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You Should Really Go Funko Yourself

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If you told me a year ago that I would have a collection of more than a dozen Funko Pop figures, including one made in my likeness, I probably would have say something like, “Those little toys that comic book fans collect? Yeah, right.” And yet here I am. While others were busy learning the latest TikTok dances or how to make banana bread, I was busy acquiring Funko Pops. Quarantine has a way of changing a man.

For those who don’t know, Funko Pops are cute, big-headed vinyl figures made in the image of characters from virtually every TV show, movie, and comic book you can think of. With so many options—and considering they only cost $11 to $30 bucks a Pop—it’s easy to get carried away (hence why I currently have 14 and counting). My collection is not as crazy as many, however. Some collectors have upwards of 1,000, and there’s even an app that helps the serious collectors keep track of their collections (and their value).

During quarantine, I got big into anime, and as a reward to myself for finishing a series, I would a Funko Pop of my favorite character. At first, I thought I would only get two or three, but with all the free time on my hands, I was able to finish a lot of anime. In addition to the anime-themed Pops, I also have a few Marvel characters, including Black Panther, which a friend purchased for me after Chadwick Boseman’s death in August.

Just when I thought my obsession had reached its peak, I found out that the Funko store in Hollywood was launching Pop! People, an on-the-spot service that lets Funko fans create Pops in their own likenesses, personalizing everything from skin tone to hair to clothes to accessories all for only $25.

Funko fans have begged for something like this for years, so naturally it’s going to take a little patience to get your hands on one. Tip: arrive early to get in line at the Funko Hollywood store. Trust me, I didn’t believe the line would be that long but before I knew it, there were eager fans lined up halfway down the block when I visited in December. Rest assured the staff at Funko takes all the necessary COVID-19 precautions to make sure everyone is safe, including a digital waitlist. It’s kind of like waiting for a table at the Cheesecake Factory (ah, memories).

When you get to the front of the line you’ll be met by three curbside kiosks, each with three sides of different options to choose from. With your order form in hand, you’ll make your way around the kiosks, filling out your selections using corresponding codes. Starting with the head, you’ll choose whichever one best represents you, picking everything from skin tone to eyelashes to facial hair. Then you’ll move onto hairstyles (there are 144 variations to pick from). Next comes your outfit, which is arguably the hardest part. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be casual with a T-shirt and jeans or more formal in a full tux. And then there’s the superhero costume. (If it wasn’t clear already, I don’t do well with options.) Ultimately, I decided that Funko Pop Jeb will be cool and suave, and went with the tux. One day I will be like Funko Pop Jeb.

funko
Some of the head options

Lastly, you can choose up to two accessories, ranging from video game controllers (a popular choice), a microphone, a coffee cup, or a miniature Freddy Funko, the company’s mascot, which is what I ended up choosing.

Once you’ve made all your decisions, you’ll hand your order form over to a Funko team member, who will then work their magic building your special Pop piece by piece. In around ten minutes I was face to face with, well, me, in my own customized box with my name printed on the label.

For now, you can only create a Pop if you come to the store, but eventually Funko hopes to make this something people can do from home. I gotta say it’s cool to have my Pop join  the likes of Miles Morales from Into the Spiderverse and Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto Shippuden on my dresser.


RELATED: Why a Photo of Black Creatives at a Black Panther Screening Went Viral


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How Did the Vaccine Rollout Become Such a Wreck?

In December, when a pair of coronavirus vaccines received emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there was a lot of enthusiastic talk about seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

That may ultimately prove true, but the figurative tunnel is turning out to be longer and darker than hoped. This is particularly the case in California, where conflicting messages have caused utter confusion about who can get a vaccine and when.

The situation is especially worrisome in Los Angeles. More than 600,000 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the county since the start of December. The countywide death toll is approaching 15,000.

It took numerous factors for the vaccine rollout to reach such a level of disarray. Here’s where things stand, what went wrong, and why change may be a ways off.


