Backhanded Compliments

First and foremost, to prove I am not a negative-nelly, I offer the basketball programs at George Mason and Georgetown a hearty congratulations for advancing to the Sweet 16. I mean, George Mason? Who knew that one of the top-16 teams in the tournament would be from a commuter school?

Back to the hate:

I am back from Boston and I am alive. Huzzah. And what a wonderful city.

Now to be fair, there are some things about DC that are superior to Boston. Somewhere down the line, I got used to DC weather. So, the cold was a bit much. It was also strange being in a city with an inferior subway system. Sure Boston offers a lot more trains (no waiting after midnite!), but some lines take tokens while others take cards. That is supremely obnoxious. And I had to pull off a double transfer with about 20 drinks running through me. The nerve! So, DC subway, props for not making me change lines twice.

Also, and this is probably a biggie, I have never had anything stolen in DC. In Boston, someone snatched my jacket and my precious iPod. That kind of sucked. Now I am back to actively ignoring the homeless instead of merely passively ignoring them.

I think it says an awful lot that I was robbed of hundreds of dollars worth of clothing and gadgetry in the Hub and I still consider DC an inferior city. It was so nice being in a city with actual skyscrapers, with beautiful parks, with a local history and culture that is nearly unmatched.

Is Boston the greatest city in the world? Objectively, I would probably say no. But I dare someone to say, totally objectively, that DC is a better city than Boston. I double-dog-dare you. Even the local Boston assholes (questionably hatted "yeah, dudes" with khakis and Coronas) are more tolerable than the local DC assholes (90% of people interning on the Hill). At least the former group knows how to have fun.

So, anyways, I'm back in the DC/Bethesda grind. And hilariously, my very first day back to work, the Red Line was shut down between Metro Center and Van Ness. Remember how I was praising the DC subway a few paragraphs ago?

I take it back.


  1. Any predictions on if the snow will close Metro? I predict school closings.

  2. There are places in DC where you can get your IPOD stolen from you faster than you can refresh a webpage. You just have not been to those parts of town. You are a newbie. Sheltered in your NW paradise.

  3. Fuck Boston transportation! Everything about it is awful, no matter what mode you're using.

    Now that I got that out of the way, Boston is easily superior to DC. And I'm with you, I'm not sure what objective analysis would lead to but there's something about Boston that makes it one of my favorite cities in the world.

    Even the pizza shops have their own Boston twist to them. I'm jealous you were there this weekend.

  4. "Sheltered in your NW paradise."

    I love how dc loyalists throw this gem out so casually. Tell me, brave anonymous poster, why should anyone go east of capitol st. if they don't live, work , or go to class there? Exactly what is there to do that can't be done in NW? And don't you dare say 'love'.

  5. At least James F. was funny. You're just whiny....write something funny.


  6. Q: What has nine arms and sucks?

    A: Def Leppard

    How's that, Sam?

  7. See, that was good!! Do more of that. Although making fun of the bloggers convention was funny - but then you backed down a bit and apologized on other people's blogs. Go after them!! That's good stuff. And make fun of interns. You're a good writer- you just need to be more vicious. (see, now I'm not just complaining- i'm offering constructive criticism).


  8. I love how D.C. loyalists, who live in upper NW, like to pretend that live in such a diverse environment. Basically, when you live off of Reno road you are living in an area as white as Omaha. Suck on it, elitist d.c. liberals.

  9. I apologized to the blogger happy hour people because their "happy hour" blew up after I left (at the end of the actual happy hour). It's not worth risking my credibility (with my readers, not with other bloggers) by distorting what actually happened.

    I still think blogger happy hours are lame though.

  10. My mom is from Boston, and her family all still lives there. You will not find a people more loyal to their city than Bostonites. Although their subway system is quite possibly one of the crappiest I have ever been on (and I've been on A LOT of public transportation, in the US and abroad), my cousin still argued with me for an hour that the Boston subway is 'wicked awesome' and backed up his claims with the 'fact' that it was the first subway system ever in existence. Nothing I could say would change his mind. Of course, this cousin also thought we have moose in Virginia, but the concept is still there. :)

  11. I hate the DC metro system. People are so rude. I actually had a guy sit on me yesterday. Of course he never said I'm sorry or excuse me.

