I know that since I moved to Bigsoccer, I am supposed to keep my non-soccer ranting to a minimum. Today, I break that pledge, to bitch about the area in which I live, Washington DC.
Yesterday, on a clear, cold day with no precipitation falling of any kind, it took me nearly three hours to drive 15.5 miles home from work. That’s a pace of around 5 miles per hour. To put it in some perspective, it normally takes me around 40 minutes to get home and it can take as little as 30 if I do it at odd hours. It appears that the mere presence of snow on the side of the road and a few closed lanes due to plowing-induced snow banks reduced DC’s evening commute to speeds (and I use that term loosely) I thought were only reserved for Mexico City traffic. Traffic reporters were actually telling folks getting in their cars to go back to their offices for a few hours. And I remind you, there was no catastrophe causing this – no shampoo truck crashing on the beltway and spilling Pert Plus all across the road (true story), nobody attempting to jump off the Wilson bridge (true story), no poison gas drill freaking people out as they see people in outbreak suits outside the Pentagon from their cars (true story). There was none of that. And for those of you asking why I don’t just ride the Metro or a train to work, ask Ed. He rides a train to work everyday and I assure that it too is a miserable experience.
This made me ask this question, yet again, why is it that I choose to live here? Moving away from the fact that this city would handle a nuclear attack better than it handles a foot of snow, let me count the reasons that DC sucks. Let’s start with the fact real estate prices here ensure that you start each month by writing a check for a staggering amount of your monthly income. Let’s move on to the weather here. The pleasant bits of Fall and Spring now last, thanks to climate change (yes, I said it) about 10 days before the unpleasant cold or torturous heat sets in.
Meanwhile, if you’re in search of a cheering up (especially while sitting in traffic), you could turn on the radio except that the last halfway decent rock station (WHFS) and last decent non-sports talk show (Don and Mike) have both gone off the air, leaving you with nothing but Clearchannel-approved crapola and hour-upon-hour of mindless, anguished wailing and speculation about the Redskins. I should also remind folks of the little known rule here that only one local sports team is allowed to be remotely good at any given time. Thus you have a situation where the Caps are great, but the Skins and Nats are national laughingstocks, the Wizards are mediocre are best and even the Georgetown and Maryland hoops teams are struggling. Do I even have to remind you how I think the local MLS team is doing?
But today, as I brace for another multi-hour drive to go 15 miles, can somebody please remind me why it is that I, or anyone else here, actually chooses to live in this place?