This facile, misguided, and snobbish profile of Washington, DC somehow circumvented the New York Times’ editorial process and ran in yesterday’s Sunday Magazine section. 

The article is a pathetic caricature, albeit one that has so little connection to reality that it may not actually qualify as a caricature. Here’s a particularly egregious sample: “But [Jim] Abdo has built his business in the unstylish land of think tanks and tepid salmon lunches and boxy women’s suits.”

Lowery might as well have repeated the old slander that DC is “Hollywood for ugly people” – at least that statement is honest in its petty, snobbish contempt. The ugliness, which could be mistaken as self-loathing given Lowery’s own personal demographics, continues. She derisively calls Greater Greater Washington, a truly thoughtful blog about urban planning, a “yuppie blog.” She described Brookland as though she had never been there before and hopes never to return again:

We drove north on North Capitol Street, as if we were driving out of the District, to a shabby and decidedly unhip neighborhood called Brookland. It is a mostly older, mostly lower-middle-class neighborhood, underserved by grocery stores and restaurants and overlooked by many of the young professionals farther south in Bloomingdale or Shaw or Capitol Hill.

Logan Circle gets it, too: “cheap Chinese joints, a large homeless shelter and empty buildings,” a “jarring” transition . It’s enough to make you wonder whether Lowery, who purportedly lives in DC, ever escapes whatever bubble she has evidently ensconced herself in. And, what neighborhoods, in any city, are not worthy of Lowery’s scorn?  

As a side note, her economic explanation for DC’s success basically amounts to:

  1. Federal spending.
  2. ???
  3. Profit!
If only! What a waste of ink. Ironically, the same edition named DC one of “The 46 Places to Go in 2013.”