24,000 in NYC

This was the real deal–over 24,000 people showed up in Washington Square Park last Thursday. In order for something like this to go off, bunches of volunteers were needed to provide a favorable Barack Obama experience. I bravely/stupidly signed up for “crowd control” with my buddies at a meeting held two days before the rally. At the meeting we were told A) not to get drunk, B) not to run, amongst other things. I only succeeded in accomplishing “A,” but more about that later…

The day of the rally I had to ask my new principal to leave school early, which didn’t make him very happy, but I was granted my request. When I arrived at Washington Square the skies were threatening rain, but there were already over 100 people lined up when I arrived just after 3 o’clock. I soon learned that my assignment for the event was going to be collecting tickets from folks, just before they entered the metal detectors. Easy enough.

Gates were scheduled to open at 4:30, but the call was made to open ahead of time, so I had to RUN to beat the people entering the park. I was wearing an orange dress with navy socks and platform sandals (for better chances at actually seeing Barack), which looked great, but was bad for sprinting. Immediately, I began grabbing blue tickets and “Rapid Pass” email RSVPs from folks and throwing them in a big cardboard box. All in all, it was very grassroots–a lot of confusion and a lot of laughs. As people entered the park, they learned that umbrellas would not be allowed inside the event. This pissed off countless Obama supporters, but every single one of them sacrificed the umbrella to get inside. As the mountain of umbrellas grew, so did the pile of people waiting to enter the park. It literally looked like a sea of people, and I must say, I felt very thankful to not be standing in that crowd when they started chanting, “LET US IN! LET US IN!” I hate it when people bump into me.

Just before 7pm security pulled the metal detectors aside and signaled to let in the crowd as Barack was taking the stage. Instantly, the crowd stampeded toward the gates, and once again, I had to RUN to avoid getting trampled. I enjoyed the rally from a great distance. In fact, I never did even see the man. But, I guess he looked like this:


September 30, 2007. Barack Obama, Fashion, Live Music, New York City, Volunteering.

One Comment

  1. Blayze replied:

    Hi, I was also a volunteer at the rally. Probably bumped into ya. Nice blog though, neat to know about the umbrella mountain. I was rounding the square giving out the little yellow ticket stubs. Pretty crazy but fun. And yeah, I didn’t have a very good either but glad I could make somewhat of a difference.

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