Friday, January 23, 2009

Inauguration day party in Amsterdam

Several people have asked how the party at the Hard Rock Café Amsterdam was since I announced on Facebook that we were going there to watch the inauguration with Democrats Abroad Netherlands. The short answer is very crowded! The party sold out at 250, but that was for dinner, I think. I don’t think they actually turned anyone away.

When we arrived, we were directed downstairs to the bar (we signed up for the second seating for dinner). There we greeted Dems Abroad friends and had our picture taken with a standee of Barack Obama. Inauguration party in AmsterdamBy the time Rick Warren gave the invocation (which was largely ignored), we were packed in and it was standing room only. In this photo you can see us way at the back behind those taller people. If you stayed home and watched on your TV or computer, you had a better view. Despite all the jostling for drinks and conversation that went on during the preliminaries, when it came time for the oath to be administered, the room was totally still. And it remained quiet, except for occasional applause and exclamations of agreement, throughout Obama’s outstanding speech. Of course, everyone was euphoric, but also quite serious in light of the enormous tasks ahead.

Together with ObamaLater our Dem friend Donna joined us, and we all sat together for dinner. The food was good, the conversation at the table was interesting, and it was a relief to get to sit down. We met three new people at our table for six, and that’s always fun. Still, we didn’t linger after dinner. By then the Hard Rock Café had switched their TV screens back to videos of rock bands, and that isn’t so much our kind of thing.

I apologize for the delay in posting this. I was waiting for the photos to be posted elsewhere. The credit for the crowd scene goes to Fred Byrman. Obama with us is by Waking up in Amsterdam!

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