Monday, January 9, 2012
Mayor Ed Lee...dazzling inaugural soiree in spiffy City Hall!
Locals politely waited to be patted down by security, a posse of high-profile luminaries were gracefully escorted to their seats with little ado, and one Major - well, she was literally - booed!
And, in spite of Mayor Ed Lee's promises that the inaugural ceremony would be a low-key affair, handlers made sure His Honor did not descend down the grand staircase in the rotunda at City Hall, 'til he was heralded by six trumpeters!
The guest list was - literally - a "Who's Who" of political smoothies, too, which included the likes of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (the former San Francisco Mayor was spotted later in a news clip on the nightly news with crossed leg, flapping hands, and appearing for all-the-world as gay as a goose!), Diane Feinstein sporting a somber pant suit with an unflattering baggy-rear (who was there to administer the Oath of Office), glad-handing Mayor of Los Angeles (beaming in the 1st row alongside speaker of-the-house Nancy Pelosi?), the Honorable Frank Jordan, Mayor Quon (who got booed by upstarts at the back of the room in the back), former Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. (emcee), to name a few.
But, all eyes were on Mayor Ed Lee, without doubt.
In fact, as he approached the podium to speak, all the guests in attendance - not only roared their approval in the standing-room-only packed house - but jumped up spontaneously at one point to give the diminutive politician a standing ovation (if I am not mistaken, he blushed!).
Willie Brown, Jr. was well-received, too.
Trim, beaming, and dapper - as Master of Ceremonies - he seized the golden opportunity to inject a little levity on an occasion that was often prone to - yawn - become a tedious civic task.
Jokes about Mc Hammer - and a schmaltzy reference to his favorite tune (America the Beautiful) - triggered giggles and ripples of applause in the tony climbs of the architecturally-exquisite City Hall.
At one point, Brown slipped up though, and attempted to usher in the Girl's Choir before the "Presentation of the Colors" and the "Pledge of Allegiance" had been carried out - but, no one appeared to notice (or mind) - the snafu.
Such a smoothie, that Willie Brown!
The proceedings continued with a lot of pomp and circumstance.
At one point, when the Military Guard marched by on the landing above with the sunlight majestically streaming down, I half-expected a 21-gun salute!
Of course, the paparazzi went wild, alongside amateur photographers who continually snapped pics throughout the high-energy event.
At one point, a delicate hand actually appeared through an opening in the wall on the balcony where I was perched, with the lens aimed forward of me in a random hit-and-miss position.
Any image of the day for the scrapbook will do - the out-of-sight guest - appeared to be saying!
There was quite a bit of joyous music for the ears, too!
The acoustics in the foyer - for instance - lent themselves well to a performance of "The National Anthem" which was beautifully sung by the Girl's Choir (unfortunately, in contrast, a Hawaiian band got wiped out by the ghostly echoes that swirled all around them as they played on clueless).
As to the precious little songbirds, well, it was as if a chorus of Angels had descended from above to to shower all the guests with a host of heavenly sounds from the Almighty!
The rendition of "America the Beautiful" by the Boy's Choir was the best I've heard yet, too!
Once he had taken his Oath of Office, Mayor Ed Lee strode to the podium and proceeded to note for the record - that he was going to make a daily pledge that any decisions he made would be based on the needs of the residents of San Francisco.
Part 'n Parcel with that promise, the Mayor also vowed to bring about a new "civility" at City Hall, to ensure that his office did not get bogged down in "acrimony".
And, according to Lee, he';s rolling up his sleeves and getting to work right away.
This week, the Mayor and his staff are laying the groundwork to end homelessness in the city (and bring about affordable housing for other residents in San Francisco, too).
Lee is drafting is a ballot measure - to be known as the "Permanent Housing Trust" - to be voted on in the next election in November.
And, "jobs" are a top priority, he stressed without mincing any words at the top of the speech, as he tweeted the message for Twitter followers to peruse.
On the heels of the sly move - the 1st for any San Francisco Mayor - young twitter hot-shots like Ashton Kutcher were quick to spread the news (with re tweets).
Lee's ambitious plans are not only focused on the unprivileged, but on local businesses, too.
"San Francisco is a city for the 100%," he beamed.
"We are in a unique position to capitalize and develop technological ventures," he asserted to everyone in attendance in so many words.
If former Mayor Gavin Newsom was known as the "Green Mayor", Mr. Lee is surely expected to become the "High-tech" one that followed in his footsteps.
"We are going to be the innovation Capitol of the world," he boasted!
When his speech ended, it was only fitting that in the grand finale - a trooper from the hit musical "Beach Blanket Babylon" (Tammy Nelson) - trotted out on stage in an outrageous costume consisting of a red-sequined ball gown and floating replica of the San Francisco skyline a-top her pretty little head.
It brought the house down.
Long live the Mayor (well, for four more years, at least!)