PoPville’s Random Lists Are as Inane as They Appear
Avid readers of the local Prince of Petworth blog have probably noticed by now that every Friday afternoon the prince himself—also known as Dan Silverman—posts random lists on topics such as bars and restaurants in D.C., best local blocks, and area-restaurants that contain colors in their names.
And this week, Silverman confirmed to City Desk that the lists are just as inane as they appear.
"I don't spend a lot of time on these lists, it's a fun Friday afternoon thing for me to do," Silverman says.
Silverman says the idea for the lists started in jest. He was on the now defunct "No Call No Show" podcast when someone affiliated with a bar jokingly lamented about his establishment not making it onto a rankings list. That made him want to poke fun of the inundation of arbitrary lists in media.
"These lists are so stupid, I'm going to throw up a list of bars," Silverman says. "I did it purely as a joke, absolutely nothing serious whatsoever, and then it got a lot of readers and interests."
This gave way to his first list in January: "Here is a Random List of 23 DC Bars and Restaurants." And as described, the list was a completely random list of 23 D.C. establishments. Predictably, Silverman says he received some complaints from places that did not make the list for whatever reason.
In February, Silverman compiled a list of the "The 13 Best Things About Living in the District." The list hit on such D.C. mainstays as the cherry blossoms, the 9:30 Club, the Nationals, and the malls and monuments. A few weeks later, he published a list called "The 13 Worst Things About Living in the District." It was the exact same list—and not everyone noticed. "What a horrible attitude! I feel bad for you that you have this perspective," one anonymous wrote on the post.
"I'm sort of half making a mockery of it, half taking it serious," he says, estimating that about 60 percent of readers get the joke and 40 percent don't, "give or take 12 percent."
Silverman's most recent list last Friday was "Here is a Random List of 13 Things Old/New DC," which included a shout out to City Paper's own food editor Jessica Sidman.
"I don't even know how that came into my head," he says. "I think I was looking at a glass building or something... it takes me five minutes."
So what's next on the prince's random lists list?
"I'm waiting for inspiration to strike me," he says.
Photo by ep_jhu via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0