Monday, April 27, 2009

the atmosphere also hates dc

It's no riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma (big up to Winston Churchill!) that DC blows. I've unscientifically proven that here, here and here. I could list more, but I'll let the title of this blog speak for itself.

However, after perusing some of the past 400 (yes, FOUR HUNDRED) posts I've somehow managed to conjure up, I've found a pattern in my complaints. Not everything seems to suck in DC. In fact, most things about DC that I've come to hate have to do with things people have control over. That is, the reasons why DC blows has nothing to do with the city necessarily, but instead with the people and policies (which are imposed on us by people) that run this inexhaustible goblet we call home.

For example, ever since I started working for $2.37 an hour down in Georgetown, I've come to realize that Georgetown, the physical neighborhood, is one of the most scenic parts of DC. The thing is, it's hard to notice the legitimate beauty of the ante- and post-bellum architecture when it's swarmed by roving grists of jagbags. Not only do all the mismatched colors in their patchy madras have the same effect on me as the Department of Homeland Security's "Puke Saber" technology, but between all the high-fives and shouts of "brah!" my senses on M Street are about as acute as Helen Keller's.

But imagine this: Imagine a world in which Georgetown was the quaint seaport neighborhood it was meant to be. Instead of tip-toeing around piles of puke left behind not from the Puke Saber but from drunk douches, you'd be tip-toeing around parades of baby ducks taking a break from swimming around the C&O Canal. The federal and classical revival structures would be in full view and you'd be enjoying a lovely grape and lime flavored sno-cone, at least in my post-apocalyptic Georgetown fantasy. I love sno-cones.

Indeed, Georgetown would be lovely without people.

Moving north, my neighborhood, Mt. Pleasant, would be a much more, uh, pleasant place if the people who manage this city cared about its residents more than vehicle commuters. Although perhaps it was ultimately my fault for choosing an apartment that overlooks 16th Street, I find it ridiculous that any city street in a residential neighborhood would ever be five lanes wide. That's wider than several major highways and freeways. Sure, this may make it easier for the suburban jagbags to get into the city (perhaps, to pollute the simple beauty of Georgetown), but what does this do for the residents, the people DC lawmakers are supposedly elected to serve? It does nothing but wake us up at 6:30 am when the morning commute starts. This makes us angry. And tired. But heaven forbid this city's lawmakers make any move to encourage alternative methods of commuting (train/bus/bike) and improve the lives of its denizens by installing a tree-lined center island to decrease traffic or, at the very least, prevent people from barrelling through at 50+ miles per hour.

Oh, Washington, DC: The Little City That Could.

I-think-it-can. I-think-it-can. I-think-it...wait. Why am I sweating?


What the hell is this? Just when I think DC, itself, could be cool and it was just the people and policies that ensure this city remains a pock on America's freedom-loving face, something beyond human control comes along and proves me wrong. DC blows because of the weather.

Or maybe this isn't simply atmospheric whim. Maybe the atmosphere hates DC more than I do. I mean, why is it that Spring refuses to even visit? Could reducing traffic help us? Maybe banning madras on anyone over the age of 10? Would that help? Tell me, Spring, what do I need to do to make you comfortable here? I'll put my Puke Saber away so it won't accidentally hurt you! I need you, if only for a week or so! I love layering too much! I have so many spring-themed outfits in mind! But without you, nary a layer I can even wear!

Also, I want to cycle around town (dodging traffic, of course) without sweating through my shorts! I want to make the most out of underemployment by finding a shady spot in Meridian Hill Park to read my book! (By the way, I highly recommend The Russian Debutante's Handbook.) I want to busk by setting up my Dildo Street Puppet Theater in Dupont Circle!

Yet here I am. Indoors. Plans thwarted.

Or are they? Spring have you heard my cry? Science is telling me it's going to be 70, 63 and 73 degrees, respectively, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Is that true? If so, Spring, you can stay longer if you want.

DC, don't f*ck this up.


Patty Duke said...

I have found Georgetown to be it's most beautiful between 10 and 11 o'clock during the weekdays. Less people during that time.

And speaking of heat, I expecting to open my windows this weekend, not turn on my air conditioner.

Ned Schneebly said...

You're on to something important that most "jagbags" can't even comprehend; Commuter automobile traffic is a major detriment to the quality of life in DC.

Can you imagine being so completely car-dependant that you cannot even grasp the notion that you are completely car-dependant? Neither can I. But if you move back to wherever-the-heck-you're-from, you may become one of "them" by necessity.

I loved the $5 gallons of gasoline last summer. I'd love to see $8 gas this summer.

Marissa said...

patty--I hear ya. Less traffic too, maybe. I called an asshole in a red BMW convertible today a dick after he nearly ran me into a truck AND a person. He's all, "What? What did I do?" I'm like, "Uh, you almost killed me." He goes, "How?" "You nearly slammed me into that truck." "Oh. Are you sure?" "YES. I'M SURE." "Oh." "You're dismissed."

Actually, I didn't get to say "You're dismissed" because he gunned it at the next light. I guess maybe he was embarrassed? Or just a dick.

ned--Well, I doubt I'll ever move back to wherever the hell I'm from (Mankato, MN), but my dream is to move onto a heavily fortified compound somewhere Montana maybe. But I'll ride horses. Or donkeys. Or elephants. I haven't worked out all the details yet.

Patty Duke said...

I hope that you are OK

Hmm elephant vs BMW wich one will win.

This is one of the few things I hate about DC, the drivers. I don't drive, but when I'm in the care with my husband, I curse stupid drivers more than my him and he's the one doing the driving. I actually took drivers ed, and gave up in disgust. I could'nt deal with DC area drivers.

M@ said...

This reminds me of the time two summers ago when I got really drunk and hooked up w/ this chick and then raced up 16th Street toward her place at 85 miles per hour with my VA-registered vehicle. Hey, I was in a rush. And thank god for 24-hour RiteAids.

They should really put some more cops around there, though. I can see your point.

Marissa said...

patty--I'm fine. Luckily the brakes on my bike still work. Sorta.

m@--Um, drunk driving? I can't help but be reminded of this:

Cops, however, probably wouldn't have helped much. They get more joy out of yelling at cyclists for turning right on red (true story) than stopping drunk drivers.

Ned Schneebly said...

Marissa - Your comments reminded me of this flowchart.

M@ said...

Would I be cooler to admit to you that I've also ridden my bicycle while intoxicated? Now THAT is a challenge! Pedestrians, watch out!