Ugly Numbers

On a per-capita basis, California’s vaccination program lags behind dozens of states. According to the Centers for Disease Control vaccine tracking website, as of Wednesday only about 37 percent of the 4.17 million doses distributed across the state have been administered. Nationally, about 46 percent of the 36 million doses distributed have gone into arms.

The rollout of the Pfizer-BioNtech and the Moderna vaccines has been slow in many parts of the state, but Los Angeles’ heightened caseload and high number of vulnerable people makes delays particularly disconcerting. By Tuesday, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, 271,000 county residents had received their first dose and 77,000 people had been given a second dose.

The county, by the way, has approximately 10 million residents.


Federal Fumbles

One cannot overstate the federal government’s role in bungling the vaccine rollout. Former President Donald Trump never came close to achieving his promise to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of 2020. That comes as to no surprise to critics who castigated the administration for previous missteps related to testing, securing ventilators and PPE, and pushing mask wearing.

The situation is so bad that even officials who should know what is coming are throwing up their arms. Last Friday, at a vaccination event at Dodger Stadium, both Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti seemed to have little information about when new doses would arrive.

“The national supply isn’t coming,” Garcetti stated. It’s not a problem with the state, it’s not a problem here locally. “We simply don’t have the supply coming in,” he added.

The Washington Post that day reported that a purported federal stockpile of vaccine reserves did not exist.


California Confusion

On December 13, Newsom announced that Californians 65 and over could receive the vaccine. Senior citizens began desperately trying to sign up, but in Los Angeles County there was a problem: officials were still focused on vaccinating front-line healthcare workers.

Confusion reigned, and media reports were replete with stories about how some seniors received the vaccine, others were told they had to wait, and still other people made an appointment and got the shot even if they were under 65 or did not work in healthcare.

At his January 14 evening briefing Garcetti sought to provide clarity, stating that despite Newsom’s proclamation, in L.A. County vaccines were only being given to healthcare workers—he said approximately 1 million people in the county qualified for that designation—and seniors living in skilled nursing facilities.

“I’ve spoken with Angelenos who are frustrated by the long waits and sometimes the seemingly contradictory information that’s out there,” he said that evening.

The rollout to seniors 65 and up in L.A. County began on January 20, but is already being plagued by shortages.


Meet the Resistance

One aspect of the current problem might have seemed impossible to predict: the number of people refusing the vaccine.

Some resistance was expected. Media reports have detailed both those on the far right who were always skeptical about COVID-19, and some members of the African-American community, where distrust of the medical establishment dates back to the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study that started in the 1930s.

But no one anticipated early reports that a sizable number of healthcare workers were saying no. Additionally, it has been reported that as many as 40 percent of Los Angeles Fire Department employees are not getting vaccinated. It’s to the point that the nonprofit LAFD Foundation is providing raffle prizes—including bicycles and Airbnb gift cards—to incentivize firefighters.

Those opting out are drawing attention, and are prompting everyone from Garcetti to Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to urge people to get vaccinated.


School Solution

Dodger Stadium, which for months had been a testing hub, has been turned into a vaccination center. The county is opening five other vaccine mega-sites, including one at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Other people will get their shots at doctor’s offices or pharmacies.

Another option that could serve millions has been offered, but it remains to be seen whether it will be embraced. On Monday, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner released a letter he sent to state and county health officials urging that hundreds of campuses be pressed into service as vaccination centers. He pointed to the community ties of the schools, the school nurses and other healthcare professionals who can administer vaccinations and watch for adverse reactions, and a data and technology system (built for a district-wide testing program) that can handle registration and scheduling.

Beutner, who also discussed the initiative in his weekly video address, painted the effort as vital to vaccinating school staff and getting students back in classrooms. He noted that other cities including New York have already begun vaccinating school employees.

The fact that Beutner publicly released the letter indicates that private conversations have yet to yield desired results. That’s not a surprise; the superintendent for months has been forcefully criticizing decisions that seem more focused on getting people into malls and card rooms than reopening schools.


