s capital is the most walkable city in America. You can grab a map and head out on your own – it’s all visitor’s-friendly and self-explanatory; any local would be happy to spare a few minutes to explain you directions, places and give you a brief intro into an importance of a sight.

You can walk up to the Washington Monument and walk all the way to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Along the way, you will visit some of the city’s most treasured monuments and learn about their history. You can also check out guided tours at DCbyFoot, they meet at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. every day.

You can also pay as little as $10 per person and choose a themed tour that fits your interests. You can discover the architecture of Embassy Row, explore National Mall memorials by moonlight, take at trip down U Street (origins of the first African-American community in the city, where Duke Ellington grew up), nosh your way through town on DC delicacies, or uncover the city’s best-kept secrets. Visit WashingtonWalks to learn more about their unique themed tours.

If you have done it all and it’s not your first time in DC, go to ThingsToDoDC
, which offers calendar of events, including single events, 40-plus, formal galas, embassy & cultural events, travel & adventure events, tastings, parties, dance lessons, concerts & shows, seminars & classes, charitable events – from a romantic dinner cruise over Potomac River to a French cuisine lesson.

If you want to taste the “international” flavors of the city, given that DC is the home for more than 170 foreign embassies (visit the Embassy Row and learn more), go to International Club of DC, where they offer a calendar of events and inside information on the lives of foreign members of the community.

Here are just a few in and around the inauguration date:
On Saturday, Jan. 17, International Club of DC offers US Botanic Gardens Guided Tour to spend a day amongst lush green plants, trees, & vibrant exotic flowers and meet others who love nature at a thriving oasis in the heart of DC.

On Thursday, January 22, International Club of DC offers Embassy of France Piano Concert and Wine Reception with world renowned pianist François-Frédéric Guy.

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