Gotten up at 3:30 am to head to DC. Francisco dropped me and K off at the Greenbelt station. Well, he couldn't get that far because traffic was bad. So we got off the car, said goodbye and walked. Fortunately this wasn't too far from the station. Got to the desired station in DC at around 5:30 am. Stations were packed, streets were packed, coffee shops, roadside stands, anything you turned to was. Finding the right entrance to the mall was the key. It wasn't easy because no one around us seemed to know which way to what. Cops and military were multitasking and trying to keep things in order. I think we'd finally found ourselves entering via the 7th street entrance. Turns out that took us towards the front of the mall, as far as the non-ticketed people to get to. We wiggled our way through and settled on a spot. And there we were from 7 till 11.
By 11am, had 3 women around me faint, listened to countless chants, talked to many, found and lost several flags. If you've been on the NYC subways during rushhour, this put the Sardines in a can analogy to shame. We weren't allowed to take backpacks, bags, or anything resembling a bag. People brougt in cookies and drinks in their pockets and ate them too. One bagel and a coffee at 4 am and we didn't get to eat before 5pm. Therefore, anyone eating around us must have felt the warm rays of destruction from mine eyes.
By 11am, also, my toes started to feel numb. Frost bite? How would I know? The JumboTron kept displaying a checklist of symptoms of frostbite. I couldn't take it anymore. Neither could K. We got out of the front and started making our way back, right near the ABC stands. Perhaps the best decision made during the ceremony. All the pictures you see below wouldn't have existed if we hadn't gotten out.
I have a hard time selecting photos to upload on Flickr. I picked 240 out of the 700+ photos I shot that day. No one in the right mind will sit through 240 something photos in one shot. So doing part a and b thing. Part b tomorrow.
Hope you like these. It wasn't easy being there. Looking back, though, it's one of the best things I've done and will cherish the memory forever. I hope these pictures give you some sense of what it was like to have been there. I'm happy to be able to share these with you.