Surreal Soiree at City Hall
1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW -- 1:36 a.m.: In retrospect, it was probably a good thing I was about an hour late for the 51st State Ball at the John A. Wilson Building tonight. This party is both an unofficial inaugural ball and a go-go show, so of course the band hadn't started yet. People were still checking mics from 11 to 11:45.
"Check-Check-Check," intoned the tambourine player. "Turn it up."
But once the band started playing, people started grooving. Ladies in jewel-toned floor-length gowns and gents in three-piece suits and fedoras mostly bobbed in place in City Hall's cramped corridors. It's the good thing the new president's name is so percussive. The intermittent "O-ba-ma" cheers fit right in with the drums.
Former council staffer Villareal Johnson said many of his council colleagues were in attendance tonight. How does it feel to see go-go in City Hall?
"I'm still processing."
What was the experience down on the Mall like earlier today?
"I'm still processing," he said with a smile. "I think it was just an overwhelming experience to be a part of history."
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