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Old 06-26-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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I've been trying to analyze exactly what it is about DC that doesn't do it for me. I guess I'm looking for some perspective. Maybe I'm just missing something, or haven't given the city a fair shot? I left SF to move to NY, so I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to feel the same way I do about DC, or worse! (I'm in DC for the next few weeks before I move, hence the post.)

I have lived in the bay area most of my life. My folks moved out to the DC area (Alexandria) about 10 years ago, and they LOVE it. I think getting older and becoming more conservative had to do with it, though. I tried living there for a year recently. I have spent time in every major US city aside from Minneapolis and Milwaukee (if you can call that major?), and here is my perspective on the DC (and NOVA) area so far:

People don't seem to be very happy. My sister thinks it's because of the weather, I think it's a combination of things. The city is clean-ish (compared to SF), but not too much to look at. I would complain about the weather, but to somebody from the bay area, I realize that weather "sucks" just about anywhere else.

People in DC want to know where you went to school, where you grew up...perhaps what you drive and where you live. Not so much what makes you tick, what you believe, what you're passionate about, if you're enjoying your life...

I guess they come across to me as conventional, conservative, old-money, stuffy, and definitely cutthroat. They seem to be interested in making connections everywhere (names matter even in the briefest of interactions...very different from SF), but if you can't offer them a leg up they may not be interested in continuing conversation long. It's been said to me that DC has the "highest concentration of over-achievers in the world", and that seems to be the case. That's fine I guess, but I feel like the city is just filled to the brim with over-educated smartasses. I went to a party near Adam's Morgan and I couldn't believe how standoffish and pretentious the people were.

Everybody looks and dresses more or less the same (professional), and I don't see much creative and artistic individual expression. I guess the city isn't exactly known for it's artsy creative types, right? Again, the general vibe does not seem to be one of contentment. People seem to be "enduring", and not so much living in the moment or "living deliberately". Of course this cannot be said across the board, and I have taken refuge at a select few bars and clubs with vibes and people that remind me of home. For the most part though, I have come to the conclusion that people from the bay area and people from DC (or at least what it turns them into) are like oil and water. I do concede that we are really "out there" in SF. The over the top in-your-face liberalism even gets to ME from time to time. I guess I like feeling like the "sensible" one though, and it's a hell of a lot easier to feel that way in SF than it is in DC I am also a highly creative and unconventional person, and this is probably important to mention (if it wasn't completely obvious already).

On another note, some things I love about DC:

1.Metro kicks serious ass
2.Cherry Blossom festival was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen
3.Free museums and national history
4.Change of pace with the thick humidity and crisp cold (in small doses)
5.Fall colors (though this is not exclusive to DC of course)


Overall, I feel it's a great place to visit, but not to live. At least not at this point in my life.

I have seen a few people post about staying away from NY if you can't handle DC. I'm hoping this isn't actually the case. I love big cities, and have been to NY 3 times. Never have I gotten the same kind of vibe there. Highly motivated and go, go, go....yes. However, it's also VERY creative and has a hearty concentration of highly motivated "dreamers", which is really appealing to me.

Do you think somebody who doesn't enjoy DC will dislike living in NY? I'm at once hoping for some varying opinions on life in DC and reassurance about moving to the Big Apple.

"Move to northern California, but move before it makes you soft...move to NYC, but leave before it makes you hard." Hopefully this applied to pre-Giuliani NYC?
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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Wow. You over analyze everything. I see the kinda people you are talking about but I generally ignore them and find people with similar interests and values.

I couldn't even pay attention to half this post so I can't imagine actually wanting to hold a conversation with you. Maybe it's your personality that attracts similar judgmental, cynical, over bearing people such as yourself. Ever thought about that?
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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The biggest change will be the pace of life. Life in New York will make DC look like a sleepy town such as Mussel Shoals, Alabama. You are right, there is no art scene in DC unless you count going to museums on the mall as a scene.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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Maybe it's just how many people from the West Coast (or, more specifically, places like SF, Seattle or Portland) view DC. BTW, a lot of the money in the area is "new money," but you wouldn't like them, either. And, conversely, a lot of people in this area couldn't stand to be with people they don't know well who try to quickly assess whether they are happy or "living deliberately." That would strike them as intrusive and pretentious New Age stuff, and make them uncomfortable.

Having said that, NY isn't DC, or vice versa. I'm not sure you'd find what you're looking for in Manhattan these days (maybe still in pockets of the East Village, Lower East Side or Morningside Heights), but poke around Brooklyn and Queens. By way of example, you might like Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Cobble Hill or Sunset Park in Brooklyn or Astoria or Jackson Heights in Queens.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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Everybody has to live somewhere. There's no perfect city. Live where it makes you happy.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
And, conversely, a lot of people in this area couldn't stand to be with people they don't know well who try to quickly assess whether they are happy or "living deliberately." That would strike them as intrusive and pretentious New Age stuff, and make them uncomfortable.
.
Not necessarily: Amazon.com: Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There (9780684853789): David Brooks: Books
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:08 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
15,664 posts, read 18,211,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crayzn8 View Post
Do you think somebody who doesn't enjoy DC will dislike living in NY? I'm at once hoping for some varying opinions on life in DC and reassurance about moving to the Big Apple.
NYC is better than DC in many respects. However, it is definitely more cutthroat as well. Not everyone is cut out for that lifestyle. Besides, it's perfectly acceptable to live in the DC area and visit NYC whenever you need a fix.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:56 PM
 
Location: DC/Brooklyn, NY/Miami, FL
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NYC ain't that cutthroat. matter of fact i was the most cutthroat person up there and from D.C.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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Bobos shopping at the P Street Whole Foods aren't necessarily introspective souls "living deliberately" just because there are ten brands of granola in aisle 8. And that's not necessarily a knock; the world needs do'ers as well as thinkers.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:45 PM
 
2,414 posts, read 4,685,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Bobos shopping at the P Street Whole Foods aren't necessarily introspective souls "living deliberately" just because there are ten brands of granola in aisle 8. And that's not necessarily a knock; the world needs do'ers as well as thinkers.
I know, but that's the closest thing the OP will find in DC.
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