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Day to Day Life is Stressful
I've lived in and around the District for 40 years and have watched it become increasingly congested and stressful. Commutes are a nightmare made worse by the rise of high toll "Easy Pass" lanes for the wealthy and those whose employers will pay for it. The large immigrant population means dealing with a lot of people who learned to drive from wherever they came. I see 2 or 3 serious smashups every week caused by high speed and dangerous driving (swooping across 3 lanes, near constant tailgating). Instead of putting more highway patrols on the roads they try to control it with cameras (mail you a ticket), which doesn't work. Those forced onto the subway system face high fares for a system that frequently breaks down. When I lived in the Virginia suburbs, round trip to take my 4 grandchildren downtown to the museums would run more than $60. Living or driving downtown means dealing with a grid that runs N/S, E/W cut by NE/SW, NW/SE diagonals; it's the only city where continuing to turn right will not bring you back to the same place. Add to that the two-way streets that are one-way during rush hour, the confusing signage, tour buses, bicyclists zooming between cars, and frequent street blockages for politicians driving across town with police escorts. The cost of housing is high, even in the edgier neighborhoods. My husband works for the federal government, which is why we are here. When he retires next year, we are moving back to the Southwest.



Washington, DC
I've been in DC for 10 yrs now. It's a great place to live, if can afford it. I'm a Chicago native. I came to DC by way of Military.DC was my final duty station. After retiring. I decided to stay.DC is divided into 4 quadrants, (NE.NW,SE,SW). NW and SW are the more expensive areas. NE and SE are fast becoming more expensive. If you own property in DC and want to move out of the area. I would rent the property out, because NE and SE are quickly gentrifying, and real estate prices are going up in those areas. DC is very small. You don't get much space for your money. There is plenty to do here. Plenty of restaurants, festivals, museums, monuments, parks, and walkability. You are very close to Baltimore, Philly, Delaware, New york, Virginia Beach, Ocean City, Casinos, amusement parks, Williamsburg, etc,,. There is no shortage of things to do for all age groups. The transit system is very good also. The main drawback is the high expense of living in the city. It costs less to live outside the city. The traffic is horrible during rush hour and Friday afternoons and Sunday evenings. Avoid I-495 during the daytime if you can. There are lots of jobs. DC is where you wanna be if you want to advance in your Federal career.I've enjoyed it. I'm looking to move. I'm think Chicago, Dallas, Arizona, or Las Vegas. I'm doing my research now.



Climate is big downside
Hazy, hot and humid. Day after day.



All-Day Traffic Restricts Your Flexibility -- Espe
Washington is a nice place to live and work, for the most part. Expensive, but lots of options. However, for a retiree, the traffic really restricts your enjoyment. With so many people "telecommuting" the roads are full of cars all day long, as they go shopping, etc. There used to be some free time on the roads during the day, when most people were at work (you just avoided rush hours) but now the roads are jammed all day long. I'm looking for a medium-sized city with amenities and a lot fewer cars.



Washington, D.C. has become more walkable in the past 5 years.



Living in the Capital is OK, but I want more than
DC is great if you want to work for the federal government and dream of a career in "public service." But if politics is not your passion or special interest, you may be disappointed by life in DC.



I think I should have been Canadian. The summers here are so unbearably humid that the Federal Government deemed employees working in the DC area receive Tropic Pay before air conditioning became standard in their buildings.



Great weather. Excellent for things to do, airports, diversity and culture. Economically plenty of jobs just difficult to get to them. Commute is terrible and cost of living is high.



Kuumba Learning Center
This school is terrible. 1. They claim to be year round. Not at all. They are closed so much I had to go on leave without pay. The closings follow Federal Holidays, DC Public School closings, and random unannounced closing. 2. They do not feed the children adequate food. My sons constantly came home hungry. Feeding growing kids beans and rice is not sufficient, especially when I am paying tuition. 3. They do not teach the children. They kept telling me that my sons could read and were doing so well. I pulled them out, in the middle of the school year and put them in public school. They were behind. My oldest wasn't even reading on grade level. Stay away!






Work work work
I grew up in the suburbs and have been living and working in DC for the past 7 years. The pace of life is very fast, and everyone seems to work a LOT.



Mandatory survey
Traffic is horrible in the metro DC area and only getting worse. The solution currently in work: HOT (high occupancy toll) lanes on the beltway. One can pay to get around the area on federal highways to avoid traffic congestion, playing more during rush hours. HOT lane construction is due to be complete this year or next, I believe.



City living
Some people refer to living 'inside the Beltway' as if it's a bad thing- but they don't know what they are missing. The worst of the traffic, for a start: if you live all the way inside the Beltway- in the city- you miss most of the DC area traffic (worst in the nation). But you also gain a lot. In 2 minutes I can be on a bus that will take me to nearly the front door of most of DCs best attractions. In 10 minutes I can be on the metro, which is clean and safe. I live on a street with plenty of trees and sidewalks, where neighbors sit out on their front porches and stop to chat in the streets- if the houses were bigger you would think you were in the suburbs. But at the end of the block there is a grocery store, CVS, library, post office, dry cleaner, video store, several restaurants that range from tiny cafe to tablecloths, and a range of small, independent shops. People actually sit and visit on the benches that line the streets. It's a real neighborhood- with all the opportunities of a big city: concerts, plays, museums, and events ranging from the political to the nonsensical. It is a beautiful city, and people really take advantage of it- walking, running and biking on the tow paths along the Canal, through Rock Creek Park, around the Memorials. There are formal and informal leagues for just about every sport you can imagine. And the food: every kind of food, from every corner of the world, at every price point. Big city benefits with a home town feel: DC definitely has it all!



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 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.



JFK summed DC up best when he said...
"Washington DC has the warmth of the north (east) and the efficiencies of the south."

Good points: Well informed, generally intelligent populace. Lots of cultural things to do. A clean, charming city. Fairly good mass transit inside the city.

Not so good points: Not a friendly place. Lots of rude foreigners. Expensive. Horrible traffic. Very uncomfortable year round (below sea level.) Lots of anti-white discrimination. Toxic work environments. Forget about mass transit outside of DC.

Overall: A better place to visit than live.


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