Goodbye forever, DC area.

Dear DC area,

I was born and raised with you. I have spent my childhood going to your schools. When I graduated, I got my first real job with you - as a peon at the Pentagon. I have spent the first 44 years of my life with you. But now, we have to break up.

Why, you ask? Didn’t we have many memories together - the cherry blossoms in the Spring; the haunting beauty of Arlington National Cemetery; long walks on the Mount Vernon Trail; the museums on the National Mall; getting a heart attack on a pita bun at a food truck near the Washington Monument; seeing those funky little shops in Old Town Alexandria (especially those talented af artists at the Torpedo Factory Art Center!); many many others? Oh yeah…yeah, I will totally treasure those memories. But…well, I’ll expound in the next paragraph…

Your flaws drove me away. You can’t get your Metrorail game right - c’mon, we had a full year of inconvenience with SafeTrack, and yet you’re closing all Blue and Yellow Line stations south of Reagan National during the summer of 2019 due to bad concrete? Really? Also, don’t bother telling me it’s only for the summer - we both know those stations will be closed until well into November. There’s also bumper-to-bumper traffic along I-95, mindless bureaucratic games at the Pentagon, high rents and taxes, massive-ass snowstorms, many others. I just can’t take it anymore. I gotta jet.

Ten years from now, I will remember only the good about you. However, I won’t be back. I can’t go back without taking the bad with the good - and the bad outweighed the good. So, it’s time to go to better climes in Central Florida. Sure, it’ll have its drawbacks, too. Stupid-hot summers? Well, you have those, too. Hurricanes? Well, at least a hurricane ends within a few days. Your snowstorms have effects lasting a lot longer than that. Gators and other dangerous wildlife? Sure beats soulless bureaucrats, sociopathic corporate lawyers, backstabbing capitalist contractors, and asshole politicians.

So, goodbye. I wish you well and hope you get better. However, you’ll be doing so without me. I can only love you from a distance at this point - the 800-mile distance between you and my new home. I’ll be spending the next few months enjoying what is good about you, so I can have good memories about you in my dotage. However, once I hit I-95 South, it’ll be for the last time.

Born in DC, raised in Arlington, currently in Springfield, soon to be Lakeland, FL.

I could have written a similar post. I grew up in the D.C. area, went to high school & college there, and worked @ several jobs there. In my mid-20’s (mid-1990’s) I got a then-new job half-way across the country, and never looked back.

I hated the D.C. area, and moving from there is the best single decision I ever made. I don’t even like going back to visit, and haven’t done so in years. I definitely don’t miss:

Extremely cold winters w/snow that can (and has) shut down areas for days at a time.
Hot summers.
High crime.
Expensive real estate.
Terrible traffic.
Rich snobs who think they’re better than anyone else, but who actually live in one of the biggest shit-holes in the world.

So, fuck the D.C. area & fuck my ex-wife (who I never told I was moving and who as far as I know still lives there) - good riddance to all of you. My favorite memory was seeing you in the rear-view mirror as I was driving away :wink:

Hope you will be happy in FL. I grew up in the Baltimore suburbs, but I lived in the Jacksonville area for 18-ish years. I was soooooooooo happy to finally get out of there. In fact, if my inlaws didn’t still live in Ocala, I’d never venture into that state again. But I know there are those who like it there, and I hope it will be a good fit for you.

As for me, I’m quite content in St. Mary’s county.

I grew up in Silver Spring, loved the area, but never had to work a real job there.
I still think DC is an awesome place to visit, but the traffic has become truly horrendous, so I would never move back.

If you actually live in DC, though, traffic isn’t that bad. It’s in the areas around the city that my wife and I call the dead zone: strip malls and cul de sacs named after confederate traitors.

Washington DC: Combines Northern charm with Southern efficiency.

Interesting post, since I’m considering DC for relocation when I start my job search next year.

Oh, how you will laugh about this memory on the 14th consecutive day without power after a hurricane.


An ex-Washingtonian turned Floridian.

