I’m going to the inauguration!! An awesome chance to be a part of history in the making. Here’s how I got in, a look at the logistics and a little preview of what’s to come this week…also, I’m twittering the inauguration here: http://twitter.com/konatbone
Making it rain.
I got a call from my buddy Chris Sacca asking me to contribute to the Presidential Inauguration Committee and to live history instead of watching it on TV. So I donated a chunk of change to the PIC — they say the donation is for funding the inaugural events (which get little to none federal funding) and for the parties (okay its about the parties). I put in enough for 2 tix for some great access to the events going on in DC. Up-front for the swearing in, big bashes with politicos all week, VIP tix to the big balls, policy discussions, the works. Big shout out to Sacca, my BBF (best bundler forever!)
There was a lot of hype about the gouging that was going on with hotels and apartment rentals. That all calmed down (at least in the inauguration rentals market). In december, nice apartments that were close to the action were going at $2-4k per night. But with some patience (and sweating it out) I ended up at $400-500/bedroom/night for a killer place right next to the White House on Logan Circle …niiiice, high five (insert Barat voice)..at inauguration prices, it’s a DEAL…
Planes, trains, and automobiles.
This was an interesting one. Flights into DC were going for over $1k round trip for coach. Why give to American Airlines when your political contributions can go so much further 😉 I got a $250 roundtrip flight to NYC, spending a couple days there doing some meetings, and am on the Amtrak train ride ($100) right now going straight into DC city center. Much better way to go.
Like it or not, the big balls (I’m talking about events not anatomy) require the black tie. Being from San Francisco, we just don’t wear this kind of stuff. . .even at weddings. I do own a tux that has been my trusty go-to for the rare upscale event…unfortunately it is my prom rental from the 90’s (note: I’m not a thief, my prom tux rental shop went out of business over prom weekend), and those stainless steel metal clips to adjust waist size on the side just don’t cut it when you’re going to be in the presence of “That One”…if you catch my drift. So I went tuxedo shopping in NYC before getting to DC. What a melee. Getting a tux that fits, that’s respectable, that isn’t a total ripoff (Ralph Lauren sells their tuxes at $5K. .. with a STRAIGHT FACE!!), and that is ready to go (altered, etc.) in less than 12 hours was quite an ordeal. Let’s just say I got familiar with NYC’s Madison Ave. I’ll save intricate tuxedo shopping details for another post…ummm, maybe not.
Hanging with the homies.
I split the 2 tix with my good friend Garrett Camp , founder of StumbleUpon, yes, we’re going stag to the inauguration, you got a problem with that?? Also, Chris Sacca got a pretty killer techie crew hanging together: the Zappos guys (Tony and Alfred), a few Google peeps (Sacca and company), VC-dudes and Twitter home slices (what up Ev and Sara), … a truly solid crew of great people is the icing on the cake. When you’ve got the kind of crew we’ve got, the party is wherever we are.
History in the making.
Parties, bacchanalian balls, and political patronage aside. . . I’m here for one reason, I want to see history in the making. I want to live this history,…breathe it, and when my grandkids read about it in their history books, I want to sit them on my lap, tell them the stories and show them the pictures. It is a rare event in one’s life to witness something that moves so many, and brings out the best in all those who touch it. I’m on the train into DC, quiet, calm anticipation of our piece of history about an hour from our first touch of inaugural electricity.