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Baltimore/DC Corridorite
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people say dc lacks character because of the transcience of the population. while i see this being true for people in capitol hill, upper nw etc what about ther poorer parts of the city? maybe dc does have a dxdecent % of people whose families have been there for a decent amt of time. for some reason it's not registering. when people tour dc they would have little contact w/these hoods.
 

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People tour the areas for tourists, which are naturally filled mostly with other tourists. Only smart vacationers would know to look elsewhere for character in Dupont, Adams Morgan, Logan Circle or other neighborhoods.
 

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I for one think the lack of character in DC assertions are bogus. DC has about as much character and charm porportionally as any city around. The transient wine and cheesers are just one element. Most of them are in Crystal City and Bethesda anyway.
 

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Vivo,

When I hear statements like that I tend to cringe because that is the perception of DC. The media would have you believe that the heartbeat of the city is shaped by politics and politicians when in fact, that is the furthest thing from the truth. People talk about DC not having character don't really know the real DC. DC has so much local character, flavor and culture that flies underneath the radar because it is contained in the black community. DC, PG and even certain areas of Northern VA are their own little world. If you are black you know what I am talking about. DC has its own food, style, fashion and music scene separate from any other city.

Did you know DC playground (Home of the DC crossover) basketball is nationally renowed. (http://espn.go.com/page2/wash/s/2002/0311/1349476.html.) The high socks that the basketball players wear originated on the playgrounds in DC. DC is also known for boxing and has deep boxing roots. DC has its own go-go and rock music scene. Many of the dances that were created in the late 80's like the cabbage patch, the *** and the electric slide are from here. The Air Force Ones that all of the rappers wear now originated in Baltimore and to a smaller extent in DC back in the eighties. DC has its own lingo and accent just like NY, Baltimore and Philly. Go to any local DC carry out and ask for Chicken and Mambo. You can only get that in DC. One aspect that I respect and love about DC is that it has never been a NY wanabee.
 

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^^ Those are some great examples, and as prolific as DC's black community has been, it doesn't stop there. The emo rock fad that has taken over every nook of this earth from Japan to the UK began in DC in the mid 1980s with bands like Rites of Springs and Embrace (although it's certainly debatable whether this is a positive cultural contribution). One definite positive contribution, however, is the mojito. Despite the many elaborate myths about its creation, the mojito, the national drink of Cuba, was actually first created by Cuban restaurateurs in Washington, DC.

I don't think it's fair to say that DC has a lack of character because much of DC is characterized by its transience. Very few other cities consistently draw such a diverse population for so many different reasons. That in itself characterizes DC to some extent. I do think that DC has suffered somewhat from this, however. I'm making a huge generalization here, but I believe that many of the people that DC does attract tend to be trend-followers and easily manipulated by the national media and popular fads. Luckily DC also possesses a large population of open-minded individuals who think for themselves. So while DC is home to more than its share of tools, it is also where you'll find some of the most genuine, interesting, and down-to-earth people anywhere. So, I guess that is why DC is perceived to not have its own culture - because it attracts such a wide array of people that no one or two cultures can take such a foothold that they influence the entire city.
 

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Vivo,

When I hear statements like that I tend to cringe because that is the perception of DC. The media would have you believe that the heartbeat of the city is shaped by politics and politicians when in fact, that is the furthest thing from the truth. People talk about DC not having character don't really know the real DC. DC has so much local character, flavor and culture that flies underneath the radar because it is contained in the black community. DC, PG and even certain areas of Northern VA are their own little world. If you are black you know what I am talking about. DC has its own food, style, fashion and music scene separate from any other city.

Did you know DC playground (Home of the DC crossover) basketball is nationally renowed. (http://espn.go.com/page2/wash/s/2002/0311/1349476.html.) The high socks that the basketball players wear originated on the playgrounds in DC. DC is also known for boxing and has deep boxing roots. DC has its own go-go and rock music scene. Many of the dances that were created in the late 80's like the cabbage patch, the *** and the electric slide are from here. The Air Force Ones that all of the rappers wear now originated in Baltimore and to a smaller extent in DC back in the eighties. DC has its own lingo and accent just like NY, Baltimore and Philly. Go to any local DC carry out and ask for Chicken and Mambo. You can only get that in DC. One aspect that I respect and love about DC is that it has never been a NY wanabee.
While I'm loving the flavor of what your saying, there are a few things which aren't accurate.

The ***, cabbage patch, etc, didn't start in DC. It started with NY rappers like Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane etc. It then migragated everywhere. Same with Air Force 1's. New Yorkers been rocking them since like 82 when they came out. Not sure about the electric slide but i'm 99% sure that lady in the 70's (early 80's) made a song about it. Was she from DC? I thought Midwest somewhere...Don't feel like looking it up.

