Wednesday, January 21


While screw-ups such are reported below are common in our fair city, this is the first time the colonial wimps pushing for a token vote in the House have soiled the name, 51st State, with their own incompetence. It's one thing not to support DC statehood, but far worse to harm its reputation.

Erik Wemple,City Paper, January 20 - The situation now brewing this very moment at the John A. Wilson Building isn’t making tons of sense. Standing in front of a throng of about 200 people are three burly-looking dudes with credentials. They are keeping the crowd from entering the 51st State Inaugural Ball, that must-go-to event featuring precious ball commodities like Vincent Gray, Marion Barry, Harry Thomas, and many, many other D.C. council members. What could be the thinking behind keeping the crowd out? Does Gray need to groom his mustache just a touch more before everyone pours in? Does Thomas need to change out of his sweatpants? Are the cheese cubes going too fast? Come on, let the masses into the 51st State!

DCist - Things were clearly a bit disorganized by the time my friends and I got to the John A. Wilson Building for the D.C. Council-hosted 51st State Ball. We didn't run into the security mess City Desk reported, but there was no signage or schedule posted anywhere, so a lot of people were milling around-it was just not clear where things were happening inside city hall.

Events were split up on different floors-there was a DJ on one floor, a stage where I presume Chuck Brown was supposed to play, and a jazz band tucked away in a large conference space. We spent several minutes just trying to find a coat check and were finally told by one of the security guards that he thought they were supposed to have one, but then the equipment didn't arrive in time. Almost everyone was walking around with their coats in their hands, so either there really wasn't a coat check at all, or it was extremely well hidden.

The biggest surprise of the night, however, was that there was no bar. No cash bar, no alcohol, period. Just water and sodas. Needless to say, ball attendees were kind of disgruntled. They were letting people with ticket stubs leave and come back in, so a lot of people left to get a drink at a nearby bar. While we were discussing the booze situation, a woman turned to us and admitted that she had started playing Solitaire on her cell phone because the party was so boring.

My friends wanted to leave early, and I couldn't really blame them. We've since heard that eventually, the live music acts got going, but Chuck Brown didn't go on until 2 a.m.


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