Color and Light: Keeping Perspective on D.C.’s Future

Washington Post contributor and architectural professor Roger K. Lewis paints an overly-optimistic portrait of D.C.’s future. We concur that D.C. will be a world-class city, but this blog and its writers will be long gone – as in dead – by then. Glance through some home truths below.

Etiquette: We hardly lay out the welcome mat to visitors; ranked third-rudest in America.

Education: As most try to outsmart each other by seeking an advanced degree, it is almost becoming expected that you have a Masters at bare minimum. There is nothing wrong with pursuing a higher education. Hence, how do you standout in a crowded room?

International Tourism: When visiting the United States for the first time, foreigners don’t think ‘Oooh, let’s visit Washington, D.C.’ No, what comes to their minds are cities like New-York and San-Francisco. It was and will always be this way.

Shopping: As the city does not rank high as a destination city amongst foreign tourists, retailers have little incentive to develop large flagship or concept stores here. And whatever retailers do open here is limited and not even big enough to drown a mouse. Georgetown’s M street may have its charm, but the allure ends before it even begins. Penn Quarter (our favorite) has plenty of potential, but the area will take time to further develop.

Dining: There have been slow improvements on the food scene, but to it would be wishful thinking to project D.C. knocking New-York, London, or Paris off their golden pedestals.

Affordability: One area D.C. seems to be catching up with other world capitals is living expenses. For $2,000, you can rent a one-bedroom pigeonhole in Arlington; not exactly affordable for the average worker.

Homelessness: Yes, there are homeless people in the district and surrounding areas. At night, they live in these fictitious places called homeless shelters.

City of Transition: Some people will continue to use Washington as a city of transition. What does this mean? People come to the metro area to do well professionally, make lots of money, and finally leave. There will also be those who just work in the area, but continue to commute back to their home states over the weekends.

Diversity: The area is culturally diverse, so?


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