Open Thread: Only in Ankh-Morpork

Melissa Bell, Washington Post blogger, “bemoans” the end of a rival city’s latest (inadvertent) tourist advertisement:

It’s official: the Bronx Zoo Cobra has been found. I’m glad the poor zookeepers can get back to business as usual, but I do mourn for one thing: the end of one of the best New York City advertisements since the ubiquitous “I ♥ NY” came on the scene.
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While the zookeepers claim the snake was in the zoo enclosure all along, folks on Twitter know the adolescent Egyptian Cobra has been out on the town.
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For the past four days, @BronxZoosCobra has tweeted the length and breadth of Manhattan, making those of us outside the city limits long for Herald Square. She dined on a Magnolia Bakery cupcake. She snapped a photograph of an immigrant on Ellis Island with an uncanny resemblance to Jon Favreau. She marveled at how tiny people looked from the top of the Empire State Building (“All the people look like little mice down there. Delicious little mice”). She even made it out to Yankee Stadium for opening day. From the snake’s eye view, the city looks good and tasty.
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What could have been a public relations problem for the city — Don’t travel to New York! Deadly snake on the lose! — instead wound up being a tweeting advertisement hissing the praises of the Big Apple. Who wouldn’t want to be out and about with #snakeonthetown?

This is the difference between a company town like DC, a place that exists as the hub for (and at the mercy of ) a single industry, and a “world class” city like NYC. A city like Terry Prachett’s Ankh-Morpork, varied and robust enough to warp the very space-time continuum to serve its desires. I grew up in the outer boroughs of New York, and couldn’t wait to move elsewhere, but when I told my Midwestern college dormmates that I’d lost the secret lottery whereby a certain percentage of NYC natives were required to leave to make room for the hordes of wanna-bes… a surprising percentage of them believed me.

And yet, the national capital has plenty of accomplished professional liars lobbyists, advertisers and other self-identified “creative class” members within its boundaries. Surely there must be a public-spirited individual who could design a twitter feed to challenge the Bronx Zoo Cobra?

But I am not that person. The first image I came up with was #NotcongresscritterEricCantor tweeting from the Senate Floor, “All the voters look like little mice up there. Delicious little mice!”

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85 replies
  1. 1
    "Fair and Balanced" Dave says:

    Washington DC already has an over-abundance of cold-blooded reptiles.

  2. 2
    zeppo says:

    I loved the title. I just happened to be reading The Fifth Elephant right now.

    Captain Carrot would have known exactly where the snake was.

  3. 3
    aimai says:

    I was just reading that twitter feed to Mr. Aimai. It was really one of the best uses of twitter ever. I particularly loved the part about the cupcakes, and when she left Wall Street with the remark that it “made her skin crawl.”

    aimai

  4. 4
    Face says:

    The Today Show spent over 5 minutes reporting on the snake thing and his/her twitter account. Nothing on the Wisky fucks, nothing on Ohio’s union-busting bill, nothing on the looming gov’t shutdown. But 5 mins for a fucking snake and a bunch of phony twats (past tense for tweets, right?).

    By the way, expect this “fake Twitter” shit to explode. First Rahm, now a damn snake. As much unnecessary attention as these accounts got, this trend only get worse. Much worse.

  5. 5
    fuzed says:

    #NewPTBarnum – Suckers, lots of suckers out there with their Tea Party hats.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Face: Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

  7. 7
    SpotWeld says:

    A twitter feed for a literal “fly on the wall” within congress has some humor potential

  8. 8

    Since this is an OT, here’s some news from Wisconsin: Dems say goal met in Kapanke recall. via The Somebody.

  9. 9

    @Face: It was happening long before Rahm. Google BPGlobalPR.

  10. 10
    Rosalita says:

    @Face:

    The Today Show spent over 5 minutes reporting on the snake thing and his/her twitter account. Nothing on the Wisky fucks, nothing on Ohio’s union-busting bill, nothing on the looming gov’t shutdown. But 5 mins for a fucking snake and a bunch of phony twats (past tense for tweets, right?).

    more amusing than reporting in ‘Lindsey’ you have to admit

  11. 11

    fashion, wall st, the corporate media, new york’s unique industries all pretty much suck.

    but they do promote themselves well, they are world class in self-promotion, stands to reason they could make a a twitter hashtag party into an epic triumph of viral marketing, only new yorkers could do, amirite?

    i don’t know if it qualifies as being world class, but new york is definitely the zsa zsa gabor of cities.

