Concentrate on Poetry
In the latest issue of Travel and Leisure,http://tinyurl.com/l8h662k, our city, Washington, comes up at number nine on the top-ten list of snobbiest cities. "To determine which city has the biggest nose in the air, we factored in some traditional staples of snobbery: a reputation for aloof and smarty-pants residents, along with high-end shopping and highbrow cultural offerings like classical music and theater. But we also considered 21st-century definitions of elitism: tech-savviness, artisanal coffeehouses, and a conspicuous eco-consciousness (say, the kind of city where you get a dirty look for throwing your coffee cup in the wrong bin)." Specifically about Washington, Travel and Leisure writes, "The locals ranked as some of the unfriendliest in the nation, but the cultural scene — such as the no-admission-charge Smithsonian — is very democratic, and the city ranked first in the survey for free things to do. If you want to dine like a local power broker, though, check out the mod Rasika West End, which exemplifies the city’s fine ethnic cuisine and counts Michelle Obama as a fan."
What makes us snobby, then, is mostly that we are unfriendly. Are we really? I don’t see it; do you?
Liz Farmer, formerly of the Washington Examiner, has landed on her feet as a finance writer for Governing magazine. In the current issue, she contributes a profile of Natwar Gandhi as he retires from being Washington’s Chief Financial Officer,http://tinyurl.com/o7a7tle. Farmer lauds Gandhi’s accomplishments: "Today the city boasts 16 straight years with a balanced budget (including every year of Gandhi’s tenure), has been out from the shadow of the control board for nearly a dozen years and holds a $1.5 billion rainy day fund and a double-A general obligation bond rating. It’s a turnaround story that has earned him many honors, including being named a Governing Public Official of the Year in 2007, and has been the envy of cities across the country struggling with their own fiscal health following the recession." But she also takes full note of his low points, "Gandhi, whose resignation in response to the [Hariette Walters] revelations was rejected by then-Mayor Adrian Fenty, calls that time ‘one of the darkest moments of my professional career.’ The lesson he learned, he says, is that one must be eternally vigilant. Additionally, a government can have all the controls in place but until that matching mindset and a code of ethics is truly embraced by employees, there will always be holes. After all, Walters didn’t act alone — she and ten co-conspirators in the scheme eventually pleaded guilty to theft. ‘You can teach them all that [ethical] stuff and we do every year,’ Gandhi says. ‘But until it’s part of their psychic makeup, way of life, then no matter what you do, you always have people who want to cheat.’"
The news in the article is Gandhi’s retirement plans: "He added he has ‘a new love’ in his life, referring to Panna Naik, an Indian poet and a longtime family friend whose husband passed away in 2011 (Gandhi was widowed in 2009). During a trip to India over the past winter holidays, Gandhi says the two agreed that with whatever time they had left, they would concentrate on poetry."
Send mail with questions or comments to email@example.com
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)