When D.C. Tourism Goes Painfully, Hilariously Wrong

The New York Post took a desperate stab at "10 Great Reasons to Hit Washington This Fall." As with most lists designed to appeal to would-be tourists, this one has us cringing just like we do at the all-flag-clothing, all-the-time wardrobe of some visitors to our fair city.

And by the way, none of the suggestions actually have anything to do with fall.

Also, the New York Post can not count to 10. (Just keep reading.)

Let's just take this bit by bit, shall we?

1) ... Not so long ago, the block of 14th Street NW just up from U Street was a must-avoid; today it's still grimy, but now the unmarked door at No. 2009 leads to The Gibson....

A must-avoid? Seriously? And then, by #10, the writer is trying to send his starry-eyed tourists to H Street N.E. -- which he describes as "interesting." If the writer thinks 14th Street is "grimy," he would probably clutch his left arm and Go Gentle Into That Good Night should he ever actually step into the Atlas District.

#2: He recommends MUSEUMS! Yes, in WASHINGTON! Smithsonian museums! That's CERTAINLY "beyond the usual." WOW! MUSEUMS!

#3: Try the crab cakes! Hey kids, sorry, but this is not Baltimore. Next!

#4: ______________ (No really, there is no #4. Maybe the number four is too "usual" for this hip list.)

#5: The C&O Canal towpath. You know what? We're going to give them a pass on this one. That's actually a decent suggestion. It's pretty, historical, not too crowded ... and look, we can be nice sometimes!

#6 (the first #6): Farmers' markets and Sweetgreen, which is apparently "way better than Pinkberry." First of all, uh, NO. But he might be appealing to District residents' inferiority complex when it comes to New York. Buttering us up, see.

#6 (the second #6 -- oh, that wacky New York Post, with their artsy nouveau counting techniques.) Yeah, this one we'll have to just take verbatim:

Hate driving and looking for parking? Can't afford those high priced car rentals? No problem -- you should know that Washington is probably even less car friendly at this point than New York, if such a thing were possible. Don't even think about bringing yours, if you have one -- not with the city's mostly-dependable Metro system that can take you just about anywhere you need to be. Getting there's easy too, no matter what your budget. Splash out for a ticket on the high-speed Acela (amtrak.com), or save money and fly -- lots of competition means affordable fares to both National and Dulles airports.

*Blink* NEXT!

#7: The Bolt Bus is $1! Wow! A dollar! And it's totally not like you get what you pay for, or he'd be telling them to take the Acela ... like he did just above. Send them to hell in a handbasket, why dontcha?

#8: Following the $1 bus, he suggests the $399-a-night W Hotel. Smart and savvy.

#9: Ethiopian restaurants and Sidamo Cafe. OK, another pass. That's two for nine. Even TLC's 23.5-member Duggar family ate at U Street's Dukem on a recent episode. And they normally subsist on tater-tot casserole.

#10: Annnd, if the writer thought 14th Street was "grimy," just wait until his happy little tourists arrive on H Street N.E. Despite that whole Bolt Bus suggestion though, the writer has apparently not heard of the H Street Shuttle. And what about that great Metro that "can take you just about anywhere you need to be"?

Sidamo is just one attraction on the increasingly interesting H Street NE, for years just another forlorn commercial strip. These days, you'll see the sort of signs of life that eventually led to what you see on the city's thriving U Street corridor today. Hop a cab over to the H Street Country Club; look for the Astro Turf awning. This fun bar, serving an interesting Mex-Tex menu, is neither country nor club, but there is a mini-golf course.... Nearby, the weird Palace of Wonders bills itself as the only vaudeville and museum-of-oddities bar in the world -- some nights there's magic, other nights there are dancing girls. Either way, this is probably not the Washington you are used to.

Well, sure, not if the Washington you're used to consists of those Smithsonians in "Beyond the Usual" suggestion #2. Wait, we've just gone cross-eyed from the logic here.

In conclusion, we won't tell you what to do in New York, OK?

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