Last Monday on the 16th Street Mall, at lunchtime. A nice sunny day, not as hot as August can be here. My usual lunchtime restaurant was half-deserted at 11:40, although on a usual day it’s getting pretty full by then:
However, outside on the Mall more than the usual lunchtime crowds were out, because this was Day One of the Democratic National Convention and the joint was jumping.
I noticed that the heavy masonry trash cans along the Mall had been replaced by lightweight cardboard boxes with plastic bags.
People were cheerful, hawkers were out in force. Some with permits and I’m sure many without. Some buskers were out, including one man playing his trumpet. I’d stopped to take his picture when I heard someone say something about the Mall shuttle buses being stopped, then heard a booming noise in the background.
I looked up and saw a banner approaching from the Civic Center end of the Mall. People were marching in the traffic lane toward me.
So I took some snaps and then stepped aside to watch the protest parade pass.
It didn’t take long. There weren’t very many marchers, and several of them seemed to be multitasking anyway.
By the digital time metadata in the pictures I took, it was two minutes and thirty seconds between the first snapshot from a block away and this picture of the mounted patrol bringing up the rear at the end of the protest parade.
In the meantime, the horn player – in the turquoise and white shirt above – had stopped playing while the little protest parade passed by, and turned to a new place in his music, an interesting counterpoint to the passing parade.
It’s OK, this is America. That’s what happens here.
In broad daylight. Out in public. On a nice sunny day. The outraged protesters make their point and march on. The trumpet player lifts up his horn and plays again – “I Worship You, Almighty God” – after they pass by.
The festival continues. I go back to work.