  12. Just a note on DC parks. Have you ever gon inton rock creek? Beautiful bit of the country in the middle of the city. No place else, certainly on the east coast, has anything like it in scale or scenery. Urban wildlands. Very cool.

  13. Have you ever stopped by the stream in Rock Creek Park? Smells wonderful! D.C. is so amazing!

  14. Nothing better than Rock Creek on the East Coast??

    Uhh, Central Park?

  15. While I've always enjoyed this blog and can definitely agree with many of its points against the DC Metro area (made by both James F and Rusty), don't mess with the skyline. Other cities can have their skyscrapers, that's fine. But don't complain about D.C.'s 'lack' of skyscrapers. It may be one of the only unique and charming facets of this city people can enjoy.

  16. I'm not knocking Central park. Its great, but it isn't really urban wildlands, it and golden gate are basically larger versions of your standard urban parks. No real forest, fairly manicured, etc.

    Rock Creek on the other hand is an actual urban forest. Mostly left alone to do as it will.

  17. Re the skyscrapers:

    The inability to have vertical growth in the city is what pushes all those poor saps into Stafford County and West Virginia. It contributes to the traffic on the Beltway. It deprives the city from having any character.

    A bunch of ten-story buildings...now that's ugly.

  18. DEF LEPPARD may suck but I guarantee you going to a DEF LEPPARD concert in an arena back in the day was a hell of a lot more exciting than going to a DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE or YEAH YEAH YEAH'S concert today.

    FAG rock hipster bands suck and their fans are boring and they suck too. Stop trying to look and sound retro and create your own style you FAGS!

  19. I have no idea where you got the idea I like Death Cab for Cutie. I have never heard a single song by them. They may be good, may be bad; I have no idea.

    Dear Reader, this is, I believe, the third anti-Death Cab for Cutie comment you have left on this blog. Perhaps these comments would be better suited for a blog dedicated to music. Or to your own blog.

    Use of the F-word is not tolerable however. Please don't use it again.

  20. Wrong F-word, but the sentiment is appreciated.

  21. I'm a fouled mouth SOB, but I don't use the F** word, nor do i use the C**T word. just plain wrong.

  22. Def Leppard concerts were 90% chicks. Many of them would flash their boobs during the show.
    Good times. No. Great times. I miss those days.

  23. Boston sucks. It's full of Red Sawx fans who are turd burglers.

    DC sucks worse correct. However, even positing the question "Is Boston the greatest city on earth" qualifies you for the looney bin. It is not even the 100th greatest city on earth. It's basically Baltimore but colder. And the absurd claim that skyscrapers make a city is worthy of the trash heap.

    Go to New York for fuck sake.

  24. Baltimore but colder? nigga please.

    I actually think Baltimore is an OK town. Interesting music scene, fewer assholes than DC, etc. But it is completely different from Boston. Baltimore club music v. Boston IDM. Boston provincial self-centeredness v. Baltimore second-city mentality. Boston cold-shoulder v. Baltimore's almost Southern manner (almost being the operative word).

    Also New York is a great town (I live there now), but it's a different beast from Boston. There's really no comparison.

    Finally, saying Boston is better than DC is damning with faint praise. Boston is better than a lot of places. DC is a crime-ridden sewer of boringness.

  25. DC is better than Boston.

    Yeah, I thought the opposite, too, until I moved here. Visiting Boston is nice; living here: not so nice.

  26. I dunno Jess, I know an awful lot of people living in Boston who love it.

    Other than people disagreeing with me on the comments, I have never dealt with someone who loved DC.

  27. DC nice place to work, not so nice place to live. I like Boston...but I prefer the west coast cities: Seattle, San Francisco, but not Los Angeles. Los Angeles is sometimes fun to visit, but I really don't want to live there.

  28. This blog cracks me up because of the self-loathing. You obviously do like DC since you've lived here so long. Plus, no serious person would say that Boston is better than DC. Better chowder, yes. Better city, no.