When you said this, I instantly knew that you didn’t live in DC. All the suburbs are totally incompetent when it comes to snow; DC has actually become quite efficient at snowplow technology.

Even during snowmageddon, in DC I was able to drive around town the next day. Folks out in the 'burbs were screwed for a long time.

I’ve found that that is both true and a compliment these days. I like the old buildings in the center of northern cities and the stereotypical languorous south disappeared with air conditioning. I’ve found D.C. to be both monumental and competent (service-wise, that is.)

Preach it!

I’ve had the misfortune and displeasure of living in the NOVA area, and hated it for all the reasons you called out.

Try to metro anywhere? Well, you can only really metro east/west, and doing that will cost 2x as much and take 2x the time as just driving. Plus the metro is awful, rickety, catches fire, and single-tracks all the time.

So you need a car to get anywhere reliably. But guess what! Cars are taxed as property every year. That’s right, even though you bought your car 5+ years ago in some other state, you get to pay us the same amount you paid for sales tax in that more enlightened state every year! Lucky you!

Traffic is godawful anywhere you go at any hour, because despite taxing the shit out of literally everything including houses, income, cars, gas, and even dogs (there is a dog tax too), they don’t believe in building or expanding new highways, so an area serving 5 million adults gets ONE north/west highway, and ONE east/west highway, both with relatively few lanes. Oh, and 80 year old shacks start at $500k…$600k if you need a good school district.

It also brings you the worst of both climate worlds, with 95+ degree summers with 80% humidity so hot you can’t even walk your dogs in it, and lots of snow and road closures in winter.

And finally, as Knowed Out so cogently notes, the people of the area combine Northern charm with Southern efficiency. You can add Gilded Age avariciousness and Puritan social mores to that equation, too. It quite literally IS the swamp it’s been accused of being, with all the redeeming features you’d expect of that.

Leaving there was one of my happiest days, and I pity the people still stuck there.

But don’t worry dalej42, you’ll love it there, really. :smiley:

I agree. In general, city services have really improved over the last 20 years or so. If we could get the burbs to pay their share, we could even fix Metro.

It’s important to note, dale, that none of the people complaining here actually live in DC.

I was born in Alexandria and went to high school in Falls Gulch. As soon as I turned 17 I went away to college in Boston and have never looked back. This was in 1969.

Back then, you could still say Alexandria retained its charm (without benefit of the “Olde Towne” designation) and DC was still kind of a “sleepy southern town.” Not any more, NoVa is nothing but strip mall after strip mall. I still have friends and family down there but visit as seldom as possible. It’s soul-destroying.

Then again, 88%+ of the people in the broader metro area don’t live in DC proper - in general if somebody is moving to the “DC area”, there’s a high chance they won’t be downtown.

DC CBSA Population: ~5M
DC proper population: ~600k

% of DC metro area living in DC proper: 12%

When you move to a region you can choose where to live. You don’t get randomly assigned city or suburbs.

Anyway I do live in DC proper, and while I have my complaints I like it overall. Crime isn’t any worse than any other metro area, certainly it’s a lot better than it was during the crack wars. If you live in the city you can avoid a lot of metro hassle by using buses instead of trains. There’s good food, free museums, and a lot of people who aren’t stuck up self important politicos.

Also, most of my friends are here. I don’t really feel like finding a new social life.

My wife and I have a contest to see how far away from DC we can get someone to describe themselves as “from Washington.” She had someone from Fredericksburg make the claim.

“Being a New Yorker is such a hassle!” said the guy from Stamford.

I had no idea, what neighborhood? I’m in Petworth, but lived in Logan Circle and DuPont back in the late 80s, early 90s.

Of the four multi-line grade-separated regional transit systems I’ve been on more than once, DC is the worst, barely edging out NYC and firmly behind Boston and London. The only reason NYC is in the running is because it’s way more rickety than the Metro. But it has a plethora of stops, and the Metro is great only if you happen to be going exactly from one stop to another.

Mount Pleasant, though I’ll probably have to move soon.

ETA: In response to Madmonk. Forgot to quote.