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Your guide to the 2016 Democratic Convention in Brooklyn

Welcome delegates! When news first broke back in 2014 that Brooklyn might host this year's Democratic presidential convention, this day, the day it all begins, seemed impossibly far away. But now it's here, and we wanted to take a minute to orient you to all of the exciting things that you can look forward to.

Commuters wait in a line in front of the Barclays Center in 2012. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Get to know the venue

As you know, the main events related to the convention will take place right here in the Barclay's / Bloomberg Airlines / Uber Center in the heart of downtown Brooklyn. If you're trying to find the main entrance, just look for the statue of Blue Ivy. Can't miss it.

Once you're inside, simply follow the "We Love Democrats" banners down the long hallway into the main venue. (We apologize that the banners look a little worn, but years of sun damage will do that.) We hope you remembered to bring your yoga mats in lieu of chairs that might scratch the natural dirt floor of the arena. If you didn't bring a yoga mat, there are 32 shops within a six-block radius of the arena that will be happy to accommodate you.

TIP: Since none of the proceedings will be amplified so that we can cut down on electricity usage, be sure to listen for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's frequent cries of "mic check." You know how this works.

How to get around

We strongly recommend that you not leave the greater Barclays/Bloomberg/Uber area. It's not dangerous, as such, but outside of the immediate vicinity we will not be able to provide you with the proper trigger warnings for your excursions.

If you do choose to do so anyway, we have a number of options for getting around. Few cars enter Brooklyn thanks to the new congestion pricing system, but bicycles are abundant. If you're morally opposed to the use of rubber, we have made several hundred skateboards available for your use. (Thanks to sponsor CitiBoard!)

And of course, there's the subway. You'll find a woven-grass Metrocard in your welcome packet. If you board a bus, you are asked not to return to the convention until you've made yourself carbon-neutral. Trees are available for planting at the entrance to Prospect Park.

TIP: If someone suggests you join them in a visit to Staten Island, you are being made fun of.

What to eat

Brooklyn has been meat-free for 18 months, so you need not worry about entering a restaurant where you might be confronted with beef fumes. The arena is in an area known as Little Kaletown, which features a wide range of restaurants that can accommodate fruitatarians, raw food junkies, paleocarratarians, and adherents to the New Julia Child movement.

If you want cooked food, there's a Papa John's in the historic district by the East River. It is rumored to be run by a Republican, but it is, of course, gluten-free.

TIP: You are welcome to bring food into the venue, provided that you do not include any wrappers, utensils, paper or plastic bags, sugared sodas, or animal or animal-derived products and provided that you bring enough to share.

Schedule of events


  • 4:00 p.m. Welcome
  • 4:05 p.m. Introductory prayers from all of the world's religions
  • 7:55 p.m. Nomination of Hillary Clinton
  • 8 p.m. Hillary Clinton speaks
  • 8:15 p.m. Bill Clinton speaks
  • 11:15 p.m. Meditation and conclusion

Tuesday through Friday

  • Do what you feel, man
Philip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He is based in New York City.



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Philip Bump · June 6, 2014

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