Our Intern In Petworth, Julian, Reflects on One Year in DC

Ed. note: Julian’s snap-shots series will resume after a quick two week hiatus. In the meantime, below find a great piece written by Julian contrasting San Fransisco (his hometown) to DC. For those who are not native Washingtonians do you ever reflect upon the home towns/cities you’ve left behind?

Opposites Repel: San Francisco, CA VS. Washington, DC

By Julian Aldana
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11 Comment

  • Well-written!

  • great piece!! i do pride dc for the mounds of international food and restaurants though, in which most of them have great vegan/veggie options! but straight up vegan restaurants in dc… not to many and just ok…

  • I’ve been in DC for 3 years and love it, but I recently visited San Francisco for the first time and I’m pretty sure I want to move there when I finish grad school. Which city has the edge in culture can be debated, but I’ll take the natural beauty of the Bay area over the Mid Atlantic any day.

    Having said that, the grass is always greener on the other side. I know plenty of west coast people that have moved to DC and NY and much prefer it over SF and LA.

  • I think I’ve told this here before:
    I moved to DC in August 1983, planning to spend 4 years at GW, get a degree, and then head for San Diego. I came from Rochester, NY, and truly never wanted to live anywhere cold ever again. (Still feel that way)
    By January 1984, I knew that I was home, and that DC was where I would stay.
    Took me 5 years to get that degree, and along the way I acquired a husband too.
    We lived in Foggy Bottom, Shaw, Adams Morgan, Mt Pleasant, and in 1990, we bought a house in Petworth, and we’re still here.

    I love DC, and while I can’t claim native status, I can say that it is my hometown now. Sure, I think about Western NY once in a while, but not to return. I really couldn’t leave here at this point.

  • I am bias! I love San Francisco!

  • I’m from SF and the only reason I’m still here is #3. SF wins every other competition. Though I would never use Cafe Attitude as my measuring stick 😉

  • Because I think it is very important to live the life you have, I don’t spend a lot of time
    thinking of what might be, or might have been. DC is what it is, but I did not truly understand how conservative this place is until I visited SF.. My spirit felt paroled

  • You really think it’s that conservative Reuben?

  • I lived 7 years in San Francisco, split by several years in DC on both ends. both are great cities, and DC is much, much more pleasant than when I left at the depth of the Marion Barry time (afterall, they had ceased icking up garbage). And the food in DC is catchng up, although it is far more expensive in DC. And there are endless comparison (same company makes metro and BART cars, all the Safeways have sister Safeways — social, soviet, etc.). But there is a crucial difference. In San Francisco there are always locals, worker bees, sitting out at a cafe or in a park, no matter what the time of the day. I miss that.

  • yes, saf. i do…. or maybe the right word is staid….

  • Great piece: gives vindication to both cities while highlighting their differences and similarities.

    If anyone from San Francisco can vouch: I think DC is a SF sized Western Edition.

    I was pleasantly surprised when I visited DC in the spring and would enjoy a revisit, however, being born and raised in SF, there’s not really a comparison. SF does have some awesome open space and second hand shopping which is not very common, as I’ve recently noticed from some recent East Coast visits.

    Kudos for the Cafe Attitude comment, true SF sarcasm can be identified anywhere. 🙂

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