Rich People, Poor People...30 Years in DC Area
Someone rightly called the DC area a madhouse! It's tragic because DC is so beautiful. The physical comfort of the city is amazing, when I travel, I can't wait to get back, the lush greenery almost everywhere, the top quality roads and road system (even if traffic can be a nightmare at certain bottlenecks, and there's usually an alternate often scenic route when you know where you're going). There are cultural activities, but I haven't seen one ounce of local creativity.
Simply couldn't stand it when I arrived about 30 years ago. I saw the situation immediately. Because of the people, and now it's nearly unbearable. Other people frequently tell me the same thing, "newbies" long-time residents, and "natives": it's never been so divided, segregated and out-of-control competitive. People will dismiss you within seconds of meeting you.
They size you up in five minutes based on the suburb (or part of the suburb) where you live. In one upscale area, at a restaurant where I'll never return, people *frequently* approached me to blatantly ask me where I lived (where I went to school 30 years ago, etc.) They were not being nice. As if I had no right to eat in a restaurant in their suburb. ... It's totally divided: rich/poor, black/white, immigrant/non-immigrant, well-educated/not well-educated, GLBT/not GLBT, native/non-native, and on and on.
People are not just transient because of changes in government, it's because they can't stand the social isolation caused by this sickening stratification. All types of people...as soon as they retire (or earlier) they're "out of here" because of the hostility. It's not normal, and it can't be changed, no "adjustment period" is possible. ... The "native Washingtonians" try to be very exclusive, for what reason I do not know. Because the city has very little identity of its own, if any, they're compensating for insecurity, I guess. I mean, really exclusive, they will blatantly shut you out, even if you've been here for 30 years. It is truly mind-boggling. ...
It's not just about being stuck up or uptight, it's worse than that. ... The people are blatantly prejudiced, in every way imaginable ... Now, with a huge influx of people from all over the world (I'd say really in the last ten years, it's incredible) there are negligible efforts to create cultural activities to enjoy the diverse cultures. ... It seems impossible to create true community events. ... Visiting museums is fine and wonderful, but after that? ...the quality of a local art show was laughable.
Most people couldn't care less about supporting any local business, so it's dying ... I talk to people about all this frequently. Rich people go to New York or other major cities to shop.
Work is hell because of the lethal combination of the constant fight for political power (or the semblance of power) and prejudice. Women, in particular, are abused and not only in the workplace. A woman (and later a man) told me this is no place for a woman to live (alone). And they meant it. The combination of all of this makes life an ordeal for a single women, men take advantage of it.
The best thing about the area is that it's full of colleges and universities that have open access to their libraries.