What does it mean to be a resident of the Metropolitan D.C. region? What defines us as a people and a culture? Most people from other parts of the country seem to have a host of ready answers when it comes to this question. For example, people from California can reference the beach, or the sun, or Hollywood. New Yorkers have Manhattan, a defining city that is the quintessential melting pot, a microcosm of what America truly is. What do we have? High resident turnover, overcrowded suburbs, mediocre wine, or are we simply the home of the federal government, which for all intents and purposes sucks up all the air in the room, anyway? How do we capture the essence of the region and find topics that bind us, when so little actually does? It got me thinking, and I came up with a few common threads that offer us -- residents of Southern Maryland, Washington and Northern Virginia -- some sort of connectivity, an identity that leaves out the government, lobbyists and that less-than-amazing Virginia wine.
- Traffic: Firstly, we are united by soul-killing traffic congestion that has become a mainstay of life in our region. No one is free from its confines. It is the most universal experience of life in our region. Sure the 405 in L.A., can turn into a parking lot during rush hour, or the Lincoln Tunnel may be severely congested, but try leaving D.C. for Virginia on Route 66 at anytime of the day, and you'll see why Washington consistently ranks in the top three worst places in the United States for traffic.