The Plantain is live from Washing D.C. this week and has discovered that there are almost no Colombians in the entire District of Columbia. In fact, most of the people here are white. And not even interesting white. Just regular white. Indiana white. I’ve been told that there are also black people here, but the white people keep telling me to avoid the areas of town where they live…so right now that’s just a rumor.
I flew into town Saturday afternoon from Miami to cover the celebration surrounding Trump’s 100th day and the surprising lack of nuclear war it has brought so far. I was feeling pretty beat upon my arrival (I flew United) and tried to make my way to my hotel, but got caught up behind a crowd of science marchers taking pictures of their signs for Instagram and decided to walk instead.
The first thing you notice when you start walking around D.C. is how the weather is terrible and the people are unpleasant. It’s always just a little too damp or cold to allow you to get comfortable, but not enough to allow you to adequately prepare yourself. That description applies to both the climate and the people that live and work in the District. At any given time the streets are filled with hordes of balding government workers or crowds of camouflage wearing tour groups from the Midwest. All of these people are Republicans—even the Democrats, if you know what I mean.
There is an air of ambition present throughout the District that causes everyone to walk just a few paces faster than necessary. Coming from Miami, where ambition and punctuality are highly discouraged, it can be a bit jarring to see so many people, most of whom are wearing bow ties, impatiently darting across the streets to get to a meeting on the Hill, which is where everyone says they are going, even when they aren't.
The second thing you notice while walking around D.C. is that all the buildings look the same and you can’t find the fucking metro. Washington D.C. must have been designed by a drunk Sim City player because every building is a replica of the last one, which makes it very difficult to figure out whether you are any closer to your hotel since you thought you already passed the Supreme Court, but it turns out that it was just the National Archives.
Being in D.C. is frustrating. You can’t escape the fact that the President works here, that he is terrible, and that his being terrible has inspired you to think of some very funny jokes about him that you know you can’t post on the internet without coming under a federal investigation. “He’s right there!” you keep thinking to yourself as you pass the White House, sort of unimpressed by it.
D.C. is perhaps most frustrating because you are always only about 3 hours away from New York, which is a much better city with a lot more to do tonight. There are probably at least two Hannibal Buress shows happening in NY, plus your cool, artsy friend from college who has just been sort of squatting in Brooklyn since graduation is there, and she is always fun. Your friends in D.C. are less fun and they always have work the next morning. Plus, the City seems to just sort of close down in the late afternoon anyway, leaving you to wander around at night with nothing to do beside look for Andrea Mitchell to throw bread at.
Coming from Miami, I know how obnoxious it can be when someone comes to my town for a few days to criticize it for lacking in culture or sophistication. D.C. has both. It is a sophisticated and cultural City, and if you’re interested in waking up early and seeing some archives or touring museums all day, you are in probably the 18th best place in the world for that.
But D.C. is a reserved city that lacks the heart that I have grown accustomed to living in Miami, a City which, for better or worse, wears its emotion on its sleeves. Now, don’t get me wrong, Miami is a shittier place than D.C. But it wears it’s shit with pride and embraces it in a way that makes it pretty exciting.
The District of Columbia is grandiose but boring. This criticism is absolutely a result of the stunning lack of diversity that can be found throughout the District. It is a City created by and for white folks who look like they are from Indiana, and the lack of other culture's influence in the City's planning makes D.C feel sanitized and boring.
The Plantain gives the District of Colombia 1.5 Stars because the Newseum is pretty cool and it is only a short train ride to New York.