Friday, May 5, 2006

DC = Fancy New York

The other day I was on the Metro thinking about DC. I love New York, you know, and DC is just…well…it’s different. Sure you sometimes see the same characters like the woman in animal print sitting across from me conducting an invisible orchestra. Or the man on the city bus selling CDs and DVDs out of his backpack.

“If it’s hot, and it hadn’t dropped, I probably got it.”

New York is easier to navigate, but DC is smaller. New York City apartments are smaller and don’t come with closets. Sometimes they don’t even have level floors. The subway stations are cleaner in DC with their fancy escalators and rules against eating and drinking. But there’s a charm in New York’s grit. The gum stained concrete floors, the urine soaked stairs and that guy that’s always singing ‘Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone’ from the subway platform. I love that guy. I don’t know what his story is or why he’s always singing that song, but I make up different romantic scenarios every time I see him. The 77th Street station, Lexington Avenue line. Check him out.

This morning, as I was walking up the escalator, I saw an overweight Latino woman wearing a tight wife-beater with a large red stop sign on it. Underneath the sign, it said “Bitchin.” She was also wearing a denim miniskirt. And suddenly, I felt like I was back in Manhattan. Add some long nails and sassy attitude, and she might just waiting on the train to Queens.

In DC, the politicians and lawyers have separated the grit into different sections around town. So overlaps with Miss Stop Bitchin’ are rare. While in New York, the city dwellers embrace the grit, the dirt, the singing homeless, and it’s all part of the magic and charm of the world’s greatest city. DC’s a fancy pants’ New York. I bet the ‘I Heart DC’ shirts even are made out of 100% cotton.


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