Logistical Challenge

If there is another reason progress has been slow, it’s because vaccinating 300 million Americans is a logistical Mt. Everest. This requires administering 600 million doses and ensuring that there is appropriate time between the two. Vaccines must be sent to large cities and small towns across the country, stored in mega-cold conditions and administered quickly after being pulled from the freezer.

“There’s no question that getting a vaccine, as it is right now twice, to every American, is the largest logistical undertaking that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime as an American,” Garcetti said last week.

Also, don’t underestimate the challenges that exist in a place the size of L.A. County; our 10 million residents constitute a population greater than that of 41 states. While the diversity of Angelenos and the breadth of languages spoken is part of what makes the region dynamic, it can also present hurdles when it comes to communicating vital information, such as how to get vaccinated.


Next Up

The grand hope is that the inauguration of Joe Biden leads to speedy vaccine production and distribution. Biden for weeks has been laying the groundwork to supercharge the vaccination program.

Just don’t expect an immediate flip of the script. Supply is low throughout California. San Francisco health officials are warning that they could run out of vaccines as soon as Thursday.

In fact, progress in L.A. County may be choppy for the foreseeable future. While people 65 and older are now eligible to get a vaccine, the rush of traffic to the appointment website (vaccinatelacounty.com) caused it to crash for several hours this week.

Then there’s the shortage. The Public Health Department’s daily coronavirus report on Tuesday stated, “The vaccine supply is still extremely limited, and Public Health urges patience as we work urgently with our federal and state partners to expand capacity and supply in the weeks ahead.”


RELATED: Here’s What You Need to Know About When and How to Get a COVID Vaccination in L.A.


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Mexico City Chef Enrique Olvera Goes Casual at DTLA’s Ditroit

For about a month this past fall, the stylish patio at Enrique Olvera’s Arts District restaurant, Damian, was L.A.’s buzziest place to dine. But when the county banned outdoor dining in November, the acclaimed chef from Mexico City knew he needed to put dishes like a $21 uni tostada and the $46 albacore carnitas on the back burner. It was time to start selling $8 beef tacos from a window.

Olvera announced Damian’s temporary closure on November 26. A week later, he opened a back-alley taqueria called Ditroit behind the restaurant. “It will definitely evolve,” says Olvera, who unveiled the concept before figuring out what he would eventually cook on the taqueria’s rotating spit. “This is something I put together quickly so we could keep having income. It’s an effort to keep some people working.”

Chef Jesus “Chuy” Cervantes is running the kitchen day-to-day. “It’s the same thought process as our Damian menu,” Cervantes says. “We’re very much respectful of classic Mexican techniques and traditions, but we’re also trying to stay as local as possible and be supportive of the farmers in California. Ditroit just allows us to be a little more playful and a little more rustic.”

Olvera and Cervantes’s team is making 500 to 1,000 fresh tortillas daily for the taqueria. The process involves nixtamalizing heirloom corn nightly and then grinding the kernels at 7 each morning. “The most important part is the tortilla,” says Cervantes.

Complex salsas are also central to the taqueria’s offerings. “I want to pay special attention to not only levels of spiciness but also completely different flavor profiles,” says Olvera, whose favorite salsa is the guacachile, a bright, creamy green sauce of jalapeños and güero chiles that adds a pleasant jolt of heat to beef tacos.

enrique olvera
Chef Enrique Olvera

Aracelli Paz

Beyond tacos, Ditroit debuted with flautas, tamales, amaranth horchata, paletas, churros, cocktails, bottles of wine from Damian, jarred salsas, and even fresh masa to take home.

But one recent week, guests were in no hurry to head back to their houses, even though Ditroit’s outdoor seating was off-limits. Customers lingered in the big parking lot as they ate and drank out of their trunks and laughed and talked with strangers who were doing exactly the same thing 20 feet away. Like pretty much everything else involving the restaurant industry the past few months, this wasn’t the original plan.

