By Zuberi Williams
Editor-in-Chief of

I’m a native of the Washington area and, with the exception of four years in college, I’ve lived here my entire life. Over the last two months, the tempo and the rhythm of the city has picked up like a Duke Ellington melody, all in anticipation of Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The jazz permeates daily life. You can hear it by eavesdropping on the Metro. You can see it at happy hour on U Street. I bet that during the holidays, every family gathering — from Olney and Silver Spring to Fairfax and Alexandria — had some mention of Inauguration Day. Who’s staying where? How are we going to get around? Who’s trying to get out of town to avoid the whole thing?

Those of us who call Washington home know the inconveniences that go hand and hand with hordes descending on our city – for July 4, for protests, for events like the Million Man March. The Beltway becomes a parking lot, the whole city looks like Adams Morgan on a Friday night, and, my pet peeve, hundreds of people stand on the left side of Metro escalators. But preparation for this inauguration has sacked our city unlike any organized event in recent history. With predictions of multiple million attendees, Jan. 20, will be the biggest pop culture event so far in the 21st Century.

To my fellow natives, I say get your hopes up that it will all be worth it. We will truly be the center world next Tuesday. We are the main runway showing off America’s new look. (This year, black is in.) And this is our opportunity to make a lasting impression on our guests and on the world. We may be able to inspire a generation. If not, we can say that, at least for a time, we were a little hipper . . . cooler . . . jazzier.