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Between human fecal matter in my back seat and clean, safe streets I’ll accept the latter rather than the former.

My first reaction to “Stuck Inside Bethesda With the D.C. Blues Again” (12/27/96) was surprise and shock. After proper time for process and digestion (all of 30 seconds), the shock wore off. It’s not that as a very happy resident of Bethesda I don’t take offense at such a delusional and distorted view of my beloved home; I do take solace in the fact that Eddie Dean, the author of the article (which reminds me of the similarly intellectually devoid Unabomber’s manifesto), is a native of Virginia (growing up in Maryland, I spent most of my life thinking the state was actually called Goddamn Virginia).

Similarly to Dean, I too spent time as a resident of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. As a graduate student at Catholic University in the early 1990s I resided on Park Street NE. Although I never woke to find human excrement in my car’s back seat, I did experience the displeasure of having my row house broken into twice (during my one-year stay in Northeast). I quickly grew tired and frustrated with the District of Columbia. The filth, corruption, coldheartedness, and hypocrisy of it all inspired me to move back into my home state of Maryland—Montgomery County, to be precise (the thought of taking residence in Goddamn Virginia never crossed my mind). Approximately four years ago I settled in Bethesda, attracted by its cleanliness, convenience, and sense of community.

Dean describes the horrors of Bethesda as: manicured and cared-for landscaping, conscientious neighbors with regard for cleanliness, and the dreaded lack of street crime. Does anyone else out there, as a result of reading this article, feel as though Bethesda is such a godawful place to live?

I doubt Dean accomplished what he set out to do. I can only speculate that the intentions were to trash a safe, fun, convenient town; only, by this article, I can’t find any examples to substantiate the intention.

Eddie Dean, what was the point? If you are so unhappy with Bethesda, just look south down Wisconsin Avenue—D.C. is still there waiting for you. Just be careful not to sit in the feces.

Maryland Native

Bethesda Resident