Originally Posted by sq4you
well i was semi joking. but the fact that you declare everything in DC to suck leads me to question your taste in everything. obviously dc fashion (oxymoron) is non-existent, but there is tons of good food, lots of good bands come to DC, there are lots of great bars, GT is awesome, the verizon center is pretty cool, chinatown is great, U st, H st, lots of different types of girls, raggae nights at ESL, latin nights at madame's organ, etc etc etc.
I agree with the parts in bold, and I pretty much disagree with everything else. Ethiopian food is great, and there are a ton of restaurants. Beyond that, I don't think DC food is that amazing. Everything else, well, that's just a matter of personal preference. Regardless, at least some of these things are going to appeal to you. I'll also add that there's some decent art. Nothing along the lines of NY/LA/Chicago, but there's some interesting stuff to be found.
I can understand seeing DC as a significant step down from Chicago. Chicago is the third-largest city in the country. It gets all the same bands (maybe more, and they have the Pitchfork festival), I'm sure the food is better, I'm sure the nightlife is at least on par with DC's and probably a good clip better. The only things DC really has on it (other than the Ethiopian food) is that it's a global city - whereas my understanding is that Chicago is somewhat more provincial - and a good chunk of NW, Capitol Hill, and scattered other places are almost entirely 20-somethings. These things may or may not appeal to you.
My opinion is that, in order to enjoy DC, a) you need a reason to be there, probably job-related, and b) you actually have to work at it. You're not just going to stumble into a comfortable niche full of interesting people and enjoyable social and cultural experiences. There are a ton of douchebags (perhaps disproportionately so compared to other cities), and a lot of the bars are overrun by striped shirts, gelmets, and low-alcohol shots on the weekends.
I could probably keep going, but this doesn't have anything to do with shopping. Also, the query I was working on finally stopped running.