Olvera and Cervantes are still sorting things out, but Ditroit is already a great time. “At the end of the day,” Cervantes says, “I think making tacos is what most of us like to do anyway.”

2117 Violet St., Arts District, ditroitdtla.com.


RELATED: A New Series of Books Is Helping Beloved L.A. Restaurants Raise Much-Needed Funds


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Morning Brief: A New COVID Variant Has Been Discovered in L.A.

» A new COVID-19 variant has been discovered in Los Angeles. Known as CAL.20C, the variant has appeared in more than half of the samples in one local study–and the discovery might offer insight into the winter surge. [The New York Times]

» L.A.’s COVID numbers appear to be trending in the right direction for the first time in months. Officials say it is still to early to say the surge is ending.  [LAist]

» On his final day as California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra filed nine different lawsuits to block last-minute Trump administration changes to environmental rules. Becerra was selected to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services. [A.P.]

» The SAT will drop essay and subject test sections, a change many attribute to changes to admission standards at California schools. Due to the “outside influence” of the colleges in California, many of whom no longer rely upon the test scores, some experts predict the SAT may soon be phased out entirely. [Los Angeles Times]

» Joe Biden has already done at least one bit of redecorating in the Oval Office. A bust of labor and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez has been given a prominent spot.  [KTLA]


TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG

» Speaker Nancy Pelosi Calls Trump as an ‘Accessory’ to the Crimes of January 6 In a conversation with Joy Reid, the California congresswoman discussed impeachment, the insurrection, and more

» Amid a Rotten Year for Retail, L.A. Got Some New Places to Shop Despite the rising tide of businesses forced to close this year, a surprising number of new shops weathered the storm and opened new outposts in L.A.

» Madam Vice President: Kamala Harris Becomes History-Making V.P. “While I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last”


ONE MORE THING

inauguration fashion

From Gaga’s Gown to V.P. Kamala’s Coat, the Inauguration Was a Feast for the Eyes

Is there any fashion moment more consequential than the inauguration of a new administration? From Jacqueline Kennedy to Nancy Reagan to Michelle Obama, images of First Ladies in stately coats and patriotic accessories are permanently burned into our collective image bank.

 [FULL STORY]


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LAPD Reports a Sharp Increase in Violent Crime. So What’s Behind It?

The new year is off to a deadly start, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. South Los Angeles suffered 59 shootings in the first 14 days of 2021, says LAPD Chief Michel Moore. “59 shooting victims compared to 7 last year,” he announced in a tweet calling out the violence.

‪The 24 homicides and 68 shootings the city of Los Angeles saw in the first half of January were more than double the number from the same time last year. The 68 shootings marked “the highest year-to-date start in over 10 years,” the LAPD said in a tweet.

‪The bloody start to 2021 picks up right where 2020 left off. According to LAPD stats, homicides in L.A. shot up 38 percent last year, and the city’s year-end total of 349 homicide victims was its highest in over a decade. Then, as now, the L.A. neighborhoods hardest hit by the violent crime increase were predominantly poor, Black, and Latino.

‪Curiously, homicides and shootings (and car thefts) are up, while other crimes, such as rape and robbery, are down (25 percent and 17 percent, respectively), all of which has left analysts befuddled.

‪‪Many of the decreases in crime probably have to do with a decrease in mobility and opportunity due to the pandemic. But there’s no consensus as to why homicides and shootings have spiked since the summer. Paul Vernon, the L.A. police captain who tracks crime trends as head of the department’s Compstat division, recently batted around some theories with Kevin Rector of the L.A. Times. It could be the strains the pandemic has put on the business of drug dealers. Or that bitter rivals are stuck at home with nowhere really to go. Or that the racial reckoning over the summer put the department on the defensive and made criminals less afraid of being caught by police.

‪Analysts who are not police officers tend to adopt a more holistic view of the spike, attributing it to a confluence of factors including increased economic anxiety, widespread unemployment, and the compassionate release of inmates to alleviate overcrowding in prisons and jails by slowing the spread of COVID-19.

