Why I hate DC

| February 4, 2010

Most of you probably know that I left the Metro DC area last month to the tranquil mountains of West Virginia. Jim Treacher illustrates one of the main reasons I left;

Sometime between 7 and 7:30, not long after I got home from work, I walked to the CVS on 22nd and M to get some bread, milk, and a SmartTrip card. I was right across the street from the CVS, and I waited for the crosswalk light to tell me to go before I crossed. I had plenty of time left, according to the countdown clock. I was more than halfway there when a black SUV made an illegal left turn and hit me head-on.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been hit or nearly hit by a car during the 10 years I lived in DC – each time I was in the crosswalk while I had the right of way. The problem? Arrogance. In order to survive in DC, no matter where you are, or what you do for a living, you have to accept the fact that you’re the least important person in the city. Even the bums are more important than you. Everyone has rights that supersede your rights.

Every morning, I had to cross at a crosswalk from the a driver’s right – the driver, of course, was looking left for an opportunity to enter traffic and none of those drivers ever saw me because they were too focused on getting into traffic. Almost every morning, I was struck or nearly struck. Finally, I had to jaywalk to avoid getting hit.


I used to ride my bicycle to work, until it was too dangerous. If I wasn’t dodging cars and buses, I was fleeing from gangs of muggers. Yes, muggers would dash out from the sidewalk and try to knock me off my bike.

Do you think I could interest the police? Nope. I was mugged by a group of teens one time in the subway station. Under surveillance cameras. When I brought the incident to the station master’s attention, he reviewed the camera footage and declared that it was my fault and wouldn’t call the police.

I could go on about the people who sued me because my dog bit their dog, or the time I was attacked on the street while several cops stood a few feet away watching, but lunch time is almost over.

I guess my main point is that DC is filled with childish, ignorant buffoons who complain about conditions in their city and then spend their time making it worse.

And Treacher?

One last thing: I’m told by multiple people that the SUV that hit me was Secret Service.

Good luck getting that sorted, out, Jim. I was hit by a goofball who worked for the Homeland Security Department once – I couldn’t even get a call back.

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Comments (28)

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  1. Spade says:

    “I guess my main point is that DC is filled with childish, ignorant buffoons who complain about conditions in their city and then spend their time making it worse.”

    Confirm. DC Metro is the worst place I’ve ever lived. And you have to pay a lot for the privilege too. I went 10 years without a single dent on either of the cars I own. I move to DC and I get hit. Twice. Within three months. Once in the side by a guy too impatient to wait for the guy turning left in front of him. So he dashes into my lane to get around him and into me. The second time by a fat chick talking on her cell phone (I watched her in my mirror as she casually came down the hill and into my back) who turned out to not even have insurance on her bright shiny new white KIA sedan. Oh, she had a card. She just paid a month and cancelled so she could have the card.

    I hate DC. I hate the people. They’re all as described and worse. Self important jerks.

  2. Finrod says:

    I’ve always joked that in DC its not a green light but a green flag. Worse drivers, bar none.

  3. Toothless Dawg says:

    ‘I hate DC. I hate the people. They’re all as described and worse. Self important jerks.’

    From the highest office political office in DC to the lowest steam grate in town … agreed

  4. ponsdorf says:

    I hate DC too.

    I’ve never lived there, never been mugged there, never ridden the Metro, never had an accident there, etc. Nor can I claim to have seen all of the place.

    My first visit was during the ’60s when JFK was President.

    Subsequent visits have been sorta like discovering what’s in hot dogs.

  5. justplainjason_110@yahoo.com says:

    It is really sad that our nation’s capitol is so crappy. There are too many selfimportant pricks in that city. I doubt many of them know anything outside of their immediate vicinity.

  6. Claymore says:

    My four years in DC were the longest 10 years of my life. It’s also where I learned that you can in fact park a 12 foot wide SUV in a compact car space if you happen to speak the East African language of the parking deck attendant. It’s also the place where I discovered that a 350 sq ft apartment in Alexandria VA costs the same per month as a 2500 sq ft home in Marietta, GA with the exception that I will eventually own the home in Marietta and not want to throw my neighbor off the balcony for playing “When Doves Cry” while he’s fucking his girlfriend so loud that the Fairfax County cops thought he was beating her to death. Then there was the commute…where trying to cross the Wilson Bridge at 4pm is akin to passing a bowling ball covered in broken glass through your urethra. Did I mention how much I hated DC?

