We wandered downtown and parked by Powell’s. We got there around 10:30, thinking that might be early enough to get into the Barack Obama rally. We headed down to the waterfront, because I knew it was in Waterfront park. When we got to the Hawthorne bridge, a volunteer helpfully pointed kind of back the way we came and said head up that way, four block or so. Heh, probably closer to ten. The line snaked all around downtown, and we quickly realized that we were probably not going to get in.
Well, we were downtown anyhow, so we might as well grab a bite to eat. Brian is too clever by half, so he suggested the McCormick and Schmick’s on the waterfront. I think he was hoping we could at least hear something. We had a nice lunch of seafood, ice tea and beer, and as we finished it up, I hear Colin Meloy’s voice. I had heard that the Decemberists were going to play before Obama spoke, and sure enough they were. We paid our check and headed toward the crowds.
Brian suggested walking down the pier to the river, and we got this perfect spot. We sat on the edge of the dock, where we could see and hear everything. It was in the mid-eighties today, and it was great to be able to dangle my toes in the water while we listened to the Decemberists play. I took a short video of it, which I will post tomorrow or so.
You can see all the boats on the water waiting for Obama. The video shows this awesome woman who paddled her surfboard into the river, and who paddles by us during the song. She sat on the surfboard and listened when Obama came out to speak.
It was amazing to see, and they are estimating the crowds at 75,000. They allowed 50,000 through security, so I’m not sure we would have gotten in if we had waited in line (and besides, it was so perfect sitting on the river!). The folks on the boats used their horns to “clap” at appropriate parts. I got choked up more than once during his speech.