‪High homicide rates are nothing new to Los Angeles, where there were more than 1,000 slayings in the year of the Rodney King riots in 1992. But the sense of suddenness to the present surge—not only in L.A. but in cities nationwide—is unprecedented, experts say.

‪Killings increased by 20.9 percent nationwide in the first nine months of 2020, according to the FBI. Killings in New York City jumped 50 percent; Chicago, 50 percent; Atlanta, 58 percent. Jeff Asher, an analyst and consultant who studies crime data, told The Washington Post that though antiquated data-collection methods hinder conclusions, “it’s fairly clear we are going to see the largest single-year rise.”

‪Richard B. Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, told the Post that the nationwide spike in violent crime appears to have resulted from the collapse of public confidence in police departments over the summer.

‪“The increase [in 2020] tends to occur in nearly every city at the very end of May and the first days of June,” Rosenfeld noted. “The size and abruptness of the increase are unprecedented.”


RELATED: What We Know So Far About the LAPD’s Dramatic Cost-Cutting Measures


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A Missed Flight Turned Out to Be Kismet for This Local Couple

In series How Did You Meet?, local couples tell us how they first hooked up.


No one likes having travel plans futzed by a delayed flight, but for Alix and Geoff, airport drama is what ultimately brought them together three years ago at baggage claim six in Salt Lake City. ⁠

“I was frustrated because my flight out of L.A. had been delayed by four hours, “ explains Alix, who is the founder of the canned wine company Bev. “Geoff had actually missed his flight the night before. It was the first time in his life that had ever happened to him.”⁠

 

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But for Geoff, a missed flight would not turn into a missed connection. As Geoff and Alix waited for their luggage at baggage check, the two began chatting and realized they were heading to the same ski resort, so decided to share an Uber. She was on conference calls during Uber ride and he was operating on four hours of sleep, but Alix left him with something important. ⁠

“When we got out of the Uber, she basically gave me a can of wine and her phone number,” recalls 31-year-old Geoff, a marketing guru who is now helping build the bev brand. ⁠

“We basically started dating three days later.” The couple is now married and reside in Venice.⁠

For more head to @howdidtheymeet⁠⁠ on Instagram.


RELATED: This Local Couple Found Their Relationship Rhythm on the Dance Floor


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Speaker Nancy Pelosi Calls Trump as an ‘Accessory’ to the Crimes of January 6

If Donald Trump is planning to rest easy in Florida now that his presidential adventure has come to an end, Nancy Pelosi has given something to ponder between rounds of golf.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid Tuesday, the House Speaker said Trump is to blame for the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol that left five dead, and implied that the former president should face charges of accessory to murder for inciting his mob to riot.

Referring to his “Save America” speech—in which Trump promised to march with the crowd and warned them, “We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”—shortly before the attack, Pelosi said, “Presidents’ words are important. They weigh a ton. And they used his words to come here.”

She continued, “And the crime, in some cases, was murder. And this president is an accessory to that crime because he instigated that insurrection that caused those deaths and this destruction.”

Pelosi also expressed optimism that the U.S. will recover from the outgoing administration.

“I do think that we’re bigger than all of this,” she said. “Donald Trump was a stain on our country. I don’t think we could have sustained our democracy if he had two terms in office, for what he was doing to our institution or what he was doing to our Constitution. He dishonored it.”

Summing up four years of Trump, Pelosi told Reid, “Let’s not think about him. Let’s just think about what the future will hold.” However, Pelosi quickly added, “We must hold him accountable because no one is above the law and this President engaged in incitement, insurrection, and that’s why we impeached him.”

Indeed, Trump made history last week when ten Republicans joined House Democrats in a vote to impeach him on a charge of incitement of insurrection, making him the first President ever to be doubly disgraced by two impeachments.

Pelosi has not yet sent the article of impeachment to the Senate to try Trump, but promised it would happen “soon.”

