Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Justine on DC's Less Exposed Side


"I’ve lived in a lot of different cities since I was 18: Marseille, Hamburg, Berlin, New York, Dakar and now, DC. I feel like with every city that you move to, it's like starting a new relationship; you have to figure out what the personality is of this new city you’re living in. So far, DC has been the most mysterious one to determine. DC has this great façade that it likes to put on of being a very governmental place where everything eventually goes back to the Administration. People are very tuned in to the 9-5 lifestyle and it manifests itself in so many different ways. Like the happy hours, people getting out of work at five and drinking until seven. And it plays out with the metro closing at midnight because who is going to be out past midnight when you have to be up at seven to be at work at nine?

"But, DC also has this subversive side to its personality that is a lot more difficult to find. It does have those people who have nothing to do with the government and maybe live outside of northwest…God forbid they don’t live in that one quarter that everyone is suppose to live in…and they have bartending jobs or they’re DJs or they work for advertising companies. That’s what I’ve found most interesting about being here.

"To be honest, I didn’t want to leave New York. When I first got here, I knew a few people and it was fine and all, but it was discovering that hidden side of the city that has been the most interesting. That’s where I think the personality really is. I feel like if you didn’t look for the things below the surface, DC would be a really boring city. Whereas in a lot of other places, it’s out there and pretty obvious. For example, you go to New York and just to be completely stereotypical, the hipsters live in Williamsburg and that is where you go to hear weird and obscure music and buy slightly strange clothing. It puts itself out there and shows what it is, but DC has been a more complicated place to figure out. Those things are here, though, you just have to find them."

Read more about DC's less exposed side on Brightest Young Things and Vice Magazine.

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