02 May 2008

DC Farewell Part 2 – The Not So Good

As with any place you call home, there is bound to be a few things here and there that just aren’t your favorite (except for in California which is, as you might have guessed, perfect). At the very least, they make you laugh hysterically on a regular basis. I, like most, have a cynical streak, so here goes. The less-wonderful side of Washington, DC:

10. Public Transportation. While it is affordable, it’s not timely. At all. Unless you live on the Red Line, which heads into the wealthy part of town, you can expect to wait upwards of 13 minutes for a metro train. Above ground things are just as bad. Why publish a bus “schedule” if it has no correlation to the actual arrival and departure times of said bus? I’m just saying…

9. No Beach. I realize there is little the city can do about this, but I miss the smell of the Ocean and the feeling of sand between my toes, not to mention crashing ways and apparently, huge sharks.

8. Always Going Out To The Same Three Places. “Want to go to Adams Mo,” he asked. “Nah, how about Dupont,” she replied. “We were just there. How about U Street,” he said, excitedly. “We were just there too,” she muttered. “We were just everywhere. There are only three places to go out in DC.” Seriously, it’s either Adams Morgan, Dupont or U Street and I don’t remember the last time I went to Dupont…

7. All Politics All The Time. I know this was a favorite too but let me tell you, it can get exhausting. I was talking to a friend at work yesterday and she said she kind-of feels like a “one-trick pony. I mean, the only thing I can talk about is social entrepreneurship. If it’s not about social entrepreneurship then I get lost and do everything I can to get the conversation back to social entrepreneurship.” I feel the same way, only I’d add politics as my other “trick.” Somehow every conversation I find myself in starts about youth-led social change and finishes about Hillary vs. Obama. I think I’m losing friends…

6. Tourist Season. It starts in March and ends in September, with May and August being peak season. They come in packs of 4 to 400 and insist on riding the metro for the “experience.” Note, while riding escalators stand to the right and walk to the left. If this simple rule is followed we will be able to coexist in the future. If not, you and your toddler, who is wearing an “FBI” shirt and clearly runs the show, are free game.

5. Cabs. Yesterday was May 1st, which means meters are in full effect! Just kidding. No fines until June, so why bother? Since the beginning of time DC Cabs have run on a “easy-to-follow” zone system that charges different rates depending on how many zones you pass. Sounds simple, right? That is, until the exact same ride costs something different every time you take it. DC Government decided to spend a year “researching meters” (as if metered cabs weren’t used in every other major city on the planet) and decided to implement them to the praise of citizens and contempt of cab drivers. Now the whole city is up in arms and cabbies claim there is no longer money is driving a taxi. So basically what you’re saying is that until now it was profitable, solely because you ramped up fares? I’m sorry, but it is simply not fair to charge someone $13 to go 5 minutes. End.

4. Lead Water. We were just notified that the lead levels in DC water are officially at a healthy level. Does that mean that for the past 6 years they weren’t? Oh la la.

3. Freeways That Go In Circles. I know I go on about how great California is, but why on earth would you design a freeway that goes in a circle around a city? Once it reaches full capacity then there is literally nowhere to move and traffic comes to a screeching halt, thanks especially to the impeccable driving ability of most DC-area residents (read sarcasm).

2. Drivers. There are no words. From driving 20 miles below the speed limit to apparently owning cars that don’t have blinkers, DC-area drivers are the worst I have ever been surrounded by, and that includes Delhi, India. People, it’s called DRIVING and it is an active – not passive – task. Check your mirrors, stay on your side of the road and please, for the sake of sparing the lives of others, don’t turn right from the middle lane.

1. Humidity. It’s 85 degrees but it feels like 110. For most of July and August it is as if you’re living in a sauna. I shower three times a day, which is so not eco-friendly. Oh how I long for dry heat…

Still, all in all, I love me some DC and will absolutely miss the city!


Kyle Taylor