The first thing that's apparent about the DNC is that there are many many volunteers and not quite so many tasks to be done. Particularly sad for me as an IT volunteer, but unfortunately typical for IT, is that the database is down, IBM is working on it and there's nothing to be done until it's fixed. That's left me heading to the 'on call' center to be assigned elsewhere. Sunday I jumped at the chance to help man an information booth at Downtown Crossing, directly opposite my beloved Filene's Basement. Many maps were distributed and directions given, primarily to Bostonians looking for freebies and foreign tourists unaware of the convention. The tourists overwhelming question was about the equally overwhelming presence of police on nearly every downtown street corner. Though we assured them it was not normal for Boston, their initial impression and the pictures they carry back with them will likely spread an intimidating view of life in Boston.
Monday's volunteer assignment at the dedication of the Rose Kennedy Greenway was quite a different crowd. No one needed our maps or directions, since they either had limos parked nearby with staff directing them, or just walked over from the surrounding neighborhoods. The celebrity brush that many volunteers were craving was eminently satisfied, as we lined the exit path where just about every member of the Kennedy family, plus Romney, Menino, Bulger and a lot of other fancy-looking, potentially-important people I couldn't identify, walked by right in front of us. Only Arnold escaped out the other side of the tent directly to the limos.