  29. Ask the white people in Boston how they feel about the black people in Boston.

    Then ask some black people in Boston how they feel about the white people?

    in DC the racisim gets washed over and comes out mostly in disputes over who was first in line at the supermarket.

    In Boston, most people dont feel the need to wait until their shopping cart gets bumped for them to tell you how they really feel about the people on the other side of the mass ave.


  30. Baltimore? Southern charm?


    Not even almost, and take it from a guy who grew up on the genteel suburban streets of Charlotte in the Great NC, plus lived in the hippie-redneck paradise of Asheville, too. I live in B'more now, and I can tell you without reservation: This is about the rudest city I have ever had the misfortune of visiting, let alone living in.

    I had more passers-by smile and nod when I was in NYC for a week than I have in almost 2 years of living in this burg.

    Boston is heads and shoulders above Bawlmer in a lot of ways, and so is DC, in my opinion, but I will say this: Baltimore is getting better every day. I predict this will be a cool, interesting and vibrant city (most of it anyway) in about 10-15 years.

    Note I did not say perfect. Still gonna be crime and poverty, but at least it will be worth living here.

    Folks'll still be rude, tho.

  31. Re the comment about me living here for so long. Yeah, it's called getting a degree and then holding a job before law school.

    And, DCBubble, I'm glad you enjoyed Crash. Racism is common in every city in America...that includes DC and Boston. But Boston isn't nearly as segregated...

  32. That makes sense. There are no other places to hold a job before law school. That airtight reasoning will have you on Harvard's Law Review in no time. Do yourself a favor and move. Plus you'll be doing the world a favor because it frees up space in DC for one of the thousands of people who desperately want to live here.

  33. frees up space for one of the thousands "desperately" wanting to live here?

    Quite the image. As if there is a finite number of turdheads that can populate this shithole. And also as if there are thousands banging on the door! "Please sir, move out I am desperate to have the opportunity to visit L'Enfant Plaza and eat at Jaleo!"

  34. Mmm, Jaleo

  35. Anonymous said...
    ...I actually had a guy sit on me yesterday. Of course he never said I'm sorry or excuse me.

    I had the same thing happen to me TWICE, one male,one female. They backed into the seat, sat on my leg, then slid off into the seat as though nothing was unusual. I should have introduced myself since they had basically sat on my lap. I now place my bag on my lap instead of on the floor. At least I know where my bag has been.

  36. "Plus you'll be doing the world a favor because it frees up space in DC for one of the thousands of people who desperately want to live here."

    Don't kid yourself, D.C. lover. Your town is a fucking joke all across the these United States.

  37. I'm a little late reading this, and...


    Boston is by far, without a doubt, 8 times better than DC. I moved back to the Boston area 3 months ago after a horrific 2 years in DC and I haven't looked back.

  38. Sorry, have something else to say...

    To anyone who says DC is a better city than Boston:
    PLEASE, stay in DC. We sure as hell don't want you.

  39. Which city in the US is reputated for having the best transportation system ? What's your opinion about that ?
    Sorry if there's some mistakes... I post from France... Well, from Brittany, which is quite different. If you dare, it's the Celtic part of France (just the same difference as the one between Scotland and England)...

  40. AnonymousMay 30, 2006

    As a long time resident of Boston who used to spend summers in DC, I'll add this:


    Say what you like about your Smithsonians and National Museums, but I generally find the quality and quantity of the contents of Boston museums better. Maybe it has to do with having been a big trading city relatively early on (so we could better steal the good stuff) or maybe it's that it's mostly the possessions of the very deceased very wealthy (who have good taste), but Boston and the surrounding area just have so much great stuff.

    The National Museum of Asian Art is sparse, almost empty, when compared to the tiny portion of the Museum of Fine Art's Asian collection on display, nevermind what's over at the Peabody Essex Museum. The Natural History Museum has a couple of bones here and there, but nothing like Harvard's collection. And so on.

    Then again, with our declining population and shrinking economy, it won't be long until we really are just "The Baltimore of the North".