Weather and Traffic and Cost of Living…oh my!

When we moved here I was warned about three things (usually by people who had never lived here).

The Weather

Yes, it’s hot.  Yes, it’s humid.  But, I grew up spending summers in Phoenix.  I am not fazed by hot.  I know, I know…it’s a dry heat.  I’m here to tell you that when it’s 110, with or without humidiy, it’s just hot.  I wouldn’t hang out in an oven any longer than I would hang out in a sauna. 

Thunderstorms are something that we haven’t experienced in a long time — they remind me of the Arizona monsoon.  And, the rain….when it rains, it pours. I used an umbrella for the first time in 8 years last week.  People are often surprised when I tell them that because of Western Washington’s rainy reputation.  And while the reputation is deserved – it never rains very hard or for very long.  Carrying an umbrella was more of a nuisance than anything. 

I’m looking forward to seasons.  I can’t wait to see the fall colors and I’m actually looking foward to the possibility of snow. 

Traffic

Traffic sucks.  But, I’ve lived in LA, Phoenix and Seattle, all of which have terrible traffic.  I’ve been in a traffic jam at midnight in LA.  Seattle’s roads are always congested, although the drivers are generally courteous.  Phoenix drivers speed, run red lights and are generally rude.   DC is basically all of the above, except courteous.  Traffic lights and signals appear to be optional and if you are a pedestrian, forgetaboutit.  Cross-walks mean nothing.  But the absolute worst thing is the honking.  People here will honk at you for thinking about putting your brakes on.  The thing is, I have not met many rude people, so I think it’s a temporary condition that occurs only when driving — sort of the way airports can make people temporarity stupid.  Luckily, we don’t have bad commutes — Lloyd takes the train (which has a culture all it’s own) and I don’t have to get onto a freeway to get to work – which is not a coincidence.

Cost of Living

I was told to expect sticker shock here – on everything from housing to food to gas.  My initial reaction is that gas is cheaper and food is comparable.  Housing is expensive, but again, I lived in LA…nothing shocks me.  In fact, we are paying less for the apartment we are in now than we paid in LA 9 years ago – and it is much nicer.  Housing is cheaper the further out you go, but if you go back to point 2, I think it’s a trade-off. 

So, there are no real myths to be busted here, but it’s very easy to pick out the negatives of a place — especially when it’s not what you are used to or not what you prefer.  But, this is a wonderfully liveable city and I hope to be able to share the great parts with you as we discover them. 

P.S.  Contrary to my previous post, I no longer hate the state of Maryland.  Only the MVD.

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