The Washington Post

If you eliminate everything important, it’s hard to disagree with Forbes

The National Park Service hosts a ceremony in July at the Washington Monument to light the monument, which has been under restoration since a 2011 earthquake.
Astrid Riecken / For The Washington Post

I can always tell when someone makes a proclamation about the District in a national publication because my Twitter feed immediately blows up with people making so-called hot takes about something that really probably doesn’t mean much at all. Such was the case when declared Wednesday that Washington, D.C. the “coolest city in America.”

People who I know call D.C. home started complaining loudly, which always strikes me as oddball. For one, if you live here, presumably you like it to some degree. Unless you’re one of those people that feels the need to talk bad about your surroundings because you don’t know what else to do.

Secondly, coolness is linked to popularity by some degree, fairly or not. Meaning that even if you might not think something is cool, to look around the city and deny that other people do is ludicrous. Trust me, nobody is paying $2,500 a month for a studio because they don’t like the place.

As a native, though, it’s hard to disagree with the ranking. The District has pretty much everything you want, from self-important windbags to make fun of, to mustachioed bike riding hipsters to sneer at, too. You see, there is equal opportunity haterade to go around. Diversity!

If you’re going to throw out basic things like income disparities, disease epidemics and political disenfranchisement, I totally see why someone would think it’s the coolest place in the country. But hey, most of us do that everyday, so why worry about for the sake of a silly list on the Internet?

Think of it this way, in the 1998 movie Rounders, Matt Damon’s character says, “If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.” Meaning, if you’ve been here long enough to formulate an opinion on the matter, consider this: the city is pretty cool. You just might not be.

Clinton Yates is a D.C. native and an online columnist. When he's not covering the city, pop culture or listening to music, he watches sports. A lot of them.



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