Friday, June 03, 2005

What? You don't think we're friendly? Hey! Then suck it, assface!

It was just one of those memes. Just one of those crazy memes. A trip to the Bay on denial's sweet wings. Just one of those memes.

Why I Hate DC is back from San Francisco, and he brings with him some freshly baked straw men from his bakery on Hate-Assberry. We're not friendly in Washington, DC! And as usual, we're the only place in Christendom where always is heard an unfriendly word from the populace. We're mean to tourists! And he's got the proof on DCist, so long as you ignore the exculpatory testimonies of people who help tourists out. The layout of DC is confusing, he says! Yeah, San Francisco is a shining example of sense-laden layout: alpha order only in the Sunset, numbers only in Richmond and Noe Valley-to-Potrero Hill-to-SOMA (perpendicular to and off-count with each other), tons of unconnected last names to memorize and, really, who can beat the way SOMA's violent diagonals intercede with the rest of the city! It's a dream! Really!

People are friendly in San Francisco. It helps that you stick to hip hoods, though, where everyone is young, rich, and and carrying good dope. End up in a tourist mecca like the Wharf, or downtown on Market Street (which I like to call the Emstarbuckadero), and you run into dicks by the yard, I'm afraid. For that matter, your enjoyment of San Francisco in recent years has been predicated upon your ability to avoid supporters of Green Party douchebag Matt Gonzalez. Those guys are such bracingly refined assholes that it's almost inspirational.

Personally, I find the two cities to be pretty equal in their hospitality, and I'm sure my SF friends aren't lacking for tourist torture stories. DC's overall culture starts in a deep hole because we host the seat of government and the ghouls that cavort in its sepulchric halls. Additionally, DCers are in bad need of some chilling out--every once in a while, everyones' need to feel essential to life as we know it gets overbearing. But unfriendly? I just say no! I go to a Bluestate show: friendly. File some tax-exempt forms: friendly. Walk into Tryst: friendly. Cool out with beers up in Mt. Pleasant: friendly. Gig at Iota: friendly. Shop in Georgetown or Clarendon, eat out downtown, catch a show at Woolly or Studio, stand on line at Fresh Fields or Staples: friendly! Yo, James! Where all the dicks be at?

Maybe we're having disparate experiences. All I know, is that clearly, I am having the correct one. My seminal experience with DC friendliness happened many moons ago. GWU was in the NCAAs for the first time under Jarvis. I was in town on Spring Break. My pal Ron was at his internship, and I was in for a wait of a few hours. I ducked into a restaurant near the Post Office Pavillion and grabbed a seat at the bar. The Colonials were on and I spent the afternoon relaxing with a crew of about six other people--some off work, some playing hooky; probably representing six separate areas of DC--swapping stories and buying rounds. I find DC, on balance, to be more akin to that afternoon than the weird alien landscape WIHDC depicts. I'll grant you: yesterday, I did have to offer some strenuous corrective instruction to a cab driver in Washington Circle--but any place is gonna be bad if you fixate on the pimps and the chuds.

Hey. Just to show I can erect a few straw people of my own, lemme theorize here. I'd lay you dollars to full-priced Krispy Kremes that the people who form the Why I Hate DC Amen Corner are the very same people who are out there running the localized dickhead mini-offensive. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find that James' constituency and the object of his ire are one and the same. That would explain rather handily, why these unfriendly DCers resolutely refuse to appear in the hoods and bars and shows and parties and exhibits and restaurants that I frequent.

Again, this is just a thought. I was able to compose it this morning while walking up K Street in relative relaxation and quiet--because in Washington DC, we don't spend the morning rush hour constantly honking at each other.


Saving Souls said...

You my friend have never been to any other city outside of DC based on your posting. DC is the worst and i'm not a dickhead. It has the most pretentious, wannabee's, racist, and coniving twerps in all of are land of jefferson. I have no idea what part of the city you've been in, but if that place really existed i would love to experience it too. This is by far a me first city and i've never experienced anything like that, until i moved to dc.

The Deceiver said...

I tried to see things from your point of view, but I couldn't fit my head up your asshole too.

Anonymous said...

you really are a one trick pony, aren't you? bash away at one easy target after another. your life must be so empty. i would love it if instead of attacking from the safety of your computer bunker, you actually went out and confronted some of your targets personally. or are you just afraid that you'll get your ass kicked. seriously, what joy does it bring you to rail on and on against everyone except your theater company and dcist? I know you'll just respond to this with one of your typically snarky, look-how-funny-I-am posts, but, who knows, maybe this will actually reach you on some sort of real level. I hope so.

cuff said...

Saving souls: grammar class my friend. Your sentences are undecipherable.

DCeiver: you're being kind of hard on James. The doctors are still working on his meds.

The Deceiver said...

Hey anonymous, that really reached me on a level. Maybe the next time my "computer bunker" gets fumigated, I can borrow yours? Or do I have to be some nameless pootyhose to use it? Anyway, just thought I'd ask, seeing as how we've all bonded and stuff. Anyway, gotta go throw some hay at my pony.

PK said...

Yeah, I don't know, saving souls. I've lived four years in each of James' cities (SF and DC), and I can honestly say that the only real difference is that when you're new to a city, YOU are a lot friendlier. I loved my first week in SF, until I realized people only seemed friendly because I was drunk the entire time. After that honeymoon, when I lived there (97-01), the place was just as full of pretentious assholes as DC. They were Internet assholes, not government ones - but really, does that make a difference?

