Tuesday, October 24, 2006

my opinion of Washington DC

So I'm in Washington, D.C. right now.

I personally think this is one of the worst cities in the country. I once lived right outside of D.C. in an area called Falls Church, and it was terrible. I find people here to be very rude. They also appear to be extremely self-serving, with constant inquiry about other people's jobs and benefits and connections. It seems like people are either evaluating whether or not you're a respectable enough connection to converse with, or they are mentally comparing your situation to theirs. If your situation is far better, they continue speaking with you because they think you have potential to help them somewhere down the road. If it's worse, they end the conversation and then use it as a subject in future conversation with someone else about why they wouldn't want to have your job. "So I was talking to this publicist the other day..and I just can't imagine living off of......." My sister says it's because it's such a "competitive market." I think it's because people are in a rat race to get a corner office and a big Christmas bonus. I guess I'm the rat that would prefer to escape from the cage and go play in a puddle.

I just get the impression that people care about work, their status, and their economic situation more than anything else. And then there's politics.

There are so many homeless people here.

The homeless people in Miami lie around on the beach. In NYC, they set up tin cans as drums and bang on them with sticks for tips or else they stand there and recite poems or look as pathetic as possible and set a cup out in front of them. But here they harass you. They will follow you and keep asking for spare change, and when you don't give them any..they get annoyed with you...like you are obligated to give them money. Last night, I watched a guy beg for change outside of the metro. Then he got enough to ride the metro, where he sat behind some poor woman and repeatedly begged her for some change so he could get off the metro. Just walk, for christ's sake! You have nothing better to do.

If I were homeless, I would save up enough money to hitch a ride to Florida. Then you don't have to worry so much about clothes or bad weather. And you could sleep on the beach, dig a hole and make a little fire....listen to the waves, relax..maybe even catch a fish or two for dinner. What's wrong with these DC homeless people? Although, sometimes their forts are pretty impressive...with garbage bags for walls and maybe an old rug for a roof. It might be kind of interesting to tour around the country and take pictures of homeless people's living quarters and then make a photojournalism book about it. Then you could donate proceeds to Goodwill or something. I think that might be pretty powerful. FYI-The painting on the upper left was painted by my mother, who's a great, great artist.

So. yea. DC. It's cold. I got to see my sister, which was great. We had dinner last night. She has a new job that's really stressful and time consuming, so she seemed exhausted. I worry about her a lot. I also got to see my dad, which was wonderful. I don't get to see my family much these days because they all live far away and work a lot, like me, so it was nice to get a little time with them. The thing I love the most about my dad is that when you don't know what something means, he doesn't make you feel stupid about it. You can say, "What does it mean when someone says he's a Fiscal conservative social liberal?" And my dad will give you a very thorough definition, without reacting in that way that people do when they think something is common sense and that you're stupid for not knowing it. He's great though. And my mom, the only other family member I have aside from my sister, is great too.

My mom is legally blind (she has glasses) and has lost over 70% of her hearing, and she is still one of the most upbeat people I know. She's also a super talented artist and competes in big shows throughout the year. Here is one of my favorite paintings that she's done:

I love this one because the man looks so happy. It reminds me of an old man who has passed away and is on his way to heaven...and he's watching the best moments of his life go by..and he's laughing and remembering and at peace. I'd like to think this is what happens when good people die. I really miss my boyfriend and my dog right now. Brett told me this cute story today. He said that last night he brought in this bucket of car washing stuff that I had left on the porch, and he put it in the closet. So a bit later on, the dog was going crazy, right? Scampering all over the place and smelling everything and jumping on the furniture. So Brett looks in the living room, and about 20 little baby frogs had been in the bucket and were hopping all over the living room. So, he spent his evening chasing around the frogs and putting them back outside. I just think baby frogs are so adorable. Once the dog found a baby lizard (by the way, he likes to play with these creatures and watch them...it's really cute), and Brett and I spent atleast a half and hour trying to get the little thing out from under the furniture..and that bastard was fast.

On a totally different subject. Whenever I hear people whispering, I always feel like they're talking about me. Kenny, who feels the same way, says this is a very self-absorbed attitude to have. "What makes you think you're so important that people are spending time talking about you?" And that's a good point.

