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DNC: Cappuccinos and Port-a-potties
What's it like behind the scenes at the Democratic National Convention? Let me tell you, there is media everywhere! There are five media pavillions -- big air conditioned tents surrounding the Pepsi Center, plus separate spots for ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox. Inside our home, Media Pavilion Five, we're surrounded by Time Magazine, The Washington Post, Minnesota Public Radio and many others. The photo spot for GQ magazine is directly behind us. I keep peeking through the curtains to see which celeb they're photographing next. I'm disappointed to say there hasn't been anyone of note yet.
People come by our cube every five minutes or so asking how we are and if our needs are being met. UPS just delivered a mini box with a measuring tape in it. Attached is a big note that says they are here and able to get our stuff to St. Paul for the Republican Convention next week. If anyone can think that far ahead at this point I applaud them.
You have to give a lot of thought even to transportation and just getting around here. I ran into the PR person for Senator Ron Wyden a few minutes ago who told me the best way to get around town is by pedi-cab. Twenty bucks from the Convention Center to the Pepsi Center. A deal, apparently, but it still doesn't speed you throught the long security line. And with 65 Oregon delegates alone it would take a lot of pedi-cabs to transport the crowd. Many of us are left walking in the heat.
I get an email every few minutes with a new press release from the convention staff. There are so many activities, events, speakers and schedules that it is dizzying to keep track of. It could be a full time job just monitoring what is going on.
And of course dizziness means something special here in "Mile High" country. The change in altitude really does leave you feeling a bit light-headed and dehydrated. The convention folks are taking good care of us though -- in our tent alone there is complimentary cappuccino, fruit smoothies and neck massages. Happy hour begins at 4:00 pm (yes, in the working media tent...)
For all this fine treatment, though, the thousands of media do still share a couple of port-a-potties and some complimentary hand sanitizer.