  12. 12
    Derek says:

    I would love to see the Patrician in charge of New York.

  13. 13

    @Face:

    well you can always count on andy rooney on twitter to give you an honest day’s 140 characters.

  14. 14
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Face:

    By the way, expect this “fake Twitter” shit to explode. First Rahm, now a damn snake. As much unnecessary attention as these accounts got, this trend only get worse. Much worse.

    Yeah, I don’t have any problem with the humor but twitter parodies ain’t news.

  15. 15
    Origuy says:

    Happy April Fools Day? Any good pranks out there?

    I’ll start off; a few days ago, Language Log asked why New Yorker magazine never used sentences where the verb preceded the subject, even when the result was convoluted. Today provides the answer.

  16. 16
    Punchy says:

    It’s an Egyptian cobra. Clearly it was rebelling against its forced confinement, subjected to treatment and feeding and heat not voted on, but imposed on it against its will.

  17. 17
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    .. and to carry this out a little further..

    I’m not a fan at all of the MSMs attempt to report on what is happening on the internet. Wolf Blitzer’s “Here’s What People Are Saying On The Internet About Issue X Today..” comes to mind. The internet is a communications medium, not an end unto itself. It would be like a newspaper reporting on what was said on the radio, or radio news reporting about what some people were saying on the telephone. It’s absurd.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Will says:

    As a born-and-raised New Yorker (brooklyn and manhattan, btw. none of this “strong island” bs), and someone who spent a year living in D.C. working for the feds….

    In no way shape or form is D.C. a “rival city” to NY. It’s not even close. That’s something DC’ers tell each other as cold comfort for the fact that they live in a terrible city with bad pizza, no street food, and a crappy subway system.

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Live tweets of from Judge Sumi’s court found here

  21. 21
    Marmot says:

    This is the difference between a company town like DC, a place that exists as the hub for (and at the mercy of ) a single industry, and a “world class” city like NYC.

    I’ve always wondered what the heck is wrong with Los Angeles — it’s got so much going for it on a physical level. This is a better explanation than most of the ones I’ve been able to come up with!

  22. 22
    Folderol & Ephemera says:

    @Derek:

    I would love to see the Patrician in charge of New York.

    Well, Giuliani had some of the whole “throw them into the scorpion pits” vibe, so there’s that.

    Actually, Vetinari is probably the most unbelievable and fantastical (viz. “not-real”) character in Pratchett’s novels, if you ask me. You’d have better luck finding an actual werewolf in the real world than a genius benign dictator.

  23. 23
    Jeff Spender says:

    This is O/T, but I’ve come to the startling conclusion that Sully is a bloviating moron with all of this “imperial presidency” hogwash.

    I remember when he used to be tolerable. Now it’s clear that he responds to every bit of news with some sort of crazy overreaction.

  24. 24
    jwb says:

    @Face: Well, if it serves to kill off Twitter all the better.

  25. 25
    jwb says:

    @Jeff Spender: And you just figured this out???

  26. 26
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Folderol & Ephemera:

    Actually, Vetinari is probably the most unbelievable and fantastical (viz. “not-real”) character in Pratchett’s novels, if you ask me.

    Meh, I go with the Luggage.

  27. 27
    MikeTheZ says:

    So anyone else read about the GOP’s little pet amendment?

  28. 28
    Jeff Spender says:

    @jwb:

    I took a break from Sully and thought that, perhaps, he’d drop this pearl-clutching “somebody think of the children” routine, but I was wrong.

    I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but this Mitch Daniels fetishism is just too much.

  29. 29
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Cris: This is just begging for a Kinect hack.

  30. 30
    The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    Since every day is April Fool’s Day when you’re following politics:

    Krugman is Shrill.

    CNN accuses TPM of Video Hackjob. You know, despite showing the whole video of Rep. Duffy, who then demanded the video be taken down…THEN decried TPM for editing it, upon which CNN takes his word without issue. Funny how they hold TPM to a higher standard than Serial Liar O’Keefe. I guess it’s because Libs are always dirty fucking liars until proven innocent.

