Sing-a-long in the Hay-Adams Bar: My Trip to the 2009 Inauguration
Lafayette Park Area and the Hay-Adams Off-the-Record Bar

Lafayette Park Area and the Hay-Adams Off-the-Record Bar

As I walked towards the White House, I saw one of the reviewing stands for the Inaugural parades.

Near Lafayette Square, I found the old Hay-Adams Hotel. On a large, new building across the street, there was a huge sign, "Welcome Sasha and Malia" as the Obama family lived in the Hay-Adams for about 10 days before they were allowed to relocate to the Blair House. I decided the Hay-Adams Off-the-Record bar would be the right place from which to watch the concert. There were a few people downstairs in the woody, formal bar, and a basketball game was on in the background that no one seemed to be watching. So, I asked the bartender if he could change the channel to the Inaugural Concert, which he did.

Bruce Springsteen was singing, so it was an auspicious way to start. I ordered a glass of champagne and some corn chowder (which was expensive but excellent). The concert also featured readings by famous American leaders, as read by famous American actors. Gradually, other cold people filtered downstairs. Some people from California sat beside me, and we clapped at the end of various performers.

When Garth Brooks started singing "American Pie," every baby boomer in the bar joined in singing.

Watching Garth Brooks from the Hay-Adams Off-the-Record Bar

We didn't sing too much after that. A little when Pete Seeger (who's 90!) and Bruce Springsteen led "This Land Is Your Land," but that was about it. Some people in the bar asked if that was Willie Nelson, but I realized it was Pete Seeger himself!

President-elect Barack Obama Addresses the Crowd During the Inaugural Concert

Mr. Obama spoke briefly at the concert. When it was all over, the bar was completely full. A New York Times review of the Concert and other Inaugural music.

I walked up to the Farragut North Metro station and later met my brother, Jeff, in Silver Spring. As Rachel had a meeting that evening, we went and got some Mexican food, then went home and watched the Steelers beat the Ravens (Yay!).

© 2009 Photos by Laurie D. T. Mann