The 13 Worst Things About Living in the District

Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu

While there are certain things I love about the District, I also get tired of wearing rose colored glasses from time to time. The following was edited by that bastard Wilhelm von Humboldt. You are highly encouraged to (re)watch the Pharrell Williams HAPPY DC video to restore your equilibrium after reading. In no way did the consumption of gin and tonic with a splash of campari influence the make up of this list:

13. The Mall and Monuments – an easy one – when is the last time you’ve visited the Mall, seriously? And if you do it’s all mucked up with tourists taking photos.
12. Our local politicians – apparently some of our elected officials have had legal issues of late. And since the 90s. And they park wherever they want!
11. Row Houses – All overpriced and require thousands of dollars of upkeep every year.
10. Walkability – In many spots it’s a massive pain trying to cross Rock Creek Park while everywhere else cars will try their best to run you over.
9. History – We’ve never actually healed from its wounds so there’s a lot of bad blood lingering. Plus what else could cause DC born Dallas fans to be tolerated and even encouraged here.
8. Libraries – good luck getting a seat.
7. The 9:30 Club – the good shows all sell out in 15 minutes and good luck getting a beer.
6. Weather – the humid summers and mosquitos make a lethal mix.
5. The Nationals – How the hell do you pull Strasburg when you’re about to make the playoffs?!?!
4. The Cherry Blossoms blooming – sure they look pretty on the trees but that’s only for a few weeks then they litter our streets and get stuck to our shoes and you find them rotting all over your overpriced house. And tourists!
3. Our Museums – we screwed up the Corcoran Gallery of Art and have to dish it off to a university and the Feds.
2. Our Revival – where the rich get to eat everywhere and the poor get homeless.
1. The People – A large proportion of delusional, self important, self indulgent, insufferable know it alls who think they are smarter/cooler than you are. Not to mention the fucking tourists!

84 Comment

  • I realize the Princeling (Princelet?) of Petworth is not yet school aged, but how can schools not be on this list?

  • great list …prop taxes should be on there too!!!

    • the property tax rates are already the lowest in the region, what more do you want?

      • My sister lives in Baltimore city – our houses are assessed at about the same rate. She pays 10K more than I do in property taxes

      • transparency, for instance if property taxes are going down (the assessed value went down) but my total bill goes up . and then of course the market “rebounds” and my bill and total assessed rate goes up. i expect my bill to fluctuate based on market trends and not steadily go up to support whatever background spending is occurring in dc.

  • #14 The undeserving fame that Ben’s Chili Bowl has achieved.

    • yeah why is everyone so obsessed? Go to fast gormet if you want good half smoked chilli dogs.

    • I disagree. The Cos likes it, and it’s been busy every party night for decades, one of the few DC fixtures that have survived gentrification… Sure you may get heartburn, but that’s because of what you chose off the menu.

      • brookland_rez

        Survived? They’ve thrived. Ben’s used to be a whole in the wall spot that mostly locals went to (and a place to go to after shows at 9:30 club). Now they have multiple locations, presidential visits, tourists, etc. Speaking of tourists, every time I try to go, there’s lines out the door. WTF? I mean it’s good food, but it’s not THAT good.

  • I would say Down Town, our down town (‘Golden Triangle’) is an Office Ghetto and have no life in it friday after 6 PM

  • #5 is a profoundly ill informed post. We did not lose any of the games in the playoffs that Stras would have pitched and a DC team made the playoffs that year for the first time in 70 years. Further, Stras is now fully healthy and will likely have several great years ahead of him. Other than that, you got it spot on.

    • So true.

      All the critics pointed to the Braves handling of Medlen as superior to how the Nats shut down Strasburg. Look how well that turned out.

  • 14. New trashcans that don’t close, delivered to your front yard (why?).

    • Re. not closing — you’re supposed to leave them in the sun for a while to get them to expand.
      Re. their being delivered to your front yard — apparently the delivery trucks are too big to go through the alleys.

      • So, the solution is to melt my lid into submission with the hot winter sun? riiiiight. I believe that.

        • Seriously – that IS the solution! In other words, the situation should fix itself with a bit of sun and time.

        • See DPW’s FAQ on the new trash cans and recycling cans:
          6. The lid won’t close on my new cans. Are they defective?
          No, they are not defective. If your lid doesn’t quite close, place the container in direct sunlight or a warm place. This will cause the containers to “relax” and the problem should clear up. The cans are stacked one upon another with the lids open while being stored. They just need a little time to adjust to being closed.

