WASHINGTON -- How would you describe the U Street corridor? If you're a writer or editor at The New York Times, you might think U Street is "scruffy." That's the word reporter Adam Liptak used to describe the area where Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor lives in a new feature story.

"Scruffy" was a curious description and one that was questioned and mocked on Twitter.

It also came the same weekend as The New York Times Magazine's lengthy feature on how federal spending has fueled D.C.'s economic prosperity. That piece described the Brookland neighborhood as "shabby" and "decidedly unhip" and rubbed many the wrong way.


Adriel Bettelheim
NYT guide to D.C.: Brookland shabby. U Street scruffy. Tawdry still up for grabs?

The magazine feature, written by Annie Lowrey, was widely derided by local observers. Greater Greater Washington said the piece "broadly confuses DC with the suburbs and its argument that 'peak Washington is already past' is tenuous." (Andrew Sullivan had unkind words for Lowrey's "insufferable condescension" for the nation's capital as a city.)

Monday morning, we asked our Twitter followers for suggestions on how they would describe U Street, which we've conveniently compiled into a slideshow below.

Beyond that, we have a series of poll questions on how you think The New York Times would describe certain local neighborhoods if they found their way into the pages of the Gray Lady.

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Quick Poll

How do you think The New York Times would describe Tenleytown in a feature story?

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Quick Poll

How would 'The New York Times' describe the Capitol Hill neighborhood in a feature story?

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Quick Poll

How would 'The New York Times' describe the Mount Pleasant neighborhood?

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Quick Poll

How would 'The New York Times' describe D.C.'s Southwest Waterfront neighborhood?

VOTE