I'm totally feeling you on mumbo sauce however...
 

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I think DC has character. I dont think DC has its OWN character though.. a local character. I say this because most of "DC" is made of imports (people coming to the area for school, work, govt) and outsiders from around the beltway with their nationals baseball caps and redskins bumper stickers claiming to be from DC.

How many people on this forum right now actually live in the city??? were born in the city, went to school in the city??? I wonder how many people claiming to be all about DC can claim "born and raised in DC." With a city population of over 500,000 and a metro population of almost 5 million we know its going to be less than 10%. And thats not taking the college students and politicians in to consideration, and its assuming the remaining part of the citys population was actually born and raised there.

Other cities like Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and New York have a history shaped by its own citizens. Washingtons history has mainly been shaped by politicians... Think about it.. what well known stories in our history books regarding DC had to do with something that wasnt political???

So you know Im not DC bashing, just giving you my honest opinion based on what Ive seen I'll end on a positive note.

For now DC IS a political mecca of the nation and the world... I dont know why people cant be happy with that. Its almost like New Yorkers saying they no longer want to be known as the financial center of the world. I think DC should be patient.. like NY, you both have great transportation systems, great architecture, you're both top 10 tourist destinations, you are both built on people coming from many different areas of the nation and world who want to experience your cities (if it werent for immigrants NYs population would be falling, not growing right now).

Only difference.. its been going on in NY for several hundred years and people actually want to live in the city. I think over time these people moving to DC whether in the city or around the beltway will be embedded in the citys fabric and history and will BECOME DC and DC will have its character... yall are shaping it right now so be careful the image you paint.
 

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Now that I think about it, I guess I know why DC doesnt want that government label.. cause who likes the government anyway??? no one i th ink.. Its kind of the same for NY but a lil more evenly divided.. if you love money and capitalism then you love NY, but if you dont then you might hate it... but NY is known for so many other things though like music and art which appeases most opponents of capitalism. DC has to find its OTHER niche I think.. something other than night clubs selling 10 dollar bud lights... thats not the character u want other ppl to know u for. :cheers:

Boston - beans
Baltimore - crabs
Philadelphia - cheesesteaks
Seattle - coffee
NY - pizza/hot dogs
Washington - 10 dollar bud lights
 

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Now that I think about it, I guess I know why DC doesnt want that government label.. cause who likes the government anyway??? no one i th ink.. Its kind of the same for NY but a lil more evenly divided.. if you love money and capitalism then you love NY, but if you dont then you might hate it... but NY is known for so many other things though like music and art which appeases most opponents of capitalism. DC has to find its OTHER niche I think.. something other than night clubs selling 10 dollar bud lights... thats not the character u want other ppl to know u for. :cheers:

Boston - beans
Baltimore - crabs
Philadelphia - cheesesteaks
Seattle - coffee
NY - pizza/hot dogs
Washington - 10 dollar bud lights
Washington - Half smokes
 

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"How many people on this forum right now actually live in the city??? were born in the city, went to school in the city??? I wonder how many people claiming to be all about DC can claim "born and raised in DC."

I was born and raised in DC. Born at Washington Hospital Center. My mother was born at the same hospital. So was my father. He was also born and raised in DC. And, his family too. My family's history in DC is traced back to the late 19th century. I also grew up in a community of people who are native Washingtonians. One man, over 90 years old, has spent the majority of his life in the same house right down the street from us. He still cuts his grass and drives to church every Sunday. I am like family to my neighbours. I can just walk in to a number of houses like I live there. That is in NW DC.

I went to city schools. Dunbar Senior High School. I was in the Pre-Engineering program there. I can honestly say that I had a good education in DC. And, I turned out fine. I also was raised in a family that values education, and they taught me to think independently. It didn't matter the school because my family taught me how to learn outside of the school (going to libraries, going to DC's over 80 museums, etc).

DC is often characterized by people who have not taken the time to get to know the real DC beyond what they see on TV or hear from other people. And there are some people who only know the federal DC, and quite honestly, I sense that is all that they want to know. They come and visit DC without going out to at least some of the 45 neighbourhoods in DC. And, there are plenty of indepedent, unique retail and art galleries in DC that gives it character also (especially in Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Barracks Row, U Street, 14th Sreet corridor, Cleveland Park, and Georgetown)

Oh yes, here is some DC character - the crowds of people who spontaneously dance in the parks and on the sidewalks around Dupont Circle to the bands that set up and play all around there. Now, that is lively.
 

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In my 4 years at college park and the past 6 years working in Bethesda Ive learned

PPL from the DC area are die hard redskins fans and hate the cowboys.

DC has a lot of government activity going on.

DC has a lot of museums and monuments and theyre all free.

DC has go go music.. i hate it but thats a personal opinion.

