Gawker Editor (and according to DCist, former DC resident) Alex Pareene sees fit to try and take a steaming dump on D.C., informing the internet reading public that “DC will never be cool,” and “DC is boring.” Fair enough, but seriously? Here are some of the damning facts, according to Pareene:
It’s small: 591,833 residents, with a “daytime population” of a million.
Everybody knows population size is directly proportional to coolness. That’s why all the cool people you know have tattoos of Chinese characters.
Some like to enlarge the “metro area” to include Baltimore, making it the fourth-largest such area in the country, which is like claiming Philly is a part of New York)
Absolutely nobody is claiming Baltimore.
And if you’re counting the whole metro area, you’re counting people who live in the least cool places in America: the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.
First of all, here are some areas which aren’t just hypothetically part of New York City: Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens. And second of all, say what you will about Maryland and Virginia, but New Jersey is actually Hell on Earth.
Sure, 30 years ago DC had Bad Brains and Minor Threat, and today it still has, uh, Ian Svenonius (the Sassiest Boy in America!), but the intervening years have gentrified the hell out of a quarter of the city proper and kept the rest in abject urban poverty, more or less. Not a great recipe for “cool”!
Obviously, New York has a better music scene than Washington, D.C., but I’m frankly not quite sure what this has to do with gentrification, or in what way New York City is immune to either criticism. Assuming this has something to do with anything though, I’m not sure what New York’s poor would have to say about how transcendentally cool it is for paper traders to massively inflate the local market with multimillion dollar bonuses earned flushing the worldwide economy down the toilet. But that’s neither here nor there.
There’s no “creative class” of monied young jerks showing up in DC with the express purpose of wasting their funds making indie dance music, starting literary journals, or even buying researching jobs at Vanity Fair.
Got us there.
The biggest celebs are TV pundits.
Ah yes, the proximate property of coolness: If you have your locker in the same row as the popular kids, you’re cool too! Even 7th graders know that’s bullshit.
And even if we’re just talking about DC stealing New York’s thunder with the death of the financial sector, trust us: they’re not going to enjoy the spoils of obscene imaginary wealth with the same flash as our bankers once did.
I’m struggling to find a way to make light of the fact that millions of people saw their retirement accounts crumble in front of their eyes, but really, I guess it’s just not that funny.
Your DC congressional staffer is typically a well-meaning (or formerly well-meaning) dork who dresses and drinks like he did in college. Or they’re just fratty assholes.
As opposed to Wall Street bankers, who are materialistic dorks that spend more money on clothes dress better than they did in college, but are still just fratty assholes.
Now, I don’t mean to defend D.C.’s coolness on its merits, because indeed, D.C. is not cool. But if I’m going take shit about it, you better bring something stronger than this tired crap.
NB: A number of my friends are bankers in New York, and a number of them read this blog. I can attest to the fact that they are good people who never laughed all the way to bank with your parents retirement money. I just figured that while we were working off of stereotypes, I’d compare apples with apples.