And while Trump might never be convicted, some of his onetime pals in the Senate are finally practicing at least one form of distancing, with Mitch McConnell using his final moments as Majority Leader Tuesday evening to tell his colleagues, “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like. But we pressed on.”

Asked what Trump’s departure from office will mean for the nation, Pelosi said, “It will mean a complete breath of fresh air for the country, for democracy, for America, for our future.”


RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Has Donald Trump by the Balls (In a Manner of Speaking)


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Read Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration Poem, ‘The Hill We Climb’

Poet Amanda Gorman delivered an inauguration poem from the steps of the United States Capitol which powerfully captured the national mood. Titled “The Hill We Climb,” the piece was written specifically for the occasion.

“In my poem, I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years. But what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal,” Gorman told The New York Times. “It’s doing that in a way that is not erasing or neglecting the harsh truths I think America needs to reconcile with.”

Now 22-years-old, West L.A.-raised Gorman was named Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles at the age of 16. At 19, while in college at Harvard, she was named the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate.

She was contacted in late December about appearing at the Inauguration. While she had never previously met with anyone from the incoming president’s team, now-First Lady Jill Biden recalled seeing a reading Gorman had delivered at the Library of Congress, and suggested her for the ceremony.

“The theme for the inauguration in its entirety is ‘America United,’ so when I heard that was their vision, that made it very easy for me to say, great, that’s also what I wanted to write about in my poem, about America united, about a new chapter in our country,” told the Times. “There is space for grief and horror and hope and unity, and I also hope that there is a breath for joy in the poem, because I do think we have a lot to celebrate at this inauguration.”

Poets have appeared at the inaugurations of just four U.S. presidents. Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, Miller Williams, Elizabeth Alexander, and Richard Blanco, have filled the role before Gorman.

This September, Viking Books is set to publish Gorman’s first poetry collection. That book, aimed particularly at teenage and young adult readers, will contain today’s inauguration poem. That is one of two book projects currently in the works for the young poet.

 

“The Hill We Climb”
Amanda Gorman

When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast, we’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished.

We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one. And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect, we are striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.

So we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another, we seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: that even as we grieved, we grew, even as we hurt, we hoped, that even as we tired, we tried, that we’ll forever be tied together victorious, not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one should make them afraid. If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in in all of the bridges we’ve made.

That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare it because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it. That would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy, and this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can periodically be delayed, but it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith, we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us, this is the era of just redemption we feared in its inception we did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour but within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves, so while once we asked how can we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us.

We will not march back to what was but move to what shall be, a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free, we will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, our blunders become their burden. But one thing is certain: if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left, with every breath from my bronze, pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one, we will rise from the golden hills of the West, we will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution, we will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked South, we will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful, when the day comes we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid, the new dawn blooms as we free it, for there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.


RELATED: Madam Vice President: Kamala Harris Becomes History-Making V.P.


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2021 Presidential Inauguration: Ceremony Video and Celebration Schedule

UPDATE: JANUARY 20 – We officially have a new President and Vice President of the United States. If you missed any parts of today’s inauguration, or just want to re-watch any parts you might have wept through the first time around, you can catch up with the video clips below. Events continue into the afternoon and evening, including appearances by Jon Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, and others.


JANUARY 18 – It would be impossible–and maddening and tragic, though occasionally beautiful–to list all of the ways in which the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be unusual and historic. But, suffice it to say, it’s certainly going to be a day that many, many people have been eagerly awaiting. While the in-person affair will lack some of the traditional trappings, we can at least watch the public proceedings from wherever we are.

When Can I Watch the Biden Inauguration? 

Since the adoption of the 20th Amendment in 1933, the Inauguration of the President and Vice President of the United States always takes place on January 20. The term of the outgoing office-holders ends at noon that day, and the swearing in of the newly elected individuals takes place shortly thereafter.

Pretty much every news channel will have their teams in place starting around 7 a.m. our time (10 a.m. in Washington) and will be continuing through the day. C-SPAN will have a live, free feed, and if you want to get into the spirit early, they have footage of historic Inaugural addresses available to watch right now.

