Students gather at Harlem Armory. (New York Times)
The Harlem Armory filled with nearly 6,000 children from 35-40 schools this morning. The room was filled with red, white and blue decorated tables, and a 20-student choir sang while attention was focused on a TV tuned to the Today Show.
“I haven’t seen this many people in this armory for years, and I’ve been coming here since I was 14. I’m excited. How many kids do you know who are actually interested in politics? This shows they’re not into drugs and stuff. They’re actually interested in their future,” said Michael Tucker, a 24-year-old volunteer cadet of the Harlem Youth Marine Corps.
As President Obama was sworn in, the entire room rose to its feet, the children waved flags, and some even chanted “Barack Obama Rocks!”.
Inauguration watch party at Obama's alma mater, Columbia University. (New York Times)
Meanwhile, Columbia University Low Memorial Library steps became a gathering point for university students and faculty, area school children and other community members. The university’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, welcomed the crowd, saying “Of all the people in the world who have the best of reasons to celebrate the inauguration of President Obama, none has more than Columbia University.“ The president of Obama’s alma mater said they would be “unembarrassed about our high hopes for the future.”
Read the rest of this story, and lean about other inaugural watch events in New York.