As John Cloud states in his article “New York Fetish” (8/1), “The Washington-vs.-New York debate is tired and stupid.” There is really no comparison of the two cities. They are very different places. The only similarity between them is that they are large cities, and they are American cities. They both have subways, and they both consider themselves the center of their respective universes.

I find the article really irritating. It consists only of some guy whining about how N.Y. is so much better than D.C., and his plans to move. Move then! I moved to Washington almost two years ago from Charlotte, N.C. I thought that I had left this sort of inferiority complex behind me. There was always somebody in Charlotte whining about how he had to move to Atlanta because of Phipps Plaza, Lenox Mall, Blake’s, the Armory, Midtown, Buckhead, etc. Admittedly, Charlotte sucked. But so did Atlanta, and I didn’t, and don’t, want to hear about it.

Here, people whine because they can’t get a decent bagel, they can’t get Uzbekistani takeout at 3:30 a.m., Junior Vasquez doesn’t spin until 3 p.m. the next day, because of this, that, the other, yada yada yada, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. All I have to say is that if John Cloud dislikes D.C. that much, then he needs to get the fuck out. He’s been going to the wrong parties, hanging out in the wrong neighborhoods, and his expectations of N.Y. are skewed. I hope he fondly remembers D.C. when he’s paying $9 for a mediocre movie in Disney Square.

There are, of course, things that I would like to see changed in D.C. I, too, would like to have the option of a decent club. I would like to see more people move into the District than move out. I would like to see the city government actually accomplish something. I would like to see the subway expanded so that you can take it virtually anywhere. I would like to see crime go down, etc.

There will always be things to complain about, and John Cloud is exactly the kind of person who will always be disappointed. I’ll wager that within a few years he will be a pasty denizen of the West Village, wearing a black turtleneck in the depth of summer, and taking his vacations in Key West. Standing in a dark corner of the Boiler Room, or some Chelsea bar, idly stirring his Madras with a little straw, hoping nobody notices his thinning hair. Complaining to all his acquaintances about N.Y., and talking continuously about how much better living in Los Angeles, or Amsterdam, or Hong Kong would be. “Why can’t N.Y. be more like Kuala Lumpur?!? That’s what I want to know!”

Woodley Park

via the Internet