DC: A Suburb of New York City

by Will Smith

image

Richard Florida, renowned urban theorist and author of The Rise of the Creative Class, has made a splash with this month’s cover story in The Atlantic entitled How the Crash Will Reshape America. In the piece, Florida analyzes the changes, by geographic region, that he believes will come as a result of the current recession. Specifically, he predicts that certain cities and urban regions in the US will suffer a “body blow” from which they may never fully recover, while others will emerge stronger and more strategically relevant than before.

In a 45-minute NPR interview, he makes two comments about the DC area in particular. The first is complimentary:

“…Greater Washington, DC … I still think is a boomland. In fact in our ratings and rankings, it comes up as a great place for singles, a great place for families — and I’m not just talking about the city. Maryland and northern Virginia and the whole environment there.” (Minute 21:15 in the audio)

His second comment is more provocative:

“Part of Washington DC’s resurgence is not just that it’s a government town and has AOL high-tech. DC in a very real way has become a suburb of New York. And a lot of the media and broadcast — NPR functions that are there, XM Radio, many of the documentary film producers, many of the writers for The New York Times — have actually relocated [to DC] because of the affordability and connectivity.” (Minute 16:00 in the audio)

DC a suburb of New York?! Only if your definition of suburb extends 200 miles beyond a city’s borders.

In all seriousness, clearly Florida does not mean suburb in the conventional sense. And his point is an interesting one: technology enables some of New York’s elite to call DC home.

We’re curious, do you know anyone who “commutes” between DC and New York? Or for that matter, do you know anyone who commutes between DC and any other city outside the immediate metropolitan area? Please let us know in the comments.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_a_suburb_of_new_york_city/614

8 Comments

  1. Craig Colgan said at 5:05 pm on Wednesday March 4, 2009:

    Someday, the media will lose this obsession with Richard Florida. On, and on, and on it goes with this guy ... D.C.: affordable? Only if your only standard is Manhattan. Which of course, is a good example of how Richard Florida thinks about everything.

  1. Washingtonian said at 12:27 am on Thursday March 5, 2009:

    It really is not an irrational thought. DC and New York are very interconnected, and when you’ve lived long enough in Manhattan, yes this town is extremely affordable. I make the trip back and forth approximately a dozen or so times a year. This has always been home, but the big apple is a close second.

  1. JNo said at 8:43 am on Thursday March 5, 2009:

    I kind of agree although this is not on a mass scale.  Commuting between DC and NY is very common especially for the person who does business in both places.  Which seems to be (if you take the ACELA or the Shuttle)a growing number of people.

  1. DC-NYCgirl said at 1:44 pm on Thursday March 5, 2009:

    While the word suburb is anathema to me (some of my best friends live in them, but DC simply isn’t one) - I can live with the concept of DC as a bedroom community to NYC.  My husband and I did a bi-city commute for 18 months before settling here, and for the last year a major client of mine has been in NY and I am there once/week.  My relationship with them is no different with them than it is with my clients in NoVA, whom I also see once/week ...

  1. JT said at 2:39 pm on Thursday March 5, 2009:

    Love the corporate examples he cites - AOL & XM Radio.  AOL hardly jumps to mind when I think “high tech” and XM was bought buy a New York company, Sirius.

  1. ET said at 3:46 pm on Thursday March 5, 2009:

    Not totally irrational but maybe getting less so. I knew someone who worked for AMTRAK on the Metroliner back in the early 1990’s.  He had regulars on his train every AM going from DC to NYC. This was before laptops and cell phones became ubiquitous and they had been doing it for years.

  1. Andrew said at 2:26 pm on Tuesday March 10, 2009:

    Doesn’t DC own most of New York’s “creative class” now?  We certainly have bought and paid for the financial sector.  Power, money, and culture is concentrating where the government is.  It is actually an anomaly that they’ve been seperated for 200 years.  What other major power has a capitol that has lagged so far behind?  By lapping New York, we’re just catching up to London, Paris, etc.

  1. Mermaidian said at 12:39 pm on Wednesday September 30, 2009:

    I guess I’m the only person commenting who actually commutes between Washington DC and New York City every single week, 52 weeks a year.

    I am a creative communications professional working for a large international institution. My work in new York dried up, and I have been forced to broaden my search for employment outside the geographical range of NYC.
    My husband refuses to move and he has good reason - he has has great career prospects in NY.

    I wish I could afford to take the Amtrak every single day, but that would be almost impossible. So, I pay rent twice instead because DC does have more reasonable accommodation than New York and the cost of living here is cheaper than at “home” in Brokklyn, NYC.

Join the discussion

UrbanTurf now requires registration in order to post comments. Register here, or login below if you are already registered.

Click here if you forgot your password.



Julia Diaz-Asper

TTR Sotheby's Int'l Realty

202.256.1887­

Serving:

Cleveland Park

Palisades

Georgetown

NEW!

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We’ve collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Ballston
Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Clarendon
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Rosslyn
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
Shirlington
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
Huntington
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
Parkfairfax
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »

Maryland

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Annapolis
Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bethesda
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
Potomac
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Hyattsville
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Bloomingdale
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
Brightwood
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
Burleith
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
Crestwood
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
Georgetown
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
Kalorama
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
Palisades
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Petworth
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
Shaw
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Takoma
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Tenleytown
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

Brookland
New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
Deanwood
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Eckington
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
Langdon
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
NoMa
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Rosedale
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
Trinidad
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Woodridge
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 'hoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Hillcrest
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