  7. Thank You, Jonn and commenters:
    It is little posts like this that assist me in staying as far in the boonies as possible. While I don’t have the “hate” emotion within me, I do have a very strong dislike for anything uber urban. As a truck operator in much of my working life, purely because of urbaninity, I would not haul anything north of Norfolk, nor East Of Cleveland. If I had Quebec freight, it must enter through Michigan or Minnesota. City people are their own sort, and they and I have little in common.
    I enjoy my nocturnal very large dog who barks a lot at night. In the city the neighbors would lynch me. When friends visit, we are most likely either on the rifle range or the pistol range, both outdoors. Can’t do that in town. Here on the farm, I don’t take the keys out of my trucks. Last week while I was away for the day, my neigbor, knowing this about me, borrowed my little truck so his son could have a vehicle at school during semester exams. Knew I would understand.
    But, for a bit of relief for you DC ites; As a Trucker, I did have to violate my standards on occasion, (high paying freight or whatever reason), and can attest that DC does not have a lock on City lifestyles. If pressed, I would choose DC over Detroit. Miami and Atlanta aren’t no damned picnic either. There are those of you who choose to live in cities for reasons acceptable to you. Some of us aren’t content unless we are so far in the boonies that they pipe sunshine in. Hell, just hanging out at the GATOR Lounge at Camp Rudder, is plenty crowded for me.
    ( Reminds me, I am going to watch the Super Bowl in the company of Giants. We’ll attend a Superbowl Party hosted by the 6th RANGER Training Bn, in the New GATOR LOUNGE at the camp. Long ways, a helluva long ways, from DC or any other large city.
    Sorry, Jonn, but your cities are not my cup of tea, and I can fully understand why you headed for the hills of WVA.

    “Never Forget that Political Correctness enabled Radical Islam to take the lives of 14 souls at Ft. Hood Texas 11/5/09!”

  8. NHSparky says:

    Reminds me of the times I dealt with LA traffic/people, and people up in NH can’t fathom why I left. Then again, they bitch about Boston and wonder why I laughingly refer to the traffic there as “amateur hour”.

  9. fm2176 says:

    I too spent four years up there, stationed on Fort McNair. The location made the commute on 295/495 slightly more bearable than having to deal with 395, but four years was plenty. I still can’t stand traffic, but Baton Rouge and even New Orleans traffic is a joke comparably; the biggest difference is that the drivers are even worse than DC drivers. I lived in a basement apartment in Alexandria my whole time there. The first year or so wasn’t too bad, until new people moved in above me, with their children that loved to stomp around. In my building alone, there were probably four languages spoken, and the kids above me had to use hand signals to ask me to get their ball when it came down into my patio space.

    Over those four years I managed to avoid accidents, even during morning PT when we’d run around SE or SW DC we managed to avoid getting hit. The company did have three Soldiers get hit one night, one had to be medically discharged while the other two lucked out. Before they built the stadium, getting from M Street to South Capitol was nightmare. People used the center lane as a right turn lane all the time, so I made a point of taking the turns wide. I also noticed that when I traded the car for the truck, I got a bit more respect and space. If traffic was too bad, I stop by Bolling AFB and hang out for an hour or two.

    One Friday I was on prisoner escort duty, taking a young man from his court martial back to the brig at Quantico. It took a little longer than I had hoped and we left McNair at about 1500. Anyone who has been up there knows what Route 1 and I-395/I-95 look like during Friday rush hour. Anyway, we were in a standard 12-passenger government van, the prisoner was in the usual belt and cuffs and the HOV lanes came to a stop about three or four miles before the merge. Rather than sit in traffic for a couple of hours, I made the command decision to declare my prisoner a flight risk. It probably violated numerous regulations and laws, but I instructed the driver to turn on the four ways and hit the emergency lane at about 25 mph. We made it to Quantico in less than a half-hour. I figured unsecure van + standstill traffic + prisoner + tired escorts and driver was not a good combination. At least that was to be my argument if VSP stopped me.

  10. Toothless Dawg says:

    fm2176, good move in the HoV!!! I’m on Quantico and live on 234 so I see the traffic every day but am usually not in it anymore. HoV violations have become so lucrative for the State that 4 days out of 5 VSP will be sitting on HoV at the merge to write tickets to violators.

    Here’s what it costs you nowadays for HoV violation —

    * First offense $125
    * Second offense $250 plus three points on your driving record
    * Third offense $500 plus three points on your driving record
    * Fourth offense $1,000 plus three points on your driving record

  11. AW1 Tim says:

    Well, FWIW, having spent a couple months at Bethesda, I would offer that DC, as bad as it is, hasn’t got anything over Boston.