Oh, and one more thing, I had to get reading glasses. You know how freakin' expensive glasses are? Good Lord! I spent entirely too much money on them. I don't look particularly good in glasses, but whatever. They are just for reading so that I don't get headaches. I went with the artsy fartsy black, Law and Order frames. Here they are:

Great, huh? yea...great. On another note, my surf board is FINISHED! I'm am so psyched. When I get home, I get to go pick it up. So thrilled. That's about all that's new with me. I can't wait to go home. It's cold and miserable here. As soon as I stepped off the plane, I remembered exactly why I dislike this city so much. Ok, til next time.


Blogger fashionista said...

"Then you don't have to worry so much about clothes or bad weather. "

It's too bad that you didn't have a good experience in DC, but I think homeless people are the same wherever you go. In Florida, I'm sure they have to worry about threats of hurricanes and worry about clothes just as I'm sure they have to worry about clothes and the weather in whatever part of the country they live.

And DC isn't the only place that has a rat race, where people are concerned about status and money. Other large, metropolitan cities have the same problem: LA, NYC, Chicago, and yes, Miami.

5:22 AM  
Blogger greymaulkin said...

Judging DC by Falls Church is like judging Miami by Tampa. You need to get out and meet more people.

5:40 AM  
Blogger Darth Bush said...

A small fiddle is needed? This is a city of Empire, and it makes sense that those who seek power and are influenced by power dominate the landscape. To complain about this is like going to Hollywood, and wondering why everyone aspites to be an actor.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Law-Rah said...

Just to add to fashionista's homeless comment:

When I first moved here from Louisiana, I was amazed at how pestering I thought the homeless were. After five years here, I realize it just depends on where you are. There are multiple garbage/drum beating homeless guys around that are always entertaining. The Foggy Bottom metro stop also boasts of singing and performing homeless gents daily. Furthermore, you might find homeless people helping set up/take down the hot dog carts or even at the Metro selling their own published newspaper. (Street Sense).

You must have just hit the wrong side of town.

5:48 AM  
Blogger grince said...

Homelessness is a serious issue:

Washington Post, Oct 22, 2006

A total of 2,839 families applied for emergency shelter [in Washington, D.C.] in fiscal 2006, which ended Sept. 30, according to the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, the nonprofit organization that administers the city's homeless services. That is a decrease from the peak of 3,326 in 2004, but fewer housing units are available than previously, officials said. In fiscal 1996, 1,406 families applied for shelter.

Deputy Mayor Brenda Donald Walker said the city is "on target" with Williams's plan, having built 300 units of transitional housing in the first full year of implementation. "We've made tremendous progress," said Walker, deputy mayor for children, youth, families and elders. But she acknowledged that demand for shelter, especially for families, far exceeds supply.

The number of such transitional housing units is dwarfed by the growing problem. Because of rising housing prices in the District, fewer affordable apartments are available. Between 2000 and 2004, according to a report by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, the District lost 7,500 apartments priced at less than $500 a month. Housing officials say that more than 50,000 people are on waiting lists for a spot in public housing or through local aid or federally subsidized voucher programs.

Jesberg said she is so concerned that some weeks ago, as interim director of the human services agency, she urged a vice president of the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington, the city's biggest housing lobby, to encourage building owners to delay evicting tenants. She asked the public housing authority director to do the same. Jesberg said she wanted landlords to give the city a chance to implement a new $7 million rental assistance program.


6:23 AM  
Blogger Brunch Bird said...

Fellow readers, having moved to D.C. from south Florida myself a year ago, I assure you that this young lass is correct. Homeless people there enjoy an idyllic life of beach napping and fishing. In the evenings, they gather 'round the fire and sing songs extolling their good fortune. So do not be tempted to think this girl an unmitigated ignoramus. She has deftly characterized D.C.'s shortcomings when placed in comparison to south Florida, especially where the homeless are concerned. South Florida truly is a Hobo's Valhalla.*

*Albeit one where teenagers enjoy beating the homeless to death as occurred in Fort Lauderdale in January.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Rosy said...

Most readers have missed the point - it's Black Humor. Lighten up!! "Who's driving that car, Stevie Wonder?"

7:42 AM  
Blogger fashionista said...

Me? I know from dark humor (I love Swift's "A Modest Proposal").

As for the homeless: Yes, it is a serious issue, but as far as comparing between DC and Miami, or NYC and Chicago, or DC and Chicago, or NYC and LA (you get my point), I can't fathom that any homeless situation would be idyllic.

5:04 PM  

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