Bink and I watched Obama's inauguration today with about 125 people on the big-screen TV at Midtown Global Market, where Americans from around the world run shops and eateries--Somalia (special today: goat cutlets!), Mexico (earrings with saints on them!), Tibet ("Tintin in Tibet" T-shirts!), Sweden (caradmom chocolate truffles!)
The mood was sweet.
During the inauguration, people were smiling and wiping eyes and clapping here and there, but every single one of us broke into cheers and applause when Obama said:
And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity....
I looked around and there was a guy with a Palestinian scarf, a lesbian couple I know from way back with their little kids, behind us were a couple East African men, the Turkish woman who works the coffee counter was beaming, blonde office workers from the nearby medical center were clapping...
It was really good.
Afterward I said to Bink, "I really liked that Obama included 'curiosity' in his list of virtues."
She said, "I caught that too. And 'imagination,' too!"
An American president who extols curiosity and imagination...? It really is a new era.
On we go.