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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

CarolinaFest: Kickin' Off the DNC 2012 in Charlotte

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CarolinaFest 2012 kicked off the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte yesterday with crowds so thick, you’d think you were in the middle of rush hour madness in midtown Manhattan instead of uptown Charlotte. Once we found a LYNX Light Rail station that had available parking spaces where we could leave our car before boarding the commuter train uptown, we waited with the crowds on the platform for the train to take us to the excitement. I’m glad we went, as we got to see and feel the vibrancy coming from all the people who flocked to the city from all over the nation and probably other countries.

 Highlights:

-- We got to hear some live music including West End Mambo, Jeff Bridges, and James Taylor. (I’m so sorry that we missed Anthony Hamilton sing the national anthem. I didn’t know until TODAY that he was scheduled to sing yesterday.)

-- Entrance to most of the museums was free and so we ventured into both the Mint Museum (one of our favorites) and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.

-- We got lots of exercise! We had to walk from the Park and Ride area to the LYNX, and many blocks to get to the festival and through all the festival events. Phew!

-- Our attendance at CarolinaFest confirmed my decision to watch the DNC activities on TV, like folks in other parts of the country. I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of all that commotion for four days!

-- Gigi participated in a performance art project, staged by an assistant professor of art at UNC Greensboro, Sheryl Oring, at which the public was invited to dictate a postcard to the President. Oring organized a pool of typists at the Bechtler Museum, who asked Gigi and lots of other visitors what they would wish to say to the President if they could talk to him. The visitors dictated their responses as the typists, all dressed in 1960s style dresses and makeup, typed the responses on small sheets of white paper, using manual typewriters. The original copy of the postcards will be sent to the White House. I won’t divulge Gigi’s response entirely, but it had to do with supporting President Obama because of Romney and his policy ideas.

-- We tried to do this Presidential Experience tour on Friday, but it started raining and we couldn’t find the place – we walked for blocks and blocks looking for it. Maybe we’ll have more luck, when the parking ban is lifted uptown and we can actually park closer to the place.

Now, we’ll just sit back and relax at home while we watch the Democrats do their thing and observe President Obama accept the party’s presidential nomination. I’m expecting lots of good speeches, along with some surprises and laughs.

As Mos Def used to say at the beginning of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam – “Let’s Get it Goin’!”

 (Photos to come)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! thx 4 sharing ur experience. i felt like i was right there w/u and Gigi and the crowds! Can't wait 2 see the DNC 2012 on TV in Los Angeles 2nite.

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

Girl,

It was quite an experience. I wish you could have been there! I know some of your homies were in the crowd.

But TV will be the best place to watch it -- since you can see it CLOSE UP from lots of angles. And your Mayor is playing a big part --Villaraigosa. Sí, se puede!

:-) I can't wait!!!!

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Nice!

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

It was nice and hectic! I know you caught the festivities last night on TV! The view is probably better from your living room.

:-)

Anonymous said...

I missed the opening speech ... but I did see the First Lady and for the first time, I was proud to be living here in Charlotte (chuckle)

Nothing like history taking place in your own backyard.

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

Yeah, Michelle did put it down last night. She had people in the audience crying. It does feel good to be in Charlotte right now. Let's bask in the glory.

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah…4 more years!

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

Amen to that!

Anonymous said...

I wish that I could have been with you to see Miss GiGi participate in the performance art project, even if it was only dictating her feelings to the President of these United States of America. I'm feeling very patriotic because I just watched our President's speech.
Sorry you ladies had to walk for blocks but I still wish that I had been with you. You are such a good parent, my granddaughter has had and will have SUCH OUT STANDING opportunities because of you. I LOVE BOTH OF YOU SOOO VERY MUCH

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

Hey MaDear!

There really were a lot of people at the CarolinaFest -- shoulder to shoulder at times, on the train too!
The performance art was really real. It was hard to tell art from real life. I believe that's one of the goals of performance art. So many people gave such great speeches during this convention. I was so impressed with so many people. It's exciting!