Monday, October 24, 2011

My neighborhood is unique, just like all the others.

Descriptions of neighborhoods, at least in the D.C. area, seem to be written out of a manual of form paragraphs. Residents of any given neighborhood will gladly tell you that their neighborhood has the feel of a small town, as opposed to the soulless suburban sprawl of that other neighborhood across the tracks. Who would like to guess what the residents of that other neighborhood across the tracks say?

Never mind that if all neighborhoods are unique in the same way, none of them are unique at all. Never mind either that by "small town," people typically mean "theme-park version of a small town for transplants whose closest previous exposure to small-town life was growing up in Queens rather than Manhattan." For example, my neighborhood, despite its vaunted "small-town" feel, has big-city attractions such as a wide variety of good ethnic restaurants and a gay-themed art gallery, things for which people do not normally move from big cities to small towns.

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