100% Honest Life in DC FULL Review
Living in Washington DC is something. I had to air some of my frustrations in this vlog, but I have more. This is really for people that want to move here or those that live here and need someone to rant with. Vlogger Jouelzy made a video and ruffled some feathers…this is my response.
Why I Moved To DC:
I’ve always wanted to move to DC. You have Howard University’s lauded School of Communication, I am a Mass Comm major. There are major media networks here. I am a communication professional. I also wanted to go into the nonprofit sector. DC is one of the biggest nonprofit job centers. It all makes sense. Right? Well, Houston did not have any of these or anything close, so it was time to go.
DC’s black community has never recovered from the 1968 riots.
It is not as black as you think it is. If you do not know of the “Chocolate City” history, you would just think DC is another “diverse” U.S. city. All you have to do is ride the Metro. I knew that DC was different when I saw a white middle-aged man pull out a laptop at 6pm on the red line. Gentrification is king. Neighborhoods that hosted legends, Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Mary McLeod Bethune and Cab Calloway are now all white upper middle class. DC’s U Street, which was known as “Black Broadway” now looks like Auburn University’s Toomer’s Corner at night, college street USA. It features drunk college guys and girls staggering down the street, offering few active cultural areas, no black street vendors and the rare black-owned boutique here and there. Bus Boy’s is one of the top spots to meet friends for tourists, but they have weak, expensive drinks, good tourist food and faux culture that you wish could be found genuinely for new bloods in the city.
Bohemian Caverns is a good throwback, a jazz club where Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Pearl Bailey and Ella Fitzgerald were mainstays. Howard Theatre is an awesome tribute to DC’s heyday. They feature concerts of soulful R&B artists that you forgot about. I love the fact that you can find random events there…but be prepared to pay more than your regular ATL prices to see Bel Biv Devoe or MC Lyte perform a set of their greatest hits. lol Club-goers have few choices here. They closed many of them, so many people choose random small lounges. Your conversation may include discussion about random lounges you’ve discovered in the city, many will be on H Street, mostly because bougie black people like the fact that they are not Metro accessible. lol
My top issue with DC is kind of the same issue I had with Houston. There is no one place where I can say black people gather or is known as the place to go, the cultural epi-center (U Street is not it because it is College Student-ville USA). The sense of community is lacking, which I blame on the black politicians because they allowed it to happen…knuckleheads.
If you want to know how strong the black culture once was here, go to this PBS special link here.
There are many issues, which include the 1970s-superfly era, musty Metro, the taxes on food and bags. My first traffic ticket here was $170 for going 45 mph downtown. The rent is so high, people have to live in rent controlled apartments if they want to live alone. If you qualify for one of those, you already make too little money to make it in this city so it defeats the purpose of the controlled rent. And even with rent control, you have to pay upwards of $900-$1200 for a one bedroom apartment, whereas in other cities the same apartment would go for $500-700 and have numerous amenities. Many people resort to having a roommate eventhough they hate having one or they move into the suburbs and commute through horrible traffic from Maryland or Virginia. Those with “good jobs” are semi-depressed because they know that they can get a 5 bedroom, 5 acre property in Georgia for the same price they’re paying to live in a townhouse in Virginia. My suggestion is to live in Maryland or Virginia and keep your car.
Do not be fooled by Metro. Keep your car. Metro single tracks almost every weekend (which means all trains, East and West, use the same track) and randomly delays during rush hour. It is so bad, they have websites dedicated to how much Metro sucks.
My favorite: https://www.facebook.com/unsuckdcmetro
Commuters…You will have to pay to park your car daily, then ride metro in to DC. That is alot. You might as well drive your car to work and pay every day to park in a garage or work something out with your job to leave at 4pm. There are bike and car shares here (Car2Go, ZipCar, Enterprise Carshare). You have many options, they just cost alot. Uber is $15 for a short trip, Uber X is better but you may get a looney toon. Bike rides are awesome through the neighborhoods during the weekend. Get a bikeshare membership. It is cheaper than the cost per trip.
