Both Huffington Post and a late Associated Press story that was picked up by Salon.com note how the pending inauguration of Barack Obama has galvanized people across the country into performing public service on a grassroots level. The AP piece focuses, at one point, on “hip Silverake [sic],” where “dozens of residents fanned out along Sunset Boulevard, picking its well-littered gutters and sidewalks clean of trash. 'We've never done this before,' said Helen Nasillski, a ballet instructor who was out collecting trash with her husband and two children. 'There's a different feeling in the air these couple of days.'”
The period between Election Day and tomorrow was so analyzed, and
so filled with speculation and anticipation, that it seemed like an
eternity. Today it almost feels as though, by now, Obama has already served one term. The elation of election night in Los Angeles, when a warm Santa
Ana wind blew leaves across streets from Cesar Chavez Boulevard to Avenue of the
Stars, seems so long ago.
What I remember, of course, was that magic instant when Obama's victory
was announced. Was I alone, though, among the 1500 people in the vast
ballroom of the Century Plaza Hotel, knowing that nothing would ever
equal this night, and that all expectations and hopes would and could
never be fulfilled? Still, it has been harder than I imagined to be
cynical during these last months and if a little rapture is what it
takes to clean L.A.'s well-littered streets, so be it.