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I was quite surprised to read Thomas Lisse’s comments regarding D.C. in your letters page (The Mail, 2/1). First of all, D.C. has many “quality-of-life” amenities. The entire metro area has many parks and dedicated bicycle and jogging paths. You can also get something here in the entire D.C. area you won’t really see in San Francisco: several hundred years of history.
I am also confused as to why D.C. is considered a place without art. D.C. has numerous outlets for art. Many of the museums here are visited by tourists from all over the world. They do actually come here on purpose, too! Unlike San Francisco, we have many museums that are free!
Politics is obviously going to go on in the capital of the nation. This is actually exciting and interesting to a few people, I am guessing.
The crime issue is especially interesting. Yes, crime does happen in Washington, D.C. It is more prominently publicized because, again, it is the capital of the United States of America. Last time I checked, most other major cities have a problem with crime. When I was on a trip to San Francisco, I saw crime on the news there, as well. I did not assume that it was a city struggling with crime. Other cities have crime that is as bad as, or worse than, D.C.’s, and that is the truth.
I can’t help but appreciate that D.C. is actively trying to keep a place at the table for poor or disadvantaged people so they don’t make the mistakes that places like San Francisco have made in such areas as affordable housing. The city’s government is on the rebound, as well. As far as public transportation is concerned, D.C. has the second-busiest mass-transit system in the nation—this includes bus use.
Prince George’s County may have its share of crime, but it also has its share of money, family, and business. In fact, it is the most wealthy African-American-majority-populated county in the nation.
Lisse makes so many false assumptions and erroneous comments about the D.C. area that I am beginning to wonder if he has even been here. But I’m not beginning to tell people in D.C. how to run the place or argue about what Felix Gillette had to say in his article (“Paradise Lost,” 1/25), because I don’t live in D.C., either. I live in Alexandria. I was compelled to write in and defend D.C., however, because of all the mistruths written about it by Lisse.
D.C. is a complex and truly unique city on the mend from many struggles that many East Coast and Midwestern cities have gone thorough. The point is, it has continued to thrive and grow in spite of its problems, and its citizens seem genuinely concerned that everyone have a place at the table of rebirth, not just those who are wealthy enough to buy into it. This is a great and progressive idea that other cities have not paid attention to—and are now having to reap the consequences of.