History note: Presidential Inaugurations long took place in March. But, between the election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 and his inauguration in March, 1861, secessionists staged a number of attacks on federal facilities. Looking back on the time a few decades later, politicians felt the Civil War might have been prevented or at least handled more effectively had the new president been in power a bit sooner. The date was officially moved from early March to January 20 when the 20th Amendment was ratified in the 1930s.

What Will There Be to Watch?

The swearing in ceremony and formal address from Biden are expected to take place outside the Capitol, as is traditional.

That event will include:
» Invocation by Jesuit priest Father Leo J. O’Donovan
» The Pledge of Allegiance read by firefighter Andrea Hall, one of the few Black women to become a fire captain in America
» Lady Gaga singing the National Anthem
» Poetry reading by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, an Angeleno
» Musical performance by Jennifer Lopez
»
Musical performance by Garth Brooks
» Benediction by Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Wilmington, Delaware, and a longtime friend of the Bidens

Following the ceremony, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and their spouses will participate in the Pass in Review, a formal military proceeding that reflects the peaceful transition of power, a tradition which dates in its current form to 1873.

After that, the new President and Vice President will proceed across the river to Arlington Cemetery, where they and their spouses will be joined by former Presidents and First Ladies Obama, Bush, and Clinton, to honor military personnel.

There will be no real parade, but in its place will be a “virtual parade” with remote appearances. “The parade will celebrate America’s heroes and reflect on the diversity, heritage and resilience of our country,” the Inaugural Committee says.

Actor Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) will host the parade; other participants include Jon Stewart, and athletes Nathan Chen, Allyson Felix, and Katie Ledecky. The New Radicals, a band which has not played together in 22 years, will reunite for a performance, and Nathan Apodaca aka Doggface208 from the skateboard TikTok, will make an appearance. There will also be marching bands, dance troupes, and other performers representing all 56 states, territories, and the District of Columbia.

When Does ‘Celebrating America’ Happen?

In lieu of the usual parties, the Inaugural Committee has organized a televised event named Celebrating America. Starting at 5:30 p.m. (8:30 in Washington), the event will salute “American heroes who are helping their fellow Americans through this crisis, including frontline workers, health care workers, teachers, citizens giving back, and those who are breaking barriers.”

The show, which will be carried on ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, NBC, and MSNBC, as well as streamed, will be hosted by Tom Hanks and feature remote performances by Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Ant Clemons, the Foo Fighters, Demi Lovoto, and John Legend. Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria, who popped up as hosts of the virtual DNC last summer, will also participate.

Is Anything Else Happening? 

Lots of things, actually. And this year, you’ll be able to “attend” since they’re being streamed to everybody at bideninaugural.org, where you can also find a full schedule, which includes a Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute and a memorial for lives lost to COVID-19.

On Sunday, catch the We The People Concert hosted by Keegan-Michael Key and Debra Messing. The show will feature performances from James Taylor, Carole King, Ben Harper, Will.i.am, and Fall Out Boy. Fall Out Boy’s bass player, Pete Wentz, has a special connection to Joe Biden: His parents met while working for the then-Senator in the 1970s.


RELATED: Answering Your Questions About How to Vote in Los Angeles


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From Gaga’s Gown to V.P. Kamala’s Coat, the Inauguration Was a Feast for the Eyes

Is there any fashion moment more consequential the inauguration of a new administration? From Jacqueline Kennedy to Nancy Reagan to Michelle Obama, images of First Ladies in stately coats and patriotic accessories are permanently burned into our collective image bank. And what will we remember of the first day of the Biden/Harris administration? Certainly, American designers—young and established—matching masks and coats, matching leather gloves and ensembles, and a whole lot of symbolic blue and purple. Will these become 2021 trends? We’d be surprised if they didn’t. After all, a new administration means an entire shift, not just in policy but emotion, stylistic symbolism, and optimism.