    Oh, and count Rep. Woodall (R-GA) as yet another full-time April Fool, as he ascribes to the damningly backwards, yet prevalent idea that companies paying no fucking corporate tax really means that the corporate tax rate is simply too outrageously high and needs to be slashed/eliminated completely.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    chopper says:

    that’s funny. i was reminded of a different side of new york this morning, as a friend and i were crossing the street after dropping our kids off at day care in crown heights. some choad in a hurry was making a turn and stopped really close to us, so my friend put her arm out like all ‘hold on, smokey’. so of course, in typical new yorker fashion, the driver stopped, rolled down his window and cursed up a storm, all ‘fuck you, bitch’ etc etc.

    cause god forbid, pedestrians cross the street on a green light. this place is so fucking uptight.

  33. 33
    ericblair says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I’m not a fan at all of the MSMs attempt to report on what is happening on the internet. Wolf Blitzer’s “Here’s What People Are Saying On The Internet About Issue X Today..” comes to mind.

    Oh Christ on a cracker. I tried turning on CNN a couple of weeks ago to see if there was any news on the Japanese nuclear disaster/birth of Godzilla and there were the talking heads discussing what was on Twitter and the blogs. Obviously, I do have access to those newfangled computer thingies and if I wanted to know what was on the blogs or Twitter I’ve have just gone there myself. I turned it off.

    Sure, have some bunch of bobbleheads surfing the web for you is cheap TV, but who the hell is the actual audience for this? Seems like people who simultaneously a) don’t have access to the web, and b) care what’s on the web, which at this point is basically nobody.

  34. 34
    Folderol & Ephemera says:

    @JSF: I kind of think of the Luggage as more of a prop than a character. Or an act of nature, or something.

    But fine, here’s an amended statement: I find Vetinari to be the most unbelievable among the nominally human characters, thereby leaving out Death and the Gods and Hex and whatnot. Or Greebo, for that matter (but I have met cats like that).

  35. 35
    saucy says:

    You know, most residents of DC aren’t involved in politics at all. Before I moved to DC, I imagined that lobbyists and congressional aides etc. were everywhere. Turns out they’re a minority here, too, sort of a culture within the broader city.

    Most DC residents are good people, I swear! And we keep hoping that maybe, someday, if we’re good enough, the rest of the nation will stop hating their false construction of “DC” long enough to extend us voting rights…

  36. 36
    ericblair says:

    @Folderol & Ephemera:

    But fine, here’s an amended statement: I find Vetinari to be the most unbelievable among the nominally human characters, thereby leaving out Death and the Gods and Hex and whatnot. Or Greebo, for that matter (but I have met cats like that).

    I’d treat Vetinari as a prop, too, like the Luggage. The guy is the super-competent five-steps-ahead-of-everybody somewhat benign dictator of the city; you couldn’t have him as a main character because there’s no internal struggle for him.

    He’s the dude that kicks the plot off and nudges it back on track when necessary. It works well in the stories, because generally if you write your characters well they’ll tend to wander off the plot just because they’re actual characters with motivations and goals that the author doesn’t necessarily share. So you can either give them the Idiot Ball and have them do stupid out-of-character shit to pull them back to the plot, or have a deus ex machina like Vetinari nudge things back onto course.

  37. 37
    MaximusNYC says:

    Anne: Agree with your analysis 100%. NYC is a hub for various different industries/fields, and just has an embarassment of riches in the “very smart people” department, drawn here not only by the desire to get into one of these fields, but by the general mystique of the place.

    All this surplus intelligence and creativity results in cross-pollination between different disciplines, as well as a lot of super-bright underemployed young (and older) people who just invent brilliant new stuff to do. E.g., Soho in the ’70s.

    DC (and LA too) are monocultures — everyone is trying to climb the same totem pole, essentially — and so the basic dynamic is playing the game and getting in with the in crowd. No one wants to burn bridges, so no one says anything too openly critical of anyone else. It’s all channeled into passive aggression and vicious gossip, behind facades of comity.

