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The "Not on My Block" Syndrome

My fellow housemate Lis has been writing the About Tonight feature over at DCist for a little while now (yes, two bloggers under one roof - almost too much to handle). One thing she's brought to my attention in regards to posting about local events is the "not on my block" syndrome.

It's pretty much the opposite of the Not in My Backyard problem. It's more like, you know, something cool happening is happening, but it's in another part of town. Boo! Hiss! Not fair! they yell and scream in the comments; why can't this be happening where I live?!

(from Flickr user Ronnie R)

On the one hand, I'm all for being a good local. I think it's highly valuable to reside near your place of work. I think it's worth paying a premium to live near valuable amenities. I think it's worthwhile to get to know your baristas and bartenders on a first-name basis, and not to have to get in a car and drive every time you want to go out.

At the same time, it's worth recognizing that in a big city like DC, there are many vibrant neighborhoods, most relatively accessible to each other. There is a lot of cool stuff going on, and it's not always going to be on the block where you picked to live. That's one thing that makes big cities so great. You have all the stuff that's in your neighborhood. The stuff you can claim as "your own" but you also have an entire city, with entire neighborhoods worth exploring. It's too bad some people don't venture out and explore them.


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