DC vs. NYC

10 Dec

Ok, I’ll admit it, I had a panic attack.  As my plane from Guatemala flew over the sprawling suburbs of DC, and we passed row after row of cookie-cutter suburbian homes, my stomach tightened and I found it hard to breathe.  I was 26, unemployed, and out of money.  And the mass-scale consumption and lavish lifestyles of my compatriots was just too much. How would I afford to buy a rug, mattress, blanket, and bookcase?  Where do people get the money to “renovate” their bathrooms with $500 sink fixtures?

Yet I fully recovered, am breathing normally again, and as we speak am typing from a Starbucks, the most evil of all American corporations.  As I contemplate settling in long-term in the good old USA and send out resumes and cover letters in the thousands, I basically have decided between two potential cities that I think might satisfy my need for cosmopolitan flair, midnight salsa dance parties, and exciting job opportunities.  Yet these two cities could not be more different from eachother: Washington DC, and the big apple.

New York is gritty, edgy, and unpredictable.  DC is regulated, clean, and well-planned.  DC is full of suits, ties, and trench coats.  New York is full of those too, but they mostly stick to the Upper East or Wall Street.  It’s also full of gogo boots, leather, spikes, neon, tattoos, and anything else you could think of.  Both cities are representative of my country, but in their own unique way.  The question is, which city is best for me? Am I a fine linen pant suit kind of girl or do I prefer animal prints and leather?  The thing is I like both, and I like to have both.  As I strolled the streets of DC today, I wondered whether that could ever be possible in such a conservative, orderly city.

Even though it may be full of more suits then you can shake a stick at, DC is quite aesthetically pleasing in a rather grandiose and sublime way that other cities just can’t seem to pull off.  But is its pulchritude enough for me?  The fact that it’s only 2.5 hours by train from my parents and several good friends adds some more brownie points, as does its relative affordability compared to NYC.  But for some reason, I just can’t seem to get New York out of my mind.  It has it all- the sights, the streets, the crazy bums in neon tights.  But most of all, it has something I just can’t find in DC: soul.  For all my pedantic prattling, I have a pretty good feeling I’ll be waiting tables in boring old Charlottesville, Virginia for a while before I can actually afford a move or get a job anyway, but it’s fun to imagine just where I could end up.

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One Response to “DC vs. NYC”

  1. Johno January 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Every part of your blog points in NYC’s direction – get up here already! 🙂

    FYI, I just began a new project here in downtown and have been “living” in SoHo for 3 days. It’s my first time here NOT on vacation, and it’s unbelievable (and Pat will even be here in 6 weeks).

    Good luck with the decision!

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