    There are various “in crowds” in NYC, but it’s always possible to straddle more than one crowd, or to jump between crowds/scenes/disciplines, or to drop out, band together with a few other young Turks, and start a whole new scene.

    There’s also an acerbic quality to the city’s culture that seems ineradicable. When people don’t like you here, they come right out and say it, which I find refreshing. My favorite NYC vs. LA joke: “In LA, when people say ‘Have a nice day’, they really mean ‘Fuck you.’ In NYC, when they say ‘Fuck you’, they mean ‘Have a nice day.'”

  38. 38
    Marmot says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    NYC is a hub for various different industries/fields, and just has an embarassment of riches in the “very smart people” department, drawn here not only by the desire to get into one of these fields, but by the general mystique of the place.

    There’s some truth to that, but it’s really just got a diversity of all kinds of folks. In my three years there, I also met the stupidest people I’ve ever spoken to.

    “In LA, when people say ‘Have a nice day’, they really mean ‘Fuck you.’ In NYC, when they say ‘Fuck you’, they mean ‘Have a nice day.’”

    I hate this old joke. People in NYC get a bad rap — sure they’re brusque, but they’re actually very, very nice — especially compared to those in L.A. People in L.A. don’t say, “Have a nice day” — they mostly don’t speak to strangers at all.

  39. 39
    Cris says:

    @Marmot: People in L.A. don’t say, “Have a nice day”—they mostly don’t speak to strangers at all.

    Seems to me that this is a feature of big cities all over the world. In a densely populated area, you just don’t have the mental energy to engage with every single person you come across. So people tend to ignore you until it becomes necessary to interact.

  40. 40
    chopper says:

    @Marmot:

    eh. there are some nice people in NYC, but they’re crowded out by the sheer number of assholes. and among the people that aren’t assholes, most have no manners or tact.

  41. 41
    chopper says:

    @Cris:

    and that’s how it is in new york, too. people here don’t just strike up conversations with strangers, at least not any more than any other city i’ve lived in or been to.

  42. 42
    Folderol & Ephemera says:

    @ericblair: Good point — he’s kind of presented as a mostly human character (e.g., his love life, his youth, his dog, etc.), but he’s mostly just used as ye olde plotte fixer. But I suppose it’s this use of him, and the need for him to be nigh-omniscient, that bothers me; I think that if he was one of the gods (or some other non-mortal) he would be more “believable,” if you follow me.

  43. 43
    nancydarling says:

    @Will: Agreed, Will. While DC has beautiful monuments, etc., it reminds me of a giant cemetery. Also you can starve there easily. NYC may be gritty, but it’s ALIVE.

  44. 44
    ericblair says:

    @Folderol & Ephemera:

    But I suppose it’s this use of him, and the need for him to be nigh-omniscient, that bothers me; I think that if he was one of the gods (or some other non-mortal) he would be more “believable,” if you follow me.

    Oh, sure. I think it would have worked a little better too if he was secretly an immortal or under the orders of one and there was some cosmic reason for Ankh-Morpork to be the center of the world as it was. Of course, then, the most appropriate immortals would be the Auditors, who aren’t exactly the best model for successful meddling.

  45. 45
    chopper says:

    @nancydarling:

    DC is certainly pretty monocultural. half of it is boring as hell after you’ve lived there a few years. after you’ve lived in new york for a few years, there’s still plenty to see and do, you usually love it or hate it because of other things (people, filth, etc).

  46. 46
    Dave says:

    BronxZoosCobra struck me as edited for corporate consumption. The best use of twitter is this.

  47. 47
    MaximusNYC says:

    @Marmot:

    I hate this old joke. People in NYC get a bad rap—sure they’re brusque, but they’re actually very, very nice

    Oh, I agree. I’ve had more encounters with “good Samaritans” in NYC than anywhere else. I dropped a paycheck in a subway station once, and didn’t realize it till I got home. Someone mailed it to me. Once I was on a Metro-North commuter train, coming home at the end of the day, and didn’t have any cash to buy a ticket from the conductor; the guy I was talking to on the train bought it for me and refused to give me his address to let me pay him back.

    There is more candor in NYC than in a lot of other places. Sometimes that makes for really positive encounters. Sometimes the vibe is more negative. But I’ve met a much smaller proportion of out-and-out jerks here than in Miami, where I grew up.

