Know Thy Neighborhoods

Living in a new place is a little like learning a new language, albeit one of roads and neighborhoods and hidden markers. This is hard on a newcomer, because suddenly you’re faced with a map that has a secret identity and you have to uncover it like a murder mystery so you can plot your strategies.

I take my grocery shopping kind of seriously that way.

For instance:

1. I haven’t really been able to devote much time to understanding/memorizing but the briefest of geographical layouts of the areas outside the Capital Beltway. Yes, I reckon that’s being stuck-up. Yes, I realize that the DC Metro area is actually so HUGE it extends to Baltimore– Baltimore being the largest city in it, actually. Do I think that’s fair? Hell no. As far as I’m concerned, “metropolitan areas” are this political copout to artificially enlarge populations and get voter ratios all skewed. Does a person living in, say, Manassas or Gaithersburg really give a crap about my trash collection days or the tax I get charged for food items? I didn’t think so.

2. Seriously, Baltimore is part of this metropolitan area??? Baltimore is like 50 minutes away in good traffic! Census people are weird.

3. It seems no one really knows the borders of Capitol Hill. Some say this mythical beast of a neighborhood (“Our nation’s neighborhood”) spans from the Capitol to 15th street. Some say it’s just to 10th street SE. Some say it’s just to 7th street. From M street NE to M street SE? No, not so. From the highway to F street? No, not that either. Okay, is it to H street then? In some areas, maybe.
Does anyone really know?

4. DC really gets completely robbed for some things (10% sales tax in restaurants?! SUPER expensive gas?!? excise tax-thingies?! fees for services that seem fishy??! that stupid fee the city gets when a property is sold/bought?!), and I don’t see you people –you with your shiny senators and congressmen that supposedly fight for your rights– getting all riled up about it. So don’t complain about your commute. That’s right. Taxation WITHOUT Representation is the name of our game here in the nation’s capital. Next time you feel the need to complain, remember you have a public official to whom you can direct your whining. Ours can hear our complaints, but she can’t vote. FSH ISH!

5. Mosquitos, alas, do not know geographical barriers. And they LURVE me.

6. I hate mosquitos.

7. As horrible as violent crime is –and DC is a violent little city, boy howdy!– I am loath to point out to tourists the following thing: if you don’t want to get mugged while visiting DC, maybe you should consider visiting the monuments at a time other than 11:30 pm. Just a thought.

Hm. That’s it for now. More later.

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This entry was published on July 13, 2006 at 2:11 pm and is filed under Soapboxing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Know Thy Neighborhoods

  1. Jenny on said:

    Hey, there! I linked to your blog from “A Little Pregnant,” and discovered that we, apparently, are neighbors! 🙂 I live over by Eastern Market. For the record, I’ve lived in DC for 16 years, and I still love the fireworks here — they rock!
    Anyhow, nice to “meet” ya. 🙂

  2. Nice to meet you too Jenny :o) And YAY for fireworks!

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