When the website you consult lists Toronto as one of the most hated American cities, you gotta be a little suspicious about the other material. But since D.C., as I expected, made the list, I thought it was OK to overlook one teensy error. Toronto being in Canada and all that.
But still …
The others sort of made sense. Seems that D.C. is something like number 8 on the hate list, behind New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland (Oregon), Shreveport and Boston to defame a few.
The survey said people didn’t like New York because it was New York (and the survey was taken well before the election, if that’s what you’re thinking).
Portland and San Francisco got the knock for lifestyle issues and thinking themselves above the rest. Folks said that botox and attitude trumped L.A.’s generally good weather. Boston made the list because people there talk funny. That’s what the survey said.
Why D.C.? What did we do wrong? Short answer is that we are the home of Congress. The 430 plus members of the House of Representatives and the 100 members of the U.S. Senate.
The thing is… You send them here. We didn’t ask for them or vote for them.
These are the men and women you picked to represent you here. And there are times, because we see them as they are away from home, why we understand why you choose to send them here.
But guess what? This is a great town. When Congress is away. This is a very polite city. When Congress is away.
Virtually all of the museums are free, thanks to the taxpayers. You can see the Wright Brothers plane, or Dolly Madison’s gown, for free. Right across the street from each other. You can walk from the U.S. Capitol Building to the White House.
August has traditionally been the nicest month in D.C. because that is when Congress, more often than not, is gone. Taking with it thousands of journalists, lobbyists, lawyers and others who give the city a certain edge. There is less horn-honking too. The Type A herd is thinned, for a time.
The August-only-rule has changed a little because each year Congress seems to take more time-outs. A week here, two weeks there, all year. But August is magic because that seems to be the time period, for sure, when the tens of thousands of people who deal with, cover, lobby, live off or serve Congress also go away.
Yes D.C. is hot and muggy in the summer. Year after year it seems. But so is St. Louis, Houston and New Orleans. And lots of places. But we have air-conditioning. And you can get a good seat in almost any restaurant without reservations.
So give us a chance. Come visit. Bring the kids. And money.
Just one thing… On the escalators taking you to and from Metro, if you prefer standing rather than walking, please keep to the right so we remaining Type-A’s left behind can still get to work!