    People in NYC are generally cut-to-the-chase about things, whether you’re asking directions, conducting business, etc. This brusqueness is often misunderstood as rudeness by outsiders. It’s actually more like “You’re busy, I’m busy, let’s do each other the courtesy of being as quick and concise about this as possible so we can each get on with our day.”

  48. 48
    MaximusNYC says:

    @chopper:

    there are some nice people in NYC, but they’re crowded out by the sheer number of assholes. and among the people that aren’t assholes, most have no manners or tact.

    Curious… where are you from? I find New Yorkers to be generally courteous. It’s just that courtesy is understood differently here than in some other places. Doing things quickly in a crowded, busy urban environment is intended as a courtesy, but is often misunderstood as rudeness by people used to moving at a slower pace.

  49. 49
    MattR says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    Doing things quickly in a crowded, busy urban environment is intended as a courtesy, but is often misunderstood as rudeness by people used to moving at a slower pace.

    I think this sums it up perfectly. When there is a constant line of 20 people at the pizza place, each customer does not get an extended greeting with questions about their day. They get “next” or “whatcha want”.

  50. 50
    Culture of Truth says:

    D.C. has a fair amount of culture, much of it paid for with your tax dollars.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MattR:
    @MaximusNYC:

    Oddly, that has always been my impression of Paris as well. Although the French do have a thing against people who don’t even try to speak their language.

  52. 52
    Karen in GA says:

    @zeppo: I’m reading Feet of Clay myself. Carrot would have talked the snake into returning to the zoo.

  53. 53
    nancydarling says:

    @MaximusNYC: Agree again. I’ve always been treated kindly even if I stop a stranger on the street and ask for directions. A few years ago, my daughter was in NYC with her boss. They were waiting for a table at a very busy restaurant behind 2 other women. A table for 4 was open and the 2 women turned and asked if they wanted to share the table. I just can’t imagine that happening in L.A.where I spent 42 years or a lot of other cities for that matter. You can’t smile at everyone you pass when you pass thousands of people daily.

  54. 54
    MattR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Louis CK’s take on it. (and the captioning is hilarious)

  55. 55
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @nancydarling:

    Agree again. I’ve always been treated kindly even if I stop a stranger on the street and ask for directions. A few years ago, my daughter was in NYC with her boss. They were waiting for a table at a very busy restaurant behind 2 other women. A table for 4 was open and the 2 women turned and asked if they wanted to share the table. I just can’t imagine that happening in L.A.where I spent 42 years or a lot of other cities for that matter. You can’t smile at everyone you pass when you pass thousands of people daily.

    Oh God, this would kill me, having to eat with strangers. We had to do this once at the big German place in Epcot center and it pretty much ruined the evening for me, even though it was a very nice, rather affluent older couple.

  56. 56
    Maude says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Just like the Republicans.

  57. 57
    nancydarling says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: It was a lovely gesture which they accepted as they were pressed for time to get to a play before curtain. I kinda like eating with strangers once in a while. Most people have interesting stories even if you only spend a half hour with them.

  58. 58
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Oh God, this would kill me, having to eat with strangers. We had to do this once at the big German place in Epcot center and it pretty much ruined the evening for me, even though it was a very nice, rather affluent older couple.

    Have you never done Dim Sum??

  59. 59
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @nancydarling: Stranger = danger.

  60. 60
    MikeJ says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    Curious… where are you from? I find New Yorkers to be generally courteous. It’s just that courtesy is understood differently here than in some other places.

    I’ve had to explain to Seattlites that people in shops here are flat out rude compared to their counterparts(hah!) on the east coast.

    If ten people are waiting in line, it’s rude to talk about how your day has been or what the weather is going to be like, or if the Mariners have a chance this year (good til now, shitty, no).

  61. 61

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Before I went to Paris for the first time a friend told me that I’d have no problem with Parisians and that they’d be happy enough to give me directions, etc. in English as long as I was polite about it. Like by starting out with, “bonjour, monsieur, Je ne parle pas francais, parlez vous Anglais?” rather than just jumping right into English. It’s not so much that they want you to try to speak French with them, just acknowledge that you’re in France, FFS. She was right and I never had any problems with anyone there with that approach but towards the end of my stay my French was starting to come back and I tried to speak it to some locals. That’s when I started getting the eye-rolls and such. They don’t seem to like hearing the language mangled. In Latin and South American I’ve gotten the opposite reaction. They’ve got unlimited patience down there for an American trying to speak Spanish.

