Long version: The day started with me getting in the car service car at 4:30 am and driving to CitiField. At about 4:50 am we arrived at CitiField, which started the two big themes of the day: waiting in lines, and everyone at every level of the organization of this thing underestimating. There was a traffic jam of all the cars and taxis trying to get to the entrance; the driver was all like "it's 5 am and there's a traffic jam in Flushing Queens, WTF!?" So I get out and get in line for the bus. Oh, the line:
The perspective is a bit lost in the pic, but the line extended all the way down to those light on the side of CitiField and around the corner for another 50 feet, about 10-15 thick the entire way. They were supposed to start getting everyone on the buses at 5:30 am and everyone would leave by 6 am. HAH!
That picture was taken about 10 minutes before I left. Notice how light it got out. It was about 7:35 am when I left, I'm guessing the last of the buses left at about 8 am. The bus ride consisted mostly of me trying to sleep, eating a little, and peeing in the charter bus "bathroom"
. So, I didn't end up getting there until about 12:50 pm, and then waiting in line for tickets and riding the DC metro system chewed up another 30 minutes (I think I'm going to have to give the DC metro system its own little rant down in RR&M). I finally arrive at the National Mall at 1:20 pm. Now, finding either the Ubis or Qwerty at this point would have been nigh on impossible. The National Mall greens were packed. The side streets were packed. The stairs and public areas of the Smithsonian museums were packed. People even got up on the port-o-potties to get a view. CBS estimated the crowd to be 215,000 strong (by comparison, they totaled the Glenn Beck rally at 87,000
). And even if we had exchanged cell numbers beforehand, service was pretty much dead in the area. I only was able to communicate via text message with my brother who showed up, and those took a long time to send.
I can confirm, however, that I was keeping the pirate-y goodness flowing on the south side of the Mall:
I can also confirm that faith in the FSM is strong. I was surprised and delighted by how many positive cheers and cries of "I too have been touched by His Noodly Appendage!" I received over my sign and costume. One woman came up to approve of the sign was wearing the same FSM "fish" logo as a pin on her jacket. Me and my brother had a nice conversation about religion with a Pastafarian with red hair, a beard and a fedora. And then there was this guy, whose sign completely pwned mine:
People even took pictures of my sign on the NYC subway on the way home.
So the Rally ends, I head back to the metro at 3:30 pm, and encounter my last long, obnoxious line of the day at the Federal Center SW station:
(Seriously, DC metro system: DIAF) After that last bit of bleh, back on the bus, which was uneventful (well, except for those horrid bathrooms again). Arrived back in NYC around 9:20 pm, home at 10:20 pm.
The rally itself was worth it, even if I missed half of it. And I am going to have to watch it again on Comedy Central or the Internets. But to me, the whole of the experience almost wasn't about what was on stage, but the atmosphere. Sitting around CitiField talking with random folks, breaking into (bad) impromptu renditions of "Don't Stop Believin'", checking out signs, impressing some guy by telling him I saw Mitch Hedberg live. The human element is what made it special.
You can see all my pictures on my facebook photoalbum