  12. fm2176 says:

    Speaking of HOV violations, we used to use the lanes when we transported weapons to or from direct support at Belvoir. I never got pulled but my predecessor did, and he claims to have punked out a VSP trooper. He was transporting M240Bs back, and was armed as the armorer is required to be when transporting weapons. A State Trooper tried pulling him over and he continued on for a couple of miles. When he finally stopped, the State Trooper tried approaching the vehicle and he told the Trooper to step back. When the cop saw the guns, he complied. Probably BS, but I was always taught that transporting weapons, especially machine guns, was considered extremely sensitive. Now, call me paranoid, but to me anyone besides myself, my CO or direct support was not going to get within arms length of anything I transported.

    Honestly, until I got down here I thought government vehicles couldn’t be ticketed. In DC and NoVA I never knew anyone who got a ticket. Maybe it’s an unspoken rule up there, and I’m sure someone being downright reckless would suffer the consequences. Down here I’ve seen a few fellow recruiters get tickets in their GOVs. I just take it easy. Ain’t nothing worth me risking the lives of myself or others just to put someone in the Army.

  13. Anonymous says:

    DC is hell!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    DC stands for Driver Challenged..happens when you mix too much arrogance with too many immigrant drivers

  15. Dave says:

    Thank god I’ve found this site. I’ve lived here for four years now. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place I’ve hated more in all the places I’ve ever been in the world. A truly disgusting place, full of self centered people who overcharge you for food you can get in other cities for half the price, simply because it’s DC. They panicked like a third world country in the earthquake because their reality has never been shaken up properly enough. They discourage you from having cars because the driving is so terrible and traffic so awful, but then you can’t take a bike on the metro during rush hour till 7pm. The bars are overpriced, the Metro is fairly unreliable, despite how so many urbanites gush about how wonderful DC public transportation is… if you’ve ever been to New York, you know that the only thing DC has on Manhattan’s transportation is cleanliness. That and a lower price for significantly shittier service. It doesn’t help the city that speed limits which would be 45 in most cities, goes from 35 to 25 in DC and there are cameras everywhere. The city makes their money from nitpicky legal stuff from parking tickets to speed traps, they’ll fuck you good. People in DC don’t need sex. DC fucks them everyday. Did I mention the aids rate here is higher than some African countries?

  16. Ted says:

    My leaving DC after almost 8 years there was the best thing I ever did. No more “what do you do”? No more dealing with self-important losers who couldn;t function outside of their little bubble. No more hearing people brag about their education, blah blah blah

    My mental and physical health has improved tenfold since leaving and I couldn;t be happier. Yes, I visit the area from time to time, but mainly the MD and VA suburbs.

    Believe me, folks..there is life outside of DC

  17. CI says:

    I live an hour west of where I work in Reston, for exactly the reasons above. I wouldn’t spend anymore time in DC than I currently do if I was paid to.

  18. LH says:

    I HATE DC! I can’t wait to move away from here. Traffic is horrible! Drivers are horrible! It’s amazing I haven’t been run over and killed! DC just takes your money any questionable, unethical way they can. They post 25 MPH speed limits on streets that should be 50 MPH, and post the speed limit signs where you don’t see them. Then they mail you $125 tickets a month later. By the time you get the tickets, you’ve racked up thousands of dollars in tickets-if you commute every day-in fines yet to come. To me, this is like stealing money. DC can’t tax commuters, so they “stick it to them” any way they can. Their city is corrupt and it sucks!!!!!!! They will steal your money any way they can-and they try to make it seem “legal”. And on top of it, it sucks to have to drive there every single day, let alone to have to pay fines on top of it!!!!!

  19. Joe says:

    The largest collection of pretentious blowhards in any one place. Northern Virginia is the worst of the area, in my opinion. Too many people who can’t drive, don’t know how to merge, drive maliciously to keep others behind them, and just all-around full-out @ssholes.

  20. Jason says:

    I am so happy to be reading all these comments… I THOGUHT I WAS ALONE! Washington D.C. is a giant cluster-fuck of pretense, pedagogy, and psuedo-moralism. I hate the people with D.C. with a PASSION! What the fuck do i have to stand on the right side of the fucking escalator for? God forbid you bump into someone outside, they look at you like you just slaughtered a litter of baby kittens. And the staring? I can’t STAND these people constantly looking around to see whose looking at them… MOTHERFUCKERS, JUST GO ON WITH YOUR DAY!! Everyone is so passive-aggressive… the city itself sucks, everyone is either white or black what kind of bullshit is that (I come from NYC).