I don’t want a long-term relationship, so this city is fine with me in regards to this. If you are looking for anything long-term here, don’t hold your breath. People are always looking for something better…and they can easily find it here. Even casually dating or being more promiscuous is slightly harder here because you may be knocked down on the list because someone “better” has become available. Many guys here are gay, so straight females..you have it hard. Each time I went out on the town with females, someone always randomly bought me drinks….she was ignored. lol
Men have it best here–we not only have the Howard students that are obsessed with keeping their body tight. You can find them drinking protein shakes at the club or taking Instagram photos with hashtags like #herbalife, #summerbody, or my favorite… #nopainnogain. You also have a new crop of interns three times a year that will no longer be in your hair after 4 months. Then we have the Capitol Hill people that only hit you up late at night to drive to Suitland, Greenbelt or Fort Totten (cheaper rent, eventhough they try to act grande…three places you don’t want to be alone at night) or email you if they need a favor. The DC locals are used to being hit up by DC transients that only live in the city for 2 years, so you don’t have to be bothered with a relationship…they just want you to buy at least one $10 drink (that comes in a vacation bible school looking cup) while you’re out and a hot dog from Ben’s Chilli Bowl…and they are fine with that.
The food here is good, not great or awesome. The main reason for this downgrade are the tourist eateries, they are not as good as people say they are. They have little seasoning and long lines. The best places are those with ethnic cuisine. Try Ethiopian, Island or Indian restaurants. They are usually the best in DC. If someone says, “Everybody goes there…it is great,” avoid it like the plague. If i know anything, I know soul food. Good soul food. I am skinny…but I still know good eatin’ *balls lips up and pokes them out..looking mean* When I first tasted Ben’s Chilli Bowl, Oohs & Ahhs and Horace & Dickies..I looked like this…
This is a major issue with DC. It has been very hard to penetrate certain cliques here in the DMV. People have their group of Instagram friends that they hang out with…and if you try to become a part of that…they will treat you like gum under a shoe. Compartmentalizing groups of friends is normal for me, but when that becomes apart of how you build ALL of your relationships and friendships, it is a problem. People will tell you about an event here, but won’t invite you. They will share photos online only because they know that you were not invited. It is very shallow and annoying, but I deal with these people by telling them what I want, “Let me come to this d@$@ party..b!2$#.” They usually think that I am funny and invite me or think that I am weird and flag me as spam.
Brunch is a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE thing here. Your entrance interview into any clique will be happy hour or brunch. Brunch excludes many people because it is already so expensive. If you are deemed worthy, you will be invited to another brunch, then at some point you’ll be locked-in to the weekly brunch location notification text system. Too much?..Yes, but this is how it happens here.
What I love about DC:
I love having the ability to pass by the White House everyday and know that there’s a hot comb being used in there. The ability to attend numerous events with movers and shakers gives me the encouragement I need to continue on my trek to be more successful. I love being around politics and witnessing many historic events. I also love old buildings, DC has alot of them and random historical facts, such as this…the land my apartment building stands on used to be a fort during the Civil War. Being around educated, upper class black people is very refreshing and gives me hope about so many things in this country. I love meeting so many activists that actually want to change the world. I genuinely love smart people.
How I have tried to adjust:
I connected with people that I kinda knew, then immediately began attending networking events. I searched Eventbrite everyday, RSVPing to events that had something to do with my field. I attended NABJ chapter meetings and ordered new business cards with what I represent, what I can offer. People here are ALWAYS looking for a new job or opportunity to shine, it does not matter how much they get paid or their current position. There are always professional opportunities here, you have to be prepared. Personally, most of my friends were already connected to people I know. What I have learned is that people here really don’t connect with you unless it is recommended through a trusting friend or if you have something to offer them.
DC is not a city to “come of age” in unless you are a college student. This is not the work at the call center to get by and go to the club three times a week kind of city. People without college degrees here often feel left out or like people are staring at them because they do not have a college degree. lol It’s silly…but true. You may feel depressed and exiled.
DC is growing on me, it will take a little more time to adjust to it than expected. It is not a bad city to live in, but it is only for a specialized group of people that really live to endure this type of draining, but rewarding lifestyle.