Originally Posted by millevanille
Opening myself up to quite a bit of hostility here with this being my 2nd post, but after living in the DC area nearly my entire life, and traveling all around the US, this is the worst shithole I've ever been in.
Almost all chains, no great food, homely/masculine women, metrosexual swarms, terrible local cultural "icons" (cupcakes, gogo, dischord lameness, Ben's, etc.), no interesting shopping.
And diversity??? True there is every mixture under the sun here, but instead of an interesting mixture of communities, everyone has been blended into this bland, flacid, asexual, boring, uncreative, uninteresting prototypical DC resident.
DC is like The Gap of US cities.
No hostility, but...
DC's biggest (cultural) problem is its inferiority complex.
There's no doubt a lot of blandness, especially in new development (there's a reason everyone talking about Clarendon likes Galaxy Hut and Dremo's and not the Cheesecake Factory), but I fear you're going to say rust belt cities are somehow better because they have character or some bullshit amorphous "real" quality. DC's roots are fascinating, it has entertaining local characters (how many DC transients lol about Barry w/o any context? Dude was shot by terrorists in the 1970s), a constant tension between citizens and The Man, great architecture (you just watch, brutalism is the next mcm), great
food (altho best ethnic food is in the burbs), plenty of solid colleges/universities, and some of the best-run clubs in the country. The music scene has occasionally been held hostage by the legacy of Dischord but I don't really have a problem with that. Throw in good (but deteriorating) public transit and it's a better place to live than you're giving it credit for. All that said, depending on when you grew up here and what you were into I can totally understand needing to get out.
Everyone seems to think the face of DC is an SAIC deputy program manager driving a Chevy Malibu to the Macaroni Grill. That's the face of NoVA.