Who Needs DC? We’ve got the XL Center!

I was just planning on sneaking a watch via CNN’s streaming video until my coworker said the inauguration was playing at the XL Center on the big screens. So we decided to take a department field trip (all four of us) over there to watch. I expected there to be a pitiful handful of people there but I was surprised to see bunches of balloons at the entrance, ushers and concessions open.

When we walked in, I was shocked to see how many people were there — we had to walk quite a ways up (IN HEELS, NO LESS) to find seats. I think by noon there were as many people in the seats as had been at the Wolfpack game the other night. Okay, maybe not that many, but a good deal–we filled up one of the long sides of the center. People would walk in and you could see how surprised they were at the crowd. Apparently they also bussed in some school kids to watch, which I thought was pretty cool.

The best part was the diversity of everyone there– people of all ages and races (I helped with that part) and how excited people seemed to be. There were t-shirts and flags and even Obama/Biden campaign signs.

Once things got under way, people got really excited. I mean, tons of applause and cheering and standing ovations…and essentially, it was all for a television. I know, I know, it was for the momentous occasion and I’m just as happy as anyone to get Bush the Hell out, but when you stop and realize you’re in a crowd of people giving a standing O to a television, it’s kind of funny.

We — and just about every other working person — took off as soon as Obama finished his speech (which I thought was pretty damn good) and you could see smiles on everyones’ faces. Even as we got into the elevator of our building, everyone was still smiling. People were ready for today. I know I was…and watching it with hundreds of people from the community was pretty effing cool.

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