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Is the District of Columbia a disgrace? - Page 2

post #31 of 38
Originally Posted by boringjen View Post
Okay, really...you're suggesting that it's not fair to compare Alexandria to D.C., even though they're literally across a river from each other. As I stated, we are full of totally random races and cultures. We manage to do just fine here in Arlington. Those of us here across the river don't know what you're talking about.
Alexandria and DC are two completely different cities. So no, I do not think that a comparison between the two is accurate. Fair does not matter to me but accuracy does. DC is five times the size of Alexandria with a completely different socio and economic structure. Arlington county is one top twenty richest counties in America. So yes, Arlington has more resources for its population than DC. Proximity does not change that.
post #32 of 38
Actually, if you count DC as a state, it's 35th in gross state product. It has the smallest population of any "state", short of Wyoming. There's lots of tax revenue to go around.

So, DC has a tiny land area and a smaller population than any other state (except Wyoming), and it can't manage to run a little better than it does with more money and fewer people to spend it on than 16 states? The money is there. Any idea how much they spend (waste) per student on public education? The city isn't living up to my expectations. It's a poor example of a nation's capital. The city's leadership should be run out of town, as they've obviously failed.

As for not having any poor or low-income people here in Arlington or neighboring Alexandria... Who do you think provides all of the services the higher income folks demand? I'm not claiming we have as many lower income folks, because we obviously don't, but you don't think our excellent schools, crime prevention, and other programs might have something to do with people not ending up illiterate criminals, regardless of their economic situation?

We have 200k people (in a much smaller area, I might add). DC has 588k. Let's round that up to 600k to keep it simple. We had 2 homicides in 2007. DC had 181. DC has 30 times the homicides per capita, and some would suggest "poor people" is sufficient explanation. Who's really classist here?
post #33 of 38
I'm feeling really snarly, because I've been trying to rid my desktop of a pesky computer virus that my AV protection didn't catch. FIVE format/clean reinstalls later, I think I'm finally out of the woods. Anyway, that's just background as to why I'm so keen to disagree with just about everyone here, and every opinion expressed on Washington DC. I don't think there's ANY city that's representative of the nation, nor should there BE any such city, either representing what the nation is, or what it should be. It's just what it is, and it'll be just what it'll be. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't like a homogeneous country and I don't want a homogeneous capitol, either. I really don't get why it should be any different. (That's the snarly part, and why I'm feeling much calmer now, so I'm closing down and heading to bed.)
post #34 of 38
Tim, all snarliness aside, I certainly don't want the place to be like Sesame Street, but excelling at just about nothing but violent crime is umm...a little offputting.
post #35 of 38
Originally Posted by boringjen View Post
Tim, all snarliness aside, I certainly don't want the place to be like Sesame Street, but excelling at just about nothing but violent crime is umm...a little offputting.
I will have to disagree that Washington excels at nothing but violence. The Kennedy Center, National Theatre and the Arena Stage. The Mall with all the monuments. The Smithsonian and all the other museums (Most of the Free) The White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court and the political atmosphere in the K Street corrider. Vibrant nightlife. Excellent restaurants Try Citronelle, Butterfield 9 and if you want more I can tell you. The National Zoo (Free). I could go on. Georgetown, Adams Morgan. Verizon center host to the Capitals, Mystics and Wizards. One of the best Metro systems to get you around.

If you listen to only the news than yes, maybe that is all you hear about is the violence. But DC is so much more.

You really can't compare it to a suburb city. Arlington has nowhere near the scope of DC and comparing an urban area to a suburban area is not right. Now compare DC to Chicago, New York or Los Angeles and compare and contrast and that could be a discussion. Or better yet London or Paris, two other beautiful capital cities that roll off the top of my head. I am sure they have warts too but that doesn't mean the whole city is ugly.
post #36 of 38
OK...all over my snarliness...thanks for your patience.

I just don't think DC needs to be any kind of an iconic city in any sense. It's the capitol of the country, that's true. And it has many first-class features because of that. That's true. In a previous post I wrote about not equating the district with the capitol, because for all practical purposes, they're two separate cities. Neither of which is, or can be, typical of anything in any sense. In fact, I wouldn't even WANT the capitol to be typical or representative. Frankly, I think inside the beltway is a kind of a fantasy-land anyway. I see the capitol as more like Disney World. A make-believe place out of touch with the outside and in which the outside is out of mind and out of sight. And though I'm describing the capitol in those terms, you might even make a case for describing the OTHER DC the same way, but on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Neither of the two opposite DC's is typical, is representative -- nor do I want it to be -- nor do I think it CAN be.
post #37 of 38
peachy, I have been there, you know. I can see it from here.

Yes, DC, like many major cities, has plenty of enlightening and beautiful experiences available. I've spent countless hours strolling through the museums, dining there, attending performances, and even partying there.

However, I still can't get past the absurd rate of violent crime. The statistics more than back up the news stories. It's not as if I'm focusing on a few sensational murder cases that happened to get a lot of press time to back up my opinion. The numbers speak for themselves. DC has a bizarrely high rate of violent crime.

DC especially has a bizarrely high rate of violent crime for a city that really does have a lot more funding available than many other places.

I don't think I'd see so many people jumping to the defense of PG County (a neighbor to DC). It's another area considered to be fairly high crime (some indicate the crime in DC is just moving to PG - I haven't researched it, and I just finished an 18 page research paper, so please don't ask me to!). I worked there for three years and witnessed plenty of ugly things - had plenty of good experiences there, too. Maybe PG County should put up a few museums and pretty buildings to improve their image. Well, actually, I guess they started with the National Harbor development.
post #38 of 38
I lived in DC for nearly 5 years and absolutely loved it. I shared a Georgetown apartment with two other girls (we were students of the National Ballet at the time) and either walked or Metro'ed or taxi'ed everywhere we went since none of us had cars - I drove my boyfriend's Renault when he would let me but after about $250 in parking tickets, I wasn't allowed to drive it anymore. *blush* (For those familiar with the city "back in the day", my then-boyfriend was a sous chef at Rive Gauche at the corner of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue smack dab in the middle of Georgetown.) We dined on Caesar Salads at the Cafe Paris every day, drank scotch at Nathan's every night and took in the caberet show at Jour et Nuit on the weekends where all the waiters were on rollerskates. There was an abundance of cultural diversity in just about every venue; food, entertainment, shopping - most of it available at any time of the day or night. I loved the city and I wouldn't ever trade my time spent there. There are many, many fond memories.

Sure there is crime. Maybe a lot more so than in other cities. But, as any city resident knows, there are places where one should not venture unless one is looking for trouble. It is no different in DC than it is in say ... NYC or LA. There are certain parts of any city which should be avoided and others that shouldn't be missed when traveling there.
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