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Viewing the Inauguration From City Hall

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Daunting security measures kept many New Yorkers away from the inaugural festivities in Washington. Many of them went to City Hall instead. WNYC's Bob Hennelly was there.

REPORTER: Council staffer Carrie Mobley said the idea of turning City Hall into an inaugural multiplex occurred to her while driving to work.

MOBLEY: And once we opened up the doors of City hall we were receiving requests from everywhere.

REPORTER: In City Hall, a thousand New Yorkers cheered the TV screens as former Presidents Clinton and Carter made it to the reviewing stand. Outgoing Vice President Cheney got boos. But the crowd that included hundreds of city schools children erupted once President Obama was sworn in.

Real estate broker and longtime New Yorker Miriam Serota said she was moved by sharing the experience with her fellow New Yorkers.

SEROTA: It was amazing. I have never been to City Hall and the whole Obama message that it starts at home, it starts in the community really has made me feel I should be more involved.

REPORTER: Overflow crowds were accommodated across the street from City Hall at the council hearing rooms at 250 Broadway. For WNYC I am Bob Hennelly.

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