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Given: I also have a fetish for New York City. However, John Cloud’s article (“New York Fetish,” 8/1) prompts me to write in defense of D.C., which I have called home for a cumulative 10 years.

My biggest peeve is this Southern city debate. Another 10 years of my life I spent living in Raleigh, N.C., undoubtedly a Southern city. Not a Southern metropolis, but a city, not hicksville. Saying that New York is more Southern than D.C. is plainly wrong.

D.C. fashion is Southern—it doesn’t change. It’s that borderline-preppy, khaki-anchored, subtly-accessorized, nonthreatening standard that keeps us all respectable. Respectable is Southern. D.C. nightlife is Southern—you have to go out of your way to be outrageous. Outrageous is not Southern. At all. D.C. politics is Southern—Marion Barry in drag might have actually gotten him out of office. But a man’s indulgence of his natural urges in the privacy of his own (or his girlfriend’s) hotel room is only natural. Homophobia and chauvinism are Southern. About that “Faulknerian eccentricity” of the Village: When did Faulkner write about Banana Republic and bars built for tourists?

But Cloud, you said it yourself, “Everyone here speaks in a receptionist’s voice, striving to hide our bilious, cutthrout natures…endlessly sweet on the outside, infinitely sour on the inside…” That is Southern.

Glover Park

via the Internet