Insider view from Jenny Abella: The inauguration from inside the Washington Post
Editor’s note: Jennifer Abella, a graduate of East Rowan High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a copy editor at the Washington Post. She writes today of the atmosphere in the newsroom:
I can’t recall a more exciting time to live in the District in my eight years of living here. The last few days have been full of celebrity sightings, out-of-town visitors and motorcades. I joined the nearly 400,000 people for the concert Sunday, and Barack Obama even visited my newsroom at The Washington Post.
Today, people are in collegial moods, and a festive atmosphere fills the streets. I eschewed my usual 20-minute train ride to work: The trains were packed with people; as I started to make the long walk to work, I saw two buses pass. I waited less than five minutes for another one and was lucky enough to grab a seat. Score! Looking out the windows, I saw the sidewalks full of people making their way to the Mall.
The streets outside the Post are being used for charter bus parking, and there are soldiers in groups of four on the corners. Crossing 16th Street, I can see the White House a few blocks down and the reviewing stand for the parade.
The lobby at the Post was busy with people buying our commemorative Inauguration edition. I shelled out $6 to buy three copies even though I hope to get more later. We’re doing three extra editions, including an afternoon one today.
So it’s no surprise that the main newsroom is busy and full of people helping our reporters out in the field. One cabinet is covered with bags of candy and potato chips and boxes of doughnuts to keep staffers energized. Because parking is a problem today, some people stayed overnight. It was bring your own sleeping-bag/air mattress/blankets.
I’m on the fourth floor, where it’s relatively quiet right now. People who aren’t working on breaking news are working from home. Around noon, I plan on going upstairs to watch the swearing-in and inaugural address.