    Fuck this shit hole, and fuck these pretentious motherfuckers and their sense of entitlement and worth over everyone else.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Wow! This made me feel SO much better. I’ve lived in DC for 3 years now and it SUCKS. From lay offs, to self-important assholes, to the $1000+ I have paid in parking tickets over the years, to rent that is more than my parent’s mortgage back west…this place is hell to me. The only great experience I’ve had is being close enough to travel to better cities that surround the area. I honestly cannot say DC has improved my professional life whatsoever. For many it does, and for many it’s like competing with the best of the douchiest best. Ugh!

    No one seems to enjoy their lives. It’s all about “what do you do?” “what do you know?” and bullshit that I don’t care about! I know plenty of successful people living in Atlanta, California, Florida, etc. who are kind spirited and better looking at that!

    Get me out of here!

    Countdown until lease is up and I can move: 7 months (7 long and painful months).

  22. Karen says:

    I was born and raised in DC, moved the Pennsylvania some 12+ years ago, the only reason I go back is to visit my parents and I hate it. The quality of life is terrible but the cost of it is terribly expensive. The humidity, the culture and the unimportant important people are sickening. The city was never intended to maintain the flow of traffic is has now, it’s been over built with communities but the roads haven’t been updated to meet the needs. It truly sucks!

  23. Sam says:

    Wow…I came across this after googling “I hate DC!!” This place is the f’in pits. I come from NYC and DC by far has the worst drivers EVER! Everyone appears lost, can’t comprehend speed limits or manage their car in round-a-bouts. This is a one track town and u might as well off urself if ur not into politics or some nonprofit. Ughhh another year in school and I’m running back to NY for fun, real sports and better dating! Do better DC

  24. Green Thumb says:

    DC sucks.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Hell is below…DC is the next level up

  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m soooooo glad to read that others feel the identical aggravations I’ve had. I lived in DC or a year, my husband was there four. I’m now in the suburbs but some of that staring bit happens here too. It makes me want to say..”can I help you”? This whole area could be flushed down the potty and no one would miss it. The overgrowth of people pouring in the overall area is stifling making it harder to breathe. Speed cameras, red light cameras taking photos on right hand turns….it’s all nuts. I’ve learned to take back roads, and even drive through parking lots to avoid traffic or lights or whatever.
    You really cannot make lasting friendships with pople. There have been a few…and those I treasured. I hope that our experiences in another state are much better than this overpriced lump of land they call DC MD VA!

  27. Kevin says:

    Full of reverse racism, stuckup snobby people, lived here all my life and the only reason I stay is because I can make$ here which is sad. I love parking my big ugly pressure washing truck next to one hundred thousand dollar mercedes outside the snobby Cabin John market and getting out to go in for a tuna sandwich and some chips then watching from the window and seeing the people get in their snobby cars and drive away probably thinking how dare that filthy blue collar redneck park next to my fine automobile. The Asian women that work at the market are very nice though and more on the reverse racism thing. Its like this Im not looking at you because your black I look at everybody yet they are so self centered that they dont get it. And if you have a problem with a black person in dc and your white, why you must be a card carrying kkk member. For real I have no problem with blacks and nobody in my entire ancestry has owned a slave just stop cocking your hat to the side and trying to scare people with your homy G-NESS And to be fair I dont like people from my own race that emulate hip hop culture.
    Eminem is fake little pussy who doesnt know his own personality. One last thing I know I rambled here but I was in pg county(nice place)not walking with my hispanic girlfreind and I spotted a gang of homy G-s and when they saw us( I swear to God) they started rapping a song in unison “we stright killas, up from the block” etc. Tell me that the white man is the only one who ever perpatrated racism upon others and I will tell you that you are so full of shit that your eyes are brown. out

  28. Ted says:

    I lived in the DC area for 7 years and I GTFO as soon as I secured a transfer to Baltimore. In DC, TOO many self important people running into and over each other, those who want to rule AND save the world and just an air of pretensiousness. Plus, there is no sense of community there and it was hard to make friends. The few friends I have managed to make have left as well. Parts of NOVA aren’t bad, but im done otherwise.

    Baltimore has it’s problems, but at least the people here are real and it’s not a rat race like DC