1.31.2007

Give D.C.'s Image A Boost

Attention, proud Washingtonians. The city's Convention and Tourism Corporation wants to know what you love about D.C., and they've launched a web site where you can share your thoughts and pictures.

The timing is appropriate considering the local reactions to the recent Washington Post story that gave out-of-town journalists the chance to opine on what "Washington" means to them. One gem from Jill Callison in South Dakota: "Though South Dakota is halfway across the United States — flyover country to you — we'd like to be a little farther away from Washington. Because nothing good comes from that piece of former swampland wedged between Virginia and Maryland."

Ouch.

According to the tourism group, "the site is part of a greater research initiative coordinated by WCTC to determine the city’s position in the mind of those who live here and from travelers around the world – with the ultimate goal of creating a more vibrant experience and generating more resources for the city, its residents and businesses through destination marketing."

I'm sure my fellow food lovers have some sentiments to offer. I, for one, love our burgeoning dining scene that has big-name chefs like Laurent Tourondel (BLT Steak) and Eric Ripert (at the Ritz?) wanting a piece of the action. I love seeing the line for breakfast at Eastern Market on weekend mornings, and the harmonious clash of old guard and new blood in line at Ben's Chili Bowl. I love neighborhood gems like Tabard Inn, Bar Pilar and Two Amy's. I love seeing local VIPs (hey, there's George Stephanopoulos buying greens!) at the Dupont FreshFarm Market on Sundays. I love watching the crabs wriggle out of their baskets at the Southwest seafood market. I love grabbing a BLT with spicy mustard from So's Your Mom for a picnic in Montrose Park.

So let them know what you love, and maybe one day Ms. Callison will change her tone.

7 comments:

Italian Chef said...

I love the city. I was born here.

monkeyrotica said...

So has anything good come out of South Dakota? Mount Rushmore? Bans on abortion? I'll take the swamp over flyover country any day.

Anonymous said...

I tend to think that nothing good comes out of DC because we keep all the good stuff to ourselves. Why share with those people??

Someone needs to send Ms. SD a copy of Sally Quinn's piece for the Post a few years back on the nation's misperceptions of Washington.

Amanda said...

Speaking of ... I was in a shop in New Orleans a few years ago and the woman asked where I lived. I said D.C., and she said "Oh, like Alexandria?" I said "No, actually in D.C." She said "I didn't think people lived in D.C. Isn't it mainly government buildings?"

*sigh*

Eric said...

It amazes me the bad rap this city has w/ so many. Sure it's not perfect, but what large US city is? It frustrates me to hear people talk down on DC -- and with all the restaurants, (free!) museums, monuments, etc. that this city has to offer!?!

monkeyrotica said...

The "isn't it just government buildings" prejudice is reinforced by tourists who just stay on the Mall and avoid the neighborhoods. Hopefully this campaign, along with blogs like Chowhounds, will show that there's more to DC than just the Air and Space Museum and idiot politicians. I'd hope the DC Tourism Department is working with travel agencies to spread the news. Every airline magazine I'm stuck reading on an airplane, if they ever have anything on DC, it's stuff like puff pieces on Ben's Chili Bowl or Inn at Little Washington. Ugh.

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