Blue urban America is pretty much one place these days - the populace, particularly the young and educated populace (like, say, the kinds of people who read blogs), really doesn't differ that much from place to place in my experience. The cities in which I've spent an appreciable amount of time - DC, SF, Chicago, NYC - were all basically full of the same people, if you compared apple to apple in the better neighborhoods.

As for James, he clearly has chosen to pursue a thesis for the sake of humor and screen out any evidence to the contrary - kind of a "Bush Doctrine" approach. Which, as we know, is interesting for a while, but is eventually not all that convincing.

Anonymous said...

San Francisco does not tolerate high volumes of "velvet rope" pay-to-come-in-and-drink pretentious bars/restaraunts that cover DC. I don't know what that says about "niceness", but it does imply a much more inclusive atmosphere (at least on a social level).

San Franciscans seem a lot more laid back/flaky (depending on your point of view; I go with 'flaky')

As for "niceness", I always felt the people in SF were nicer than those in DC. Does that mean Sf has no dickheads? Obviously not. Does that mean DC is all rude assholes. Obviously not. It all depends on who you talk to, I guess.

The thing is, DC is much more transitory than a place like SF, and so a random sampling of people here is likely to turn up more people not from here, who aren't planning on staying here long and don't have a real emotional connection to the place.

The Deceiver said...

I agree with the POV that it really boils down to six of one and a half dozen of the other when you really get out and compare places, but frankly, I find the whole "DC is a transitory place" meme to be a canard. It's at least an idea that's way overblown. There's a lot of people who accept that as gospel, and yet, outside of the cicadas who populate the Federal government, who else does that really apply to? Culturally speaking, this limited pool of transients offer the city little more than vapor--adding little and detracting less--that I'm surprised anyone really even notices them, let alone endows them with the signifcance required to support the DC-is-transient meme.

In time, you'll find people in the city who really care about their neighborhoods and take stock in the cast of characters they see on a daily basis. I have found that DC's streets are more inviting when you do get to know people with that emotional connection you're speaking about. It kind of helps to "decode" everything. They're out there, and you'll find 'em!

PK said...

Not to turn this into an economic rant or something, but I think the idea that "DC is transitory" only applies to the mid-to-upper class "symbolic analyst" types. There are certainly plenty of people that have lived in DC for generations.

During my time in SF, I worked with about the same ratio of locals to suburban locals to transients as I do now. The difference, I suppose, is that there are nicer neighborhoods in SF that people really could stay and grow up in. In DC, anybody with the money moved out in the 60s and 70s.

I do wonder about the 'velvet rope' thing, though. There are a few establishments like that in North Beach, but you're right - DC has more. I don't know why, but that's cool - I also don't know anybody who goes to them. Maybe that's why I like DC!

North Beach said...

I'm a native of SF who came to DC for school. I've lived in both places, on and off, for over six years (class of '01). I read DCeiver's theory regarding WIHDC-guy's good times in my hometown, i.e. he basically stuck to the upscale areas...but when DCeiver was mentioning good things about DC, he surprisingly mentioned...only the upscale areas. That's fine-- it's totally expected that loyalists will focus on the parts of their city that fill them with pride, I just thought it was a little hypocritical. I'm sure the DCeiver will now mention how he can't find my asshole to fit his head in or something else similarly lame (which is the whole reason why I don't read him regularly-- that "I'm a Badass!" shit gets tired).

DC has rude people and plenty of velvet-outlined pretention. The truth is, people in CA *are* more chill. Life is slower and the sun makes people happier. No one dresses up to go out the way they do here; I know this because I was drastically under-dressed for my first few clubbing experiences in this city, and similarly, when I went home for winter break, I longed to look more polished as I got ready for a night out in SF.

I've never seen someone get turned away from a club in SF for their outfit; I see that happen here weekly. Does this make DC a shitty city? No, it's just different. I wish people weren't so unnerved by the WIHDC blog...he points out the truth about the DC-area, but none of us who read him are so cognitively impaired that we can't ALSO exult in a view of the washington monument from a NoVa high-rise, the elegance of a quiet georgetown neighborhood, the energy (and food) of Adams Morgan, the dignity of the hill. It's not a zero-sum game, though it's very "DC" of you to try and make it one.

The Deceiver said...

I never said this was a zero sum game and I've met friendly folks in all neighborhoods of this city. You should have concluded by now that I spend an inordinate amount of time on Columbia Road between 14th and 15th--hardly "upscale".

What "velvet rope" culture there is in DC--and it's a total blip on the city's cultural radar--can be avoided, without any adverse effects on your social life. Judging from my own experience, this must be where DC's dickhead population lurks.

The Deceiver said...

That said, I grant you that Californians are more "chill."

James F said...

1. I'm not taking seriously the opinion of the same snobby ass who called Cheesecake Factory "mangy waste." It's. Just. Not. Happening.

(BTW, that's one of my favorite in-joke quotes with my wife now. "Let's meet for some mangy waste before the movie!")

2. So we don't frequent the same hangouts. But if the people there use the word "meme" as many times as you do, I think I'm better off.

The Deceiver said...

Cha. I didn't think you would, James, seeing as how you'd defend the gastric bukkake of the Cheesecake Factory.

Matt said...

Wait, James is defending Cheesecake Factory as quality dining? Now I know how he arrived at the conclusion that Atlanta is superior to DC.