Friday, April 03, 2009


According to Forbes Bethesda is one of the most livable cities in America.  I couldn't agree more except for two facts: 1. Bethesda sucks; 2. Bethesda is in Montgomery County which sucks.  Other than that it rules.  Any sane person, which by definition excludes any resident of Montgomery County, knows that the commonwealth is vastly superior.

Here's my brief against Montgomery County:
1. The roads are awful
2. The drivers are the worst in the country
3. Taxes are significantly higher than neighboring jurisdicitons such as Arlington, yet the level of service is lower.
4. Car insurance is goddawful expensive in Montgomery County (my car insurance was $2k annually while it was $800 annually at its highest in Virginia)
5. The housing stock is poor, and the lots on which the houses reside are stingy.

But I come from Northern Virginia and there is simply something that is hard to explain but we from Northern Virginia find Montgomery County unappealing and the feeling is reciprocated.  Bethesda is actually a pretty nice place.  It's very expensive but it does have close proximity to a lot of cultural amenities, it has convenient access to mass transit, it is right on the border of the city and has some wonderful dining options.  It feels sterile to me but sterile is better in my view than some crime-ridden shithole.


Rabinowitz said...

But isn't there something intrinsically valuable about saying you're not from NoVA (Tyson's and anywhere out toward Dulles)?

I get Old Town, I get the ethnic communities in Del Ray, Annandale and elsewhere, but everywhere else? Nah.

Give me Bethesda and downtown Silver Spring.

xtra said...

To me Reston, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Tysons Corner are all the same but with differing degrees of planning (in the case of Tysons, there is none). And as to intrinsic value of saying that you aren't from NoVa, I suppose, but really all you are signaling to the outside world is that you are an outrageously bad driver (as opposed to just a bad driver from NoVa).