The Brooklyn Academy of Music across the street showed a live broadcast of the inauguration in one of its theaters this morning. The Web site said opened at 11, yet somehow it was all filled by 10:30. They let people in to the lobby to watch the proceedings on two flat screen TVs. Not ideal viewing, but still a few hundred people crammed around or sat cross-legged on the hard floors for two hours to watch the event.
Here’s the video I took during the oath of office, and the reaction in the room. Lots of hugs, tears and cheers:
an overflow crowd in the lobby of BAM
A run down of the crowd:
Biggest applause moment: Obama finishes the oath of office (obvs)
Biggest non-Obama applause moment: Aretha Franklin first appears on screen
Biggest laugh (correction) Rick Warren announces the Obama children as Malia and” SASHA!!” fiercely (though not Sasha Fierce)
Other biggest laugh: Justice John Roberts stumps Barry with trixy wordplay
Biggest Smiling Boo: Dick Cheney in a wheelchair
Biggest Laugh/Uproarious Applause Combo: Image of movers packing trucks in front of the White House
Biggest Moment of Confusion Over How to React/Biggest Hiss: Rick Warren comes on stage
Other applause lines at the BAM: “restore science to its rightful place;” “harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories;” “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist;” “nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect;” “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”
Also, I saw several people turn to each other with looks of pleasant but stunned surprise when he mentioned “non-believers.”
I might try to dust myself off today, once my legs get feeling back in them after squatting on a cold marble floor for two hours.
Other note: Before the oaths began, the staff muted the TVs and the president of BAM came out to apologize to everyone that the theater was filled so quickly. “Thanks for coming! The Dark Knight is over!” she said, which confused me, as I thought she was informing the crowd a screening of Batman had just ended and they were opening up another theater for the inauguration viewing. But then I realized she meant “dark night,” as in, the Bush years in her eyes. Though an eight-year long Christoher Nolan movie would probably be pretty sweet too.