It’s not 2009 anymore, and Obama’s re-election is more of a collective sigh of relief (for most of us) than cause for a massive celebration. But there’s no shame in wanting to head down to see the swearing-in first hand, and even if you’re not lucky enough to win a free ticket, you can still check out the action from a public viewing spot by the National Mall. Of course, there are the logistics, since getting down to DC from New York might require selling your firstborn to the Lords of Amtrak for a $158 ticket. But, worry not, Obama-loving Brokesters! We’ve got a two cheap ways to head down to the nation’s capital, plus a couple spots where you can celebrate the swearing-in from your own beloved Brooklyn.
We know this is an obvious one. But really, buses are probably the best way to travel down the East Coast, and, barring horrible traffic, are quickest second only to the rich people’s train. Bolt Bus is my personal favorite, with its Wifi and roomy seats, and you can still get seats for under $30. Megabus is another popular one, with seats also falling between $28 and $35 each way, or if you’re heading right to the fancy Dupont section of DC you can take an even cleaner and roomier $30 “upscale” DC2NY bus. But if those ticket prices don’t cut it for you, feel free to take your chances with a $20 Chinatown bus seat. Be aware that the really cheap buses don’t necessarily have the best safety track record, though, and sometimes companies like Bolt offer cheaper day-of seats if you’re willing to wait it out rather than take the risk.
If you’ve got your own wheels, the ride down to DC takes about 5-6 hours with traffic. Tolls will run you around $25 and gas could total up to $40 or $50 each way depending on your car, but if you’re bringing a buddy who’s splitting the travel costs, the trip could end up being pretty cheap. But if you don’t have a car – and, let’s be real, you can hardly afford your apartment, let alone car insurance – check out Zimride, a ride-sharing company that helps you hitch a seat down with someone else. Seats can run $20 to $40, which might seem costly, but the upside is you can link to the driver’s Facebook and other forms of online verification to ensure they don’t murder you at a rest stop in Delaware. You can also take a look at the rideshare options on Craigslist, some of which may be cheaper and/or free, but then it’s up to you to vet the driver.
If you’re staying in Brooklyn…
Not willing to risk a night sleeping in the Metro just to watch Obama 2.0 get sworn in? We feel you, but fear not! You can still fete four more years from the comfort of your own borough. Williamsburg’s Huckleberry Bar (588 Grand St) will be celebrating Obama all day Sunday with inauguration coverage and $5 Anchor Liberty Ale all day. And if you want to make this a really special occasion, hit up BAM on January 21 for their Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, featuring special speeches and performances by the Interdenominational Choir from Fort Greene/Clinton Hill and R&B duo Kindred the Family Soul. Plus, they’ll be screening a live simulcast of Obama’s swearing-in, and the whole event is totally free.