Jun 14, 2021Liked by Addison Del Mastro

Lately I reject the premise of this. People always treat DC and No. Va as transitory because of the associations with the federal government. I did to a degree when I first moved here.

But the federal government has been around for a good while; it predated the boom of almost every other city or town in this country and it will outlast their bust.

But somehow a vacant oil town in Montana that lasted 2 generations is more "real". Nah, miss me with that. People are dismissive of the DMV because either 1) they are dismissive of the Democrats who spend their entire lives working in and around the federal government to better this country or 2) they are dismissive of the poor and middle class communities (I wonder why people dismiss majority minority DC, hmm) that live and work here as well.

Expand full comment

I live in NoVa too and I agree that much of the snobbishness is unwarranted, but it's not like they aren't onto something. When people say "a real place", I think they mean a community with a shared culture and a shared sense of community. I don't think most of NoVa has that.

And it's telling that most of your examples of NoVa being a real place are defined by diversity, not by a shared sense of community. Diversity is fine but it's not enough to make somewhere a "real place", which requires a shared culture and sense of community and fellowship. I'm of Indian stock and quite enmeshed in the Indian community, and most of them feel no connection at all with non-Indian Northern Virginians. Hopefully it will change as more people put down roots here, but diversity is not enough to make somewhere a "real place", in my opinion.

Expand full comment