  62. 62
    opie jeanne, formerly known as Jeanne Ringland says:

    You all know that Sir Terry will be in Madison WI this July, don’t you? It’s the second North American Discworld Convention. I’m going.
    I just got the March newsletter and there is something in there about Madison’s recent appearance in the news:

    “….Our downtown area has been very busy the past couple of weeks. The current state budget controversies have resulted in some very strong willed, but also incredibly peaceful protesting around our Capitol. There have been more than one hundred thousand people expressing differing opinions downtown but there has been virtually no violence, and almost no arrests.

    Even if the NADWCon 2011 were going to take during the height of the downtown protests, we would still put it on. Right now, the worst thing going on downtown is that it’s a little more crowded than usual. However we have more than three months until our convention will take place; that is a long time for the situation change.

    When you arrive in Madison in July, we cannot say that you won’t see any protesters around our Capitol. We are a young, hip, college town with a major government facility displayed right in the middle of it. Expressing political views is part of the background of our city, and there is almost always someone holding a sign in protest of one thing or another around our Capitol.

    What we can predict is that by July, the current situation will be vastly different. The budget situation will likely be resolved, and you can do what the rest of us in Madison do after a big political event, which is enjoy the atmosphere, buy a snarky politically charged t-shirt, and take lots of pictures.

  63. 63
    Moonbatman says:

    Outraged over this !1!!! A bad day for social Justice.
    The accused Lacrosse players rapists who were not proven innocent in a court of law and their attack dog hired gun lawyers have gotten a activist racist judge to help their scheme to shakedown the poor and minorities of Duke University and the City of Durham.
    Duke Lacrosse Civil Suits Allowed To Move Forward
    Peace Out The power is yours.

  64. 64
    Redshift says:

    Just when I thought there could be nothing more tiresome than April Fools on the Internet, along comes a thread of New Yorkers telling us what’s wrong with DC.

    @Will:

    In no way shape or form is D.C. a “rival city” to NY. It’s not even close. That’s something DC’ers tell each other as cold comfort for the fact that they live in a terrible city with bad pizza, no street food, and a crappy subway system.

    Bullshit. The “rival city” line came from your fellow New Yorker, not from the article. But thanks for illustrating the NY fantasy that everyone wishes they lived in New York. For the record, people in DC never sit around secretly bemoaning the fact that they don’t live in New York. We don’t care about you like you care about yourselves, so much so that you don’t realize that talking about “The City” anywhere beyond New Jersey makes you sound like a douche. Get over yourselves.

    @MaximusNYC:

    DC (and LA too) are monocultures—everyone is trying to climb the same totem pole, essentially—and so the basic dynamic is playing the game and getting in with the in crowd.

    Bullshit. This goes with the “nobody is really from there” canard. The portion of the population that is “trying to climb the same totem pole” is really tiny Yes, the federal government is the largest employer, but even there, the vast majority of federal employees are just working a job, and don’t give a damn about “getting in with the in crowd,” nor do they have to worry a bit about criticizing the wrong person jeopardizing their future. They’re not the people you read about here, and they don’t aspire to be.

    It’s fine to use “DC” as shorthand for Congress when talking politics, but for those of us who are of a political bent to care about the GOP screwing over working people and federal employees, have enough of a clue not to lump them in with the carpetbagger assholes on the Hill and pretend they don’t exist here.

    @nancydarling:

    While DC has beautiful monuments, etc., it reminds me of a giant cemetery. Also you can starve there easily. NYC may be gritty, but it’s ALIVE.

    Ah, another New Yorker who has visited DC and never left the Mall. All of New York is just like Times Square, right?

    It’s a city, people. It’s not Congress, it’s not the Smithsonian, it’s a place where real people live in different circumstances and work and eat and play in lots of different ways. It’s not your city, and no one but you seems to think it’s trying to pretend it is. There’s lots that’s great about New York, but if living there has made you unable to be anywhere else without looking down your nose at it, that doesn’t make you sophisticated and worldly, it just makes you provincial.