  • Not to mention the tourists! And the federal government! And the recession-proof local economy! Ugh!

  • the only thing that allows me to deal with “the people” is being one of them 😉

  • A very sly complement to last week’s post. 🙂

  • jim_ed

    I see what you did there. Well played.

  • I’d move #12 up to third place, add Winter to #6, and change #11 to

    Condos — Nothing but corporate barracks. Boxes are for hamsters, houses are for humans.

    On #5, I’ll defer to the baseball fans. Outside of that, pretty spot-on.

  • Every time I start getting annoyed by tour buses, lack of parking, traffic, and bad or confused drivers with out if state plates, I remind myself to be thankful for them as they are fuel for the local economy.

  • Haven’t I seen this list befo…….oh, Right. Got it!

  • I feel like walkability is one of the best things about DC.

  • Friday afternoons just keep getting funnier.
    Thanks for the amuse-bouche before the happy hour Dan!

  • Not sure how this list could possibly exclude Maryland drivers. While not native to DC, we still have to deal with their special brand of recklessness every day.

  • Beautiful Dan!

  • lol! Well done.

  • Dang Pop, you double fisting haterade in that pic!!?? Pheww!!!

  • This was hilarious. Thank you.

  • HORRIBLE LIST! A lot of these things: mall, nationals, walkability, history, weather, etc…..

    I would start with politicians as number one and then add taxi cabs, sanitation and water departments, if you want a sports team I would put the REDSKINS – the only team that does not actually play in the district.

  • What a horrible attitude! I feel bad for you that you have this perspective.

  • #1 for me it’s the transient nature of the city, I have seen too many good friends spend several year in DC and then leave, it’s hard on my soul. #2 (related to 1) the public schools, #3 cabs, although UberX has fixed that almost completely and #4 the football team, worst owner (and name) in professional American sports.

  • No one elso here has been ticketed for parking on the street-cleaning side of the street? Weekly?

    • Please, please, please (!!!!!) move your cars out of the way on those days. These streets are filthy and we need to clean ’em up. (Even though the clean-up crews hardly ever show up, have hope)

  • It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

    • Yes. What we love/hate, two sides of the same coin. All a matter of perspective.
      Well done, Dan 🙂

  • A little harsh on the tourist aren’t you – and such a vital industry in Washington DC #2 or #3 depending on who is in the White House.

    Not to mention the history behind those monuments.

    Ta, ta, ta….

  • “1) The people” needs to be replaced with “the people from Maryland and Virginia”.

    • As opposed to the people originally from Ohio, Missouri, Massachusetts etc. who move into D.C. and become delusional, self important, self indulgent, insufferable know it alls who think they are smarter/cooler than you are?

    • Nope. I’ve lived all over the region for decades, and it’s the upper-class DC residents, both new and old, who take the prize for being the most delusional, self important, self indulgent, insufferable know it alls. I don’t care where they all came from.

  • First is Comcast, in my building they’re the only portion and their customer service sucks! Also can’t we have better retail options than CVS and Safeway on every corner! They’re mediocre on their best days!

  • Wow – I disagree with almost all of these – many of them I would put on the Best list.

  • Summers are too hot, too humid, too long.

  • This has gotta be an early April fool’s day post. Seriously? Complaining about the Mall when kids are still getting shot in the middle of the day, the schools are, for the most part, sub-par, and Metro really doesn’t work for anyone on the weekends or after rush hour.

  • Surprised how many people post without reading previous comments. Or, lots of reading comprehension failure. The things we love & hate about DC can be the same thing.

  • Taxation without representation.

  • Pet peeves from a D.C. native born and raised:

    Tourists or residents, I just need people and there luggage to stand on the right!
    Those born and/or living in Maryland or Virginia saying they are from D.C. If anything they are from the DC Metro Area. Keep it real people, keep it real.
    Not having a vote/representation in Congress and therefore no one to yell at when the government is shutdown and I’m not getting paid!

    Including these, I completely agree with your list.

  • I am new to living in the city, but why does everyone hate the tourist so much? I mean this is our nations capital not just the capital for people who live here and hate tourist. Give them a break, this is a beautiful city and there is a reason people come so instead of getting angry when one stops to look at a map, LOOK around and maybe you will see how amazing our national treasures really are (reasons that they are here). Then you won’t be so angry all the time.

    • brookland_rez

      I realize they’re an important part of the economy, but when the tour buses clog up Constitution and make it hard to get to work, it still annoys me.

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