This Atlantic Wire article on why D.C. will never be the hippest city of them all is infuriating, but not because it insults the city’s collective street credibility. After all, the Forbes“politico hipster” blurb that kicked this off was largely treated like a joke, at least until some people didn’t get it.
Instead, writer Rebecca Greenfield‘s piece is irritating because it begs for your engagement, turns out to be inadequate for it, then makes you feel stupid for even trying—-essentially, a Chinese finger trap of clickbait.
But who can resist? Like any great piece of writing, it’s very dense, and you’re encouraged to find your own arguments to knock down. Here are some of my favorites:
D.C. restaurants are notoriously overpriced. Back in 2009 the city had the second most expensive average drink price. That still feels true. Unlike New York or San Francisco or Philadelphia, there’s no mid-price in the D.C. food scene: it’s either the Equinox or Panera.
The cheapest dinner entree at Equinox is $14, and it’s in a pretty lonely spot down-menu. If you know a restaurant that has meals that cost less than $14, but are better than a $7 sandwich at Panera Bread, then congratulations—-you have discovered the first hole in Greenfield’s argument.
Really, if anyone should be mad about this article, it’s Panera. Their menu is generally delicious, and we should be lucky enough to someday have it associated with our dining scene.
Greenfield also thinks the District’s ‘zine sales are eternally depressed because the Metro is too clean:
To keep the nation’s capital looking good, which is a noble cause, the metro station attendants scold people who break the rules. Once someone told me to stop drinking my coffee, for example. As a result, it all has to be very sterile.
At the risk of playing into Greenfield’s hands, if you’re drinking coffee on the Metro, you should get a talking-to. Them’s the rules—-and pretty easy-to-follow ones with a clear purpose, at that. If I took a train to New York and kicked a cop in the shins, could I complain that the city had lost its edge when they booked me?
Illustration by Carey Jordan