"The Moment," The Boss, and Oprah: Riptide Live from D.C.

"The Moment," The Boss, and Oprah: Riptide Live from D.C.

As Barack Obama momentarily studied his massive audience before launching into his poetic and bold inaugural speech, an unrestrainable middle-age man next to Riptide on the Capitol lawn seating area yelled out, "This is the moment!"

That summed it up pretty well. This weekend in D.C. has been a raucous

runup to this: the speech that proved the concept of President

Obama was a reality. It was full of people trying to make the clear

importance of the event their own -- like the young artist posing with

his own dual portrait of Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. in front of

a famous photo of Abraham Lincoln at the National Portrait Gallery.

"The Moment," The Boss, and Oprah: Riptide Live from D.C.

And it was full of spur-of-the-moment hustlers trying to make a dime: Legions of street vendors hawked everything from misspelled and hideous, but strangely irresistible, T-shirts to Obama hot sauce. Oh yeah, and the weekend was full of revelry -- most bars were open, and packed, until 4 a.m. At one Dupont Circle bar, Riptide enjoyed a shot called "The Obama" -- which tasted suspiciously similar to a Washington Apple. 

It took Riptide two-and-a-half knuckle-freezing hours to navigate the clogged-by-Secret-Service D.C. Mall on our way to the inauguration ceremony -- a trip punctuated by the sight of Arnold Schwarzenegger boarding a bus.
"The Moment," The Boss, and Oprah: Riptide Live from D.C.

We were about 50 rows back from the grand podium, and as Obama spoke, his words echoed with a slight delay miles back to the Washington Monument, a space packed with more than a million people. At times, we were actually kind of sad we weren't in the cheap seats; when Dubya was introduced, he was met with a restrained silence from the front-row people, but roaring boos were audible from the masses behind us. 

"The Moment," The Boss, and Oprah: Riptide Live from D.C.

As the crowd began a slow stampede out during Rev. Rick Warren's closing prayer, Riptide had a couple more big-time celebrity sightings. First Bruce Springsteen attracted a crowd when he tried, in vain, to casually slip away before the rest of the onlookers. But The Boss was made ho-hum when an even greater star snatched away his mob: Oprah caused sheer pandemonium when she and Stedman followed a few feet behind Springsteen.

"The Moment," The Boss, and Oprah: Riptide Live from D.C.

Somewhere in Miami-Dade, Michael the Black Man is considering jumping off of a bridge.

And now, more random shots of D.C. Obamamania, from a storefront display of a paper Obama at a styrofoam podium to a masterful Etch-a-Sketch likeness:

"The Moment," The Boss, and Oprah: Riptide Live from D.C.
"The Moment," The Boss, and Oprah: Riptide Live from D.C.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: