City Desk

New York Expat Hates D.C. So Much She Got Her Wedding Announcement in the Post

D.C. Vs. New York in the Washington Post

This morning's Washington Post broke new ground in a genre most experts thought was entirely tapped out by now: Whiny ex-New Yorkers bitching about how much they hate D.C.

Style feature writer Monica Hesse chronicled a meeting of a group of nearly a dozen and a half New York expats who've formed a club they call the Fellowship of Unassimilated Manhattan Exiles, or FUME. Meeting at a ritzy tequila bar of the sort most expats like to pretend doesn't exist here ("The partying continues... NYC style," an invitation to the gathering reads), FUME's members gripe about how difficult it is to buy a newspaper in the District. Or get Chinese food.

The standard reaction to this sort of fare—"So go back to New York!"—doesn't apply here; the group's founder, former Politico staffer Pia Catton, has done just that. But it's still worth examining FUME a bit more closely. TBD has already pointed out that even New Yorkers don't like people who think Manhattan is the center of the world; Twitter has already pointed out that the Post's characterization of D.C. as "a whole city of expats" ignores the thousands and thousands of us who were born here and don't feel the need for an embassy to rally around (even an embassy that serves $80 tequila shots and boring tacos).

What no one's pointed out yet, though, is that one of FUME's stalwarts, education policy wonk Emily Anthony, hates D.C. so much that she... had her wedding written up in the local paper. (Yes, the same local paper that wrote up FUME, and the one that, apparently, no New York expats have figured out can be delivered to their homes so they don't need to buy it at CVS.) We had to figure that out by Googling her name, though, because we hadn't read about it in the Post; real Washingtonians, of course, get their news about the weddings of people with advanced degrees in the New York Times. Which publishes a Washington edition.

Leave weddings aside, though. In the end, like so many New York-beats-D.C. arguments, FUME's comes down to bagels. And while we think it's typically a fool's errand to compare D.C. and New York as if one city weren't more than 10 times bigger than the other, on the bagel front, there's no question who comes out ahead.

After all, if you want to get H&H bagels at a neighborhood deli, New York's got nothing for you anymore. Welcome to D.C., everyone!

Photo by midweekpost via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

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  • Shevonne

    Pathetic that Washington Post would cover this story, but local organizations trying to do some good in DC can't even get one of them to listen.

    I'll still say it "Follow Catton and go back to New York!"

  • alex

    Hmm...seems to me that if you moved here there must be something your precious NYC isn't offering. If NYC is so great, then f off and go back. We won't miss you one bit.

  • reuben

    Interesting how these stories manage to incite so much anger. I have been here since 1958, when my family moved here from Georgia. Admittedly, I've never loved DC, but I like a lot of people here. And yes, you can get pesto and such here now. (LOL) I try not to think about the differences between DC and NYC-in part because, as my Dad once said- "New York at C +, would be honor roll status for most cities. And yes, that includes this place.

  • Viss1

    My first thought after reading this article is that it's easier in NYC to avoid the type of person who would frequent a pretentious bar with overpriced tequila.

  • Toby Mann

    Am I reading this right? You Google-stalked a woman who showed up to a happy hour and gave a quote to a reporter about how people in DC talk a lot about their jobs?

    Slow news day?

  • yup

    It takes time to love a new city, but it'll never happen if you're constantly comparing it to wherever you last lived. You're *here*, not there, so if you haven't found anything to like yet, Keep Looking.

  • Crae

    Former DCer here, now happy in NY 15 years and counting.

    I think the anger here and elsewhere reacting to this article indicates that it has hit a nerve. The article was silly and lame, but it does obliquely touch on the fact that DC, while much improved from the past and certainly very expensive, is not as interesting or lively as it could be.

    The biggest difference between the two cities that I notice and what is missing from the article is that NYC and the boroughs are better run than DC. Despite its vastly bigger size and the greater variety of its residents, NY municipal services, retail, and partnering federal organizations (with a few exceptions) run a lot smoother and more error-free than DC's do. There is a greater sense of accountability. Systems function better.

    Now of course Union Station is much nicer than Penn, I will grant you that...

  • John Roberts

    @Crae i agree. blacks have too much power here

  • MoHub

    I'm a native Washingtonian living in the Maryland 'burbs, but my father was a Noo Yawker. He always prided himself on having become a Washingtonian and losing his accent. He maintained until the day he died that New Yorkers were "the biggest hicks on the planet," meaning they had no world view outside of New York and refused to learn about or see the qualities of other places.

    The article in the Post just proves he was right.

  • Crae

    Rude and pointless response John Roberts. Minorities have a strong hand in running New York -- and they do it well.