President Obama’s second public inauguration this week sparkled with great musical talent and a glinting promise in the president’s address to the nation.
Or so they tell me.
I failed to see any of it live, instead traipsing around the perimeters of a sealed off National Mall with a couple of friends. Eventually, we gave up and headed home.
In the spirit of taking a break from my eat-in posts, I’m going to tell you a story of what I did see that day (and show you in a video if you keep reading).
As I joined the crowd outside one of the jammed Metro stations following my surrender, I encountered two ad hoc entrepreneurs.
“Get your Obama hats!” One of them called. “Only five dollars!”
“Hand warmers!” Said another. “Just two dollars!”
The difference between these guys and the hawkers of oversized buttons or fragrant soft pretzels in the streets was that the former had a captive audience. Up and down the staircase to our left, their patter tumbled over the would-be Metro riders and sometimes turned into a conversation. Continue reading