Friday, February 13, 2009

Why I Heart Why I Hate DC

"Dave" over at the blog why.i.hate.dc finally managed to come up with this hilarious commentary this week, after months of the blog itself being high on my list of things I hate about DC. You see, this blog has had a number of different writers since the longtime guardian Rusty checked out a year or so ago. Yes, things have been a little rocky.

Writers on why.i.hate.dc must meet a number of criteria before being allowed to take the helm of this venerable blog:

  1. You must not be from DC.
  2. You must be under 26 years old.
  3. As a consequence of #1 and #2 you must have lived in DC for less than 4 years.
  4. The exception to #3 is if you went to Georgetown, GW or AU for undergrad. It is acceptable, and even ecouraged, to have lived in DC between 4 and 8 years if you meet this qualification.
  5. Your hometown must be in a midwestern state.
  6. If you live in DC, it must be west of Rock Creek Park. Otherwise you must live in Northern Virginia or Bethesda.
  7. You must bitch about crime constantly, even though you have probably neither witnessed nor been a victim of one.
  8. If you ever actually become a victim of a crime in DC, despite living in AU Park or thereabouts, you must move out of DC within three months and find someone essentially similar to yourself to replace you at why.i.hate.dc.

A candidate meeting these qualifications is generally well suited to write snarky, long-winded missives that detail the trials of the five-minute delay they experienced on their rush-hour metro ride from their apartment in Van Ness to their desk job at Metro Center. Yes - this is the perfect why.i.hate.dc writer.

While Rusty himself sucked in his own uniquely hypocritical, sheltered, suburban-transplant way, I had a soft spot in my heart for him. Sometimes, his predictable rants would make me laugh. The rage with which he would declare DC uninhabitable over such rare events as a power outage in the middle of the summer would make me chuckle. So I missed him when the blog floundered following his flight to Columbus, Ohio.

As of late, though, we have seen a single guardian replaced with five others who share the burden - nay, the responsibility - of keeping this blog alive. Which is why it has been so troubling to see so little of the old DC anguish and fire from a Chevy Chase perspective that we once hated but loved. So it was a sad day when I read a post that began with "I Love WMATA" from "Dave," one of the five new writers. What a change from the glory days of why.i.hate.dc when a typical post would be entitled "I Still Hate WMATA."

Well, Dave finally got it right today. Some genuine sarcasm with a post that stabs right at the heart of the corner-bodega-shopping, ANC-meeting-attending, gentrifying-neighborhood-living, Bethesda-moving-when-kids-go-to-school DC resident.

That's right - he made fun of neigborhood bloggers. And even more importantly - I resemble those remarks. So let's see how my blog stacks up against Dave's list of tips to making a successful neighborhood blog.

Your blog's banner must include a photo of either the local Metro station, or a group of rowhouses. Check!

You should only live in a neighborhood that's considered "gentrifying." Only fellow gentrifiers read blogs. Columbia heights? Check!

At a minimum, one post per week must be dedicated to the discussion of dog parks. I don't give a crap about dog parks. No points.

You should always discuss how awesomely friendly your neighbors are, in so much that the people who have "lived there forever" say hi to you. Good grief I mentioned my awesome neighbor yesterday! Is this guy actually using my blog as a model?

Hearing gunshots warrants an immediate "live blogging" event. You should definitely make note of how long it took the police to arrive. You should also mention that while you aren't sure what actually occurred, you intend to call the police station to find out. You may or may not post a follow up, explaining how unhelpful the police were on the phone. Well, there were no guns and I can't live-blog since I detest large, internet-enabled phones, but I have definitely discussed my near-involvement of crimes and police response time. Check!

Highlight how much the neighborhood has changed since you moved in, and how you now feel comfortable "walking anywhere you want" before 7 PM. I got that blown out of the water, here's a post with pictures of Columbia Heights in 1913!

You should lament how despite the growing number of restaurants and bars, you have yet to find one that's "cozy" or "neighborhood" enough for you. Don't mention that any place that would meet this criteria is EWWW waaay too gross for your taste. Can't get on board with this one - I love my neighborhood joints.

Post a lot of poorly composed, low quality photos that you took with your iPhone/cell phone. I think I get bonus points for this post which involves poorly-composed cell phone pictures, a fire, and police.

Lament the lack of a good (name brand) grocery store in your neighborhood; when a new, name brand grocery store arrives, lament the harm done to local grocers. I'm not actually that kind of whiner. I want as much new stuff to open as possible and I have no use for crappy businesses.

Talk endlessly about how you ride your bicycle to work, and how much you hate DC drivers. Leave out the fact that you most likely don't even ride on the street, and you mow down a few pedestrians each week. Check!

Refer to your neighborhood with a ridiculous acronym (i.e. BloMi for Bloomingdale). Check! Though it was tongue in cheek...

Attempt to have constructive dialogue about race relations on your blog. Check!

Become frustrated about the lack of constructive dialogue about race relations on your blog. See above post.

Highlight the fact that you have, on at least three occasions, ridden on the city bus. Check!

If you follow these tips, you should find yourself linked by DCist and The Washington City Paper in no time! Maybe you can even become blog friends with Tina.

Got not one but two pictures in DCist just last week. And I've been quoted in the Washington Post Express blog log a half a dozen times. Do I win? I have no idea who Tina is, though.

Well, anyway, that's not even the whole list from Dave's post but it should be pretty clear that my blog is, in fact, the archetypal neighborhood blog. Thanks, Dave, for finally making me laugh. You were one dc-loving post away from the "unsubscribe" button.


Jezebel said...

I will totally miss Rusty when baseball season starts though - his vitriol for stadium/owner antics was unparalleled and hilarious.

I almost never recognize any noted in DCBlogs anymore. Who are these people?

Jamie said...

You know funny you should mention that. I clicked through to the one called PotPieGirl because I thought her moniker was funny.

What the hell? It's basically a self-serving make-money-on-the-internet blog for some stay-at-home mom from Mississippi.

Not only does it have absolutely nothing to do with DC, it's boring and nothing more than an meta-site for all her get-rich-quick sites. Jesus. A sad day indeed.

I would have commented there but comments (as usual) are disabled today.

Jezebel said...

It should be more like my favorite links-only site: Jeff Bridges - stuff section. Hours of time-theft greatness.

PotPieGirl is a great name, though.

Tom A. said...

I have your blog bookmarked right above why i hate dc. They make a perfect pair!

Anonymous said...

I wish all the DC haters would just leave. That site is the gayest thing ever, even gayer than me.