Vice President Kamala Harris

The night before her Inauguration, then-V.P.-elect Harris wore a chic, soft, camel coat from Haitian-American designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, founder of Pyer Moss, over a sleek, all-black ensemble. Recently, Pyer Moss turned its NYC offices into a distribution center for PPE to healthcare workers.

inauguration kamala harris

On Wednesday, Madam Veep Kamala Harris looked ready to get down to business in a bright purple dress and coat with sharp tailoring, created for her by Black American designers Christopher John Rogers (from Baton Rouge, Louisiana) and Sergio Hudson (from South Carolina). Of course, purple has a number of symbolic meanings: it stands not just for the coming together of blue and red states, but for royalty, power, wisdom, ambition, and loyalty. V.P. Harris may also have meant it as a tribute to the first African-American woman in the U.S. to run for president, Shirley Chisholm, whose campaign colors were purple and yellow. Harris accessorized with her traditional pearls, black pumps, and black leather gloves.

First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden

jill biden

On Tuesday, Dr. Jill Biden wore a matching purple-plum A-line coat with velvet tie belt and a dress by New York designer Jonathan Cohen. Both pieces are from Cohen’s fall/winter 2021 collection, which will be shown in February, but are actually available now for preorder (and what better way to promote them?). Her printed purple mask was also by Cohen, as were her blue-purple leather gloves; her nude pumps, called “Love,” were by Jimmy Choo.

inauguration

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden wore a custom teal blue wool scalloped dress and matching overcoat by the brand Markarian, a New York luxury brand designed by Alexandra O’Neill. The coat featured a velvet shawl collar and cuffs. The brand issued this statement: “The color blue was chosen to signify trust, confidence, and stability.” Dr. Biden donned a matching blue pair Jimmy Choo “Romy” pumps.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama

michelle obama

It looked like Michelle Obama was being sworn in as one of the chicest First Ladies of all time—she’s got Twitter and Instagram going crazy over her all burgundy monochromatic tailored maxi coat with shawl collar, and matching turtleneck and wide-leg trousers. The look was designed for her by Black designer Sergio Hudson, who has also dressed style icons Beyoncé and Rihanna. Michelle accessorized with black leather gloves and pointed toe boots, and a gold belted cinch waist belt. And how about that glorious hair?

Lady Gaga 

lady gaga gown

To sing the national anthem, Lady Gaga wore another one of her spectacular ensembles: a Schiaparelli Haute Couture voluminous red silk faille skirt with a navy cashmere fitted jacket, embellished with an oversized golden dove brooch; she even carried a matching gold microphone. Schiaparelli designer Daniel Roseberry issued this statement: “As an American living in Paris, this ensemble is a love letter to the country I miss so dearly and to a performer whose artistry I have so long admired.”

Jennifer Lopez

jennifer lopez

Multihyphenate superstar Jennifer Lopez donned an ecru and white long duster “fantasy tweed coat” from Chanel’s fall/winter 2020/2021 ready to wear collection, with matching Chanel white sequin wide-leg pants and white silk blouse from the fall/winter 2019/2020 ready to wear collection. She was accessorized with a Chanel belt, bracelets—and those chunky, blingy Chanel earrings that were on display from her high, Ariana Grande-style ponytail. Her “Max” platform shoes were also by Jimmy Choo

Ella Emhoff


Vice President Harris’s stepdaughter, textile designer Ella Emhoff, was wearing a Miu Miu Shetland Pied de Poule coat with embellishment detail and signature Miu Miu collar.

Bernie Sanders

bernie sanders mittens

Look out for Vermont-style, old-school print mittens for men and women as winter’s coolest new accessory. Senator Sanders’s grey-and-tan woolly mittens were created by Jen Ellis, a Vermont teacher who gave them to Senator Sanders over two years ago. In keeping with Bernie’s environmentalism, the mittens are recycled and repurposed from old wool sweaters and lined with the fleece of recycled plastic bottles.


RELATED: Read Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration Poem, ‘The Hill We Climb’


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