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View Diary: Atlantic Monthly: Moving To DC To Get Closer To Reality? (45 comments)

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  •  DC is not purely politics (4.00)
    "Washington, D.C., the reality-based intellectual capital of the world where the Washington press corps is interesting? You gotta be kidding me. This reads like an Onion piece."

    Why not? Do not confuse Washingtonians with reporters, nor
    with politicans. Government's a major employer - but that
    includes everyone who works for, e.g. the Smithsonian,
    janitors, National Botanical Garden gardeners, security
    personnel, not just politicians. And while there are
    more reporters than usual, that group is still a small
    percentage of inhabitants.

    I grew up there; my parents still live there. My father worked
    for the government as a physicist for a whole 9 years; the
    rest of his employment was far, far from government. My
    mother never worked for the government. Most of their
    friends never did. . .

    I can well see why the argument can be made that the city's
    not purely political with a heavy proportion of reporting, for
    there's a whole lot of other stuff going on. Don't be misled
    by what's being reported; go live there for a year or two.


    •  Here, here. (none)
      Do remember that there IS a difference b/w "Official Washington" and "DC." There are arts, culture, and yes, intellectuals, as much as the city's congressional overseers try to stamp out any evidence of that.

      Having said that, though--I didn't get much from the article.  What was the purpose?  Neener, neener, neener?

      "Sir, we've already lost the dock." A Zion Lieutenant to Commander Lock, The Matrix Revolutions

      by AuntiePeachy on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 03:30:03 PM PDT

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    •  As someone who lives in DC I'm biased perhaps (4.00)
      But there is another reason people are increasingly drawn here. It is the same reason Rome's population doubled between 50 BC and 50 AD. It is the capital of an increasingly powerful and assertive empire. Washington is the great new imperial capitol. It draws high-tech types through the Pentagon and NSA; culture through the Smithsonian and Kennedy Center, policy wonks, think tanks, money, lawyers, corporate head-quarters, the World Bank, the Red Cross, etc, etc. There are a lot of criticisms about living here. There is even a pretty good blog about why Washington sucks. But it is also increasingly the center of things in American life for better or for worse. I'm not surprised by the move.

      The Book of Revelations is NOT a foreign policy manual.

      by Dont Just Stand There on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 03:36:03 PM PDT

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      •  OK, it's an imperial center. (3.50)
        However, as with Rome, port cities like Ostia were far more intersting places.  The same holds true here, Baltimore, Philly, New York and Boston are far more interesting.  You want ideas?  They are scrawled on Subway walls, and today, on our blogs.  The question has become do we want beltway think like Broder's latest gibberish, or do we want what is going on out in the real world beyond the beltway.

        While Georgetown is decent, the sad reality of Washington is high rents, poor traffic conditions-so poor that NYC looks modern, no parking without huge expense, no support employment to feed the regular folks one finds in Anacostia beyond low pay work, and in general, a ton of cops, agents, spies, officers, and all the trappings of government.

        I should think any freedom loving American would run as fast as they could from this dismal swamp we call a capital.  It's a shame that to live reasonably in the capital area, one must live quite a ways up in Maryland, or down in Virginia to find anything resembling reality in prices, services, and civilization.

        I love to visit Washington DC, but I thank God I don't live there!

        •  A few comments in DC's favor (none)
          Adams Morgan and U street are way better than Yuppie Georgetown. As for Boston or New York, I wouldn't say those places are exactly rent discount cities. I lived in NYC for years (and love it as a city) but the number one reason I won't live there now is my sheer disgust at buying a windowless studio for $800,000 dollars.
          And "no parking" = Thank God. Cities weren't designed for cars nor should they be. In any other city, on any other continent, people walk to neighborhood stores and shops. I grew up in suburbia and then moved to Europe. I vomit that I can't walk down the street to buy a pint of milk, but have to get in my car for even the most simple transaction. And btw, I live in DC because I REFUSE to live in Maryland or Virginia out of principle. But as for port cities, yes, you are correct there - be it Seattle or San Francisco, port cities are great.

          The Book of Revelations is NOT a foreign policy manual.

          by Dont Just Stand There on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 07:14:02 PM PDT

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      •  Put simply, jobs. (none)
        The government is growing larger by the hour, and 450 billion dollars of deficits does create a lot of jobs, largely for firms with Washington connections.  Meanwhile it gets harder to find jobs outside the capital, so people move there.

        Washington DC MSMA population

        1.  3.20M
        2.  4.22M  
        3.  4.55M
        4.  4.92M
        5.  5.23M

        Interestingly, the growth is being driven by international immigration and natural increase, with internal migration only recently trending positive.  
        •  And not just jobs - but interesting jobs (none)
          This is probably the most common reason for the DC relocation concerning young people. I love Seattle and would gladly have stayed there forever. As a city it is everything you might want: it's hip, liberal, beautiful, relaxing, tolerant, green, diverse. But there simply is very little when it comes to international work or public policy or politics. Hell, it's not even the state capitol so you can't even do state government. Thus, Washington DC. A town albeit somewhat sterile, but with opportunity galore.  

          The Book of Revelations is NOT a foreign policy manual.

          by Dont Just Stand There on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 07:55:27 AM PDT

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