  65. 65
    chopper says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    i’m from chicago, where people are actually courteous. typical new yorkers may be brusque, but a great deal of them are assholes. the situation i mentioned earlier comes to mind – yeah, people are in a hurry, and sometimes when they’re making a turn they get awful close to you when you’re crossing the street. no big deal, that’s new york, driving sucks and everyone is late. but the stopping and screaming at the pedestrians for, well, walking is the ‘asshole’ bit, and that shit happens all the time. i literally see it every day.

    there’s something about this city that makes everyone want to yell at everyone, all the time. and a bunch of people out there can’t hold it in and flip out. it’s like everyone is totally stressed every single day.

    and don’t get me started on the almost gooper-like inability to admit any wrongdoing, ever.

  66. 66
    goblue72 says:

    @Marmot: What’s with the knee-jerk “LA Sucks” stuff? Look, I’m a transplanted Boston guy (Beat LA!) living in the Bay Area (Beat LA!), and I don’t care much for the LA style of urbanism – I need my density and subways. But even I have to admit LA is more than some Hollywood-centered company town.

    Its the 2d largest city in the country and the largest city in the largest state in country. Beyond being the center of the entertainment industry (one of the few products the U.S. exports in quantity), its the largest port in the country, a longstanding center of radical unionism, a cultural melting pot on par with NYC, a major economic engine on par with Silicon Valley to the north, etc. Its the West Coast center of the design industry – ever drive a car? good chance the chassis was designed in LA – including having in large part established the California aesthetic (West Coast cool) that defined much of American style in the post-WW II years and beyond. (there are 3 U.S. cities architecture geeks get their geek on – Chicago, NYC and LA) Today, its the bledding edge of the 2 major cultural forces re-defining what is means to be an “American” – Latinos and Southeast/South Asians. One-half of the sngle most significant indigenous pop music genre to come out the Y.S. in the last half century – hip-hop – wouldn’t be what it is without LA. (even if, for the record, Strong Island’s PE beats Compton’s NWA in my book.) LA is a city of vibrant, urban neighborhoods – you just need to get away from the Strip to see it.

  67. 67
    russell says:

    the difference between DC and NYC is that nobody in the entire city of Washington DC has the tiniest scrap of a sense of humor.

  68. 68
    Redshift says:

    @russell:

    the difference between DC and NYC is that nobody in the entire city of Washington DC has the tiniest scrap of a sense of humor.

    I rest my case.

  69. 69
    MattR says:

    @Redshift:

    I rest my case.

    And so does russell :-)

    FWIW I lived in Arlington, VA for a year after college before moving to NYC for 4 years. Both cities have their charms and their downsides. If my friends and family were not in the NYC area I am not sure where I would be living now.

  70. 70
    twiffer says:

    @Sentient Puddle: who will water my plants?

  71. 71
    nancydarling says:

    @Redshift: Actually, Red, I live in Arkansas. I love L.A. I just can’t afford to live in SoCal in retirement. It’s got the best weather of any of the places we are talking about. Bad weather is rain on Saturdays messing up your weekend. Once in a February, I went skiing in the local mountains on a Saturday and to the beach on Sunday. The trade offs of freeway traffic and lots of people vs the variety of out door activities, etc. were always worth it for me. One of the things I miss the most about urban living (besides a decent super market) is the cultural stew you find in bigger cities. This place is pretty white bread although changing slowly. I go to L.A. two or three times a year and the accents and languages heard are like music to me. I only visit NYC and DC. Does Fairfax count for getting off the Mall?

  72. 72
    Redshift says:

    @MattR:

    And so does russell :-)

    I could see that if any of the things I was responding to showed any evidence that they were intended to be funny. I wasn’t replying to the original post, which was amusing.

    Since “Ha, ha! That’s great!” doesn’t seem to be an appropriate response to any of the comments as they were intended, a followup of “people in DC have no sense of humor” comes of pretty much like a wingnut’s “It was a joke! Liberals have no sense of humor!”

