New Yorkers head to Washington
By Heather Haddon
Special to amNewYork
When Anne Trumble advertised her Inauguration Day carpool on-line, she never expected to receive 50 responses from as far away as California and Great Britain.
I had to upgrade the rental to a minivan, said Trumble, 32, of Park Slope, who picked up five strangers from Grand Army Plaza yesterday.
The chance to witness history tomorrow has sent New Yorkers scrambling for ways to get to the National Mall for the swearing in of Barack Obama as the 44th president.In the last two weeks, more than a dozen ads with subject lines like Carpool to/from D.C. - yes we can! sprung up on craigslist.org. Discount bus companies added trips to Washington, D.C., and a dozen inaugural charter tours are offering perks like cocktails, disco lights and independent films on their trips.
You dont want that excitement to die down on the drive, said Stephanie Cadet, 25, of East Flatbush, who filled a dozen Inauguration Day Party Buses leaving from all five boroughs.
About 10,000 buses are expected to descend on Washington, D.C. for the historic ceremony. Seats on several discount bus lines between New York City and the nations capital sold out weeks ago.
BoltBus has since added 10 trips to and from Washington, D.C. today and tomorrow.
Additionally, three companies leaving from Chinatown have extra buses ready beginning at 1:30 a.m. tonight, said an attendant for the Chinatown Bus ticket agency.
Elizabeth Doctor, a 24-year-old teacher from Morningside Heights, left Saturday on the $25 Vamoose Bus from Penn Station.
I think its going to be an absolutely spectacular moment in history, said Doctor, who planned to call her Bronx students from the parade tomorrow.
Startup charter buses have filled hundreds of seats with New Yorkers eager to attend the event no matter the cost.
A Baltimore entrepreneur, for example, sold dozens of $250 tickets in New York for a Mercedes Benz coach and dinner buffet after the swearing-in ceremony.
Neal Kellman, a pilot by day who organized a $175 package deal for a charter bus and accommodations, said he received most of his calls in the last week.
Im becoming the most popular man in New York, said Kellman, 31, of East Flatbush.
For creative types, the Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn will send off its bus with a Bon Voyage Bush party tonight. Attendees are encouraged to dress in cruise attire and play games like lame rubber ducky, said administrator Katie Wagner.
At least 1 million people are expected to attend the inauguration. Doctor, the Bronx teacher, hadnt squared away her return trip, but wasnt worried.
We can make signs saying New York or bust, Doctor said. I would not miss this for the world.