Bama

DC has a lot of over priced clubs selling over priced drinks to people who think its cool to have 100-1000 dollar bar tabs

Dont drive to DC.. you'll get stuck in traffic or lost.. take the metro.. metro is good.

Now ive learned about ppl dancing in dupont circle.. teach me more.. i would like to learn.
 

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Only parts of DC are characterized by politics.. the world beyond the Mall area is completely different, and composed of vast numbers of native Washingtonians and people who were raised in the suburbs in MD or VA but who now live in the District or spent large portions of their lives spending time in DC (like me). Anyone who says that the character of DC is political is exactly the type of person who doesn't know the city well at all. Yes, it is composed of many newcomers, but that is the hallmark of a city with a bright future--many of them will stay, some will leave, just like with any city, but you don't see the population of DC in flux at the moment, demonstrating that there are, in fact, vast numbers of natives or long-term DC residents living in the very characteristic upper NW, NE, and SE neighborhoods. It's hard for a city with such an overwhelmingly politically-oriented reputation (when do you ever hear of DC in the media outside of the Balt-DC area for something not related to politics?) to have its real city character stand out and be heard.
 

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Only parts of DC are characterized by politics.. the world beyond the Mall area is completely different, and composed of vast numbers of native Washingtonians and people who were raised in the suburbs in MD or VA but who now live in the District or spent large portions of their lives spending time in DC (like me). Anyone who says that the character of DC is political is exactly the type of person who doesn't know the city well at all. Yes, it is composed of many newcomers, but that is the hallmark of a city with a bright future--many of them will stay, some will leave, just like with any city, but you don't see the population of DC in flux at the moment, demonstrating that there are, in fact, vast numbers of natives or long-term DC residents living in the very characteristic upper NW, NE, and SE neighborhoods. It's hard for a city with such an overwhelmingly politically-oriented reputation (when do you ever hear of DC in the media outside of the Balt-DC area for something not related to politics?) to have its real city character stand out and be heard.
Whether you want to accept it or not, this is the only thing that comes out of DC.. politics and museums. All that other stuff.. no one knows about it but you.

People from DC have to make up their minds... Do you want other ppl to learn more about you.. do you want to be known for something other than politics and museums or do you want to keep it all to yourselves.

Hypocrisy.

On the one hand you say you want to be known for something other than politics. Someone from the outside chimes in and says but thats all i know about you... politics.. and EVERY time, the response is well screw you, your not from here so you just dont know.

I applaud the one person who told me about people dancing in the streets of Dupont Circle cause that is the FIRST time anyone has ever actually backed up the comment that DC is more than just politics with an actual example giving me insight in to the heart of DC and its people. All the rest of you just continue to complain about just being known for politics.. and you know whats going to come from that.. you WILL be known for more than politics.. you'll also be known for complaining.. and THAT is why DC is seen as a city searching for its character.. because when asked what is your character.. no one answers anything except.. "more than politics"

SO please, as i said before, TEACH ME about this thing that is more than politics.. what is DC.

Being a Baltimorean for rivalry purposes Im usually a DC basher but being that I think this is going to be a DC forum I didnt want to just be an ass and I actually wanted to try to get you started on the right path by stating what I know about DC.. instead of crying about how know one knows about you.. actually DO something about it and start teaching.
 

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house3780,

I can back up my claims about DC with the best of them!


Dancing in Dupont Circle
People do that just about anywhere where there's a band playing outside on a nice afternoon. Even in the town I grew up in in suburban NJ during the weekly summer concerts. I don't think that's evidence of any sort of unique character.
 

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All the rest of you just continue to complain about just being known for politics.. and you know whats going to come from that.. you WILL be known for more than politics.. you'll also be known for complaining.. and THAT is why DC is seen as a city searching for its character.. because when asked what is your character.. no one answers anything except.. "more than politics"
I don't personally understand why people complain about these things. Government, and to a lesser extent politics, is the character of the DC metro... so what! The rest is a combination of the individual elements of the country as a whole. Would they rather have the character of Indianapolis?
 

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these are not concerts, these are people spontaneously dancing in the streets.

And, it sure isn't anything related to politics.
 

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I don't personally understand why people complain about these things. Government, and to a lesser extent politics, is the character of the DC metro... so what! The rest is a combination of the individual elements of the country as a whole. Would they rather have the character of Indianapolis?

It is only a character of DC, one of many possible characterizations. To be content and to acknowledge one of them, especially a very staid and uncreative one like politics, is just not satisfying and not a part of the creative class of what makes world-class cities around the world memorable. And, the pulse of DC away from the National Mall (the people who live and grew up here) is not all centered around politics anyway.

The confidence level amongst Washingtonians could stand to go up a little and to embrace and teach to others about the multiple faces of our neighborhoods.
 
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