  73. 73
    Redshift says:

    @nancydarling: Sorry, then. “It’s a bunch of monuments and there’s no food” is pretty much the exact complaint you hear from tourists who never get more than a block from the Mall. But how could you starve in Fairfax? Or DC, for that matter?

  74. 74
    chopper says:

    @Redshift:

    Way more pho and ethiopian places in the DC area at least.

  75. 75
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Alrighty people, settle down. Fact is, every place in the entire universe sucks except the very special place I choose to live and my secret vacation paradise.

  76. 76
    Don says:

    Yeah, I really don’t see why we’re supposed to have a sense of humor about some ignorant shitting on our city. When you open up your mouth and say something stupid and insulting with no indication it’s meant to be humorous – like, for example, being actually being funny – what sort of reaction do you think you should expect?

    It’s also a somewhat ironic reaction coming from folks who like to go on about what hardened badasses they are.

  77. 77
    Redshift says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: This is true. Assuming that you live and vacation in the same place as me, of course.

  78. 78
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Don:

    It’s also a somewhat ironic reaction coming from folks who like to go on about what hardened badasses they are.

    I apologize for not getting into the my-city-is-better-than-your-city poo fight but I assure you I am nonetheless a hardened badass.

  79. 79
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Shit, my use of the word “nonetheless” belies my hardened badassery. *runs away*

  80. 80
    AAA Bonds says:

    NYC is great if you have a lot of money.

    Everyone I know there who doesn’t have a lot of money seems to be constantly trying to convince themselves it’s worth it to live there.

    Although it is one of a handful of cities in America where you can live as transgender without keeping a handgun on you at all times, having a tiny pool of mostly psychos for dates, etc.

  81. 81
    Paula says:

    Speaking as someone who’s lived around Los Angeles most of her life, and visited NYC and Chicago a number of times — Chicago kind of leaves NYC in the dust, tourist-wise.

    That midwestern hospitality thing is real (many people from NYC and LA, do, indeed, tend to be assholes, myself included). The food is more varied than you’d think, particularly in some of the more esoteric immigrant neighborhoods. You can dine well for less $$ than in either of the big cities factoring in transportation costs. The public art and historically significant architecture confined into a relatively small area makes it easy to sight-see and quite unique and beautiful in a way that Manhattan is not.

    NYC is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to make a permanent home there.

  82. 82
    Paula says:

    @Marmot:

    The problem is that we don’t have some kind of kick-ass transportation system linking everything up, so the class and racial divisions tend to be more pronounced and, therefore, the most visible thing to everyone who doesn’t live around here. I don’t disagree that this is a dysfunction, but to pretend like LA is somehow the only big city that has these problems is a nice bit of self-flattery that residents of other cities like to give themselves.

  83. 83
    Tehanu says:

    DC (and LA too) are monocultures—everyone is trying to climb the same totem pole, essentially—and so the basic dynamic is playing the game and getting in with the in crowd.

    Another ignoramus. Parts of Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, & Malibu, taken together, might fairly be described as a company town, but trust a lifelong Angeleno: the vast majority of people here haven’t got anything more to do with showbiz than you do. There was a much more eloquent description of LA upthread so I won’t repeat. About the only real difference I’ve ever noticed is that people in L.A. tend to be less googly-eyed about showbiz celebrities than out-of-towners are, because we’re more used to bumping into them at the grocery store. My best friend, a woman of some means and social standing who’s lived in Europe and traveled all over the world, practically went apeshit during a visit here over seeing Victoria Principal in sweat pants at Macy’s; she couldn’t stop talking about it for months. My response was, “Eh, I saw ten bigger celebs than her last week.”

  84. 84
    Wilson Heath says:

    If the shutdown is on, you may just get a chance to see how creative, snarky, and awesome a great mass of DC denizens really are. I’m hoping for a clown day, stuffing the gallery with white pancake and clown shoes of the sort that ought to be on the floor.

  85. 85
    MaximusNYC says:

    Yes, I generalized about DC and LA, or rather, I was too specific — I talked about their dominant industries.

    Obviously stuff happens in both cities that has nothing to do with politics or showbiz, just as NYC isn’t all about Wall Street, or the media, or fashion, or music, or art, or publishing, or… uh, I’ll stop now.

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