Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Letter to the Editor of Washingtonian Magazine

I just emailed my Letter to the Editor. If the review offends you, I strongly encourage you all to email the Editor, John Limpert at I'm all about blowing up his inbox. Maybe then his staff will take the time to get to know East of the River for who we are and not who people say we are.

Mr. Limpert,

According to your website, the mission of the Washingtonian magazine is to "help our readers live better, to help readers better understand Washington, and to make the area a better place for all who live here." It is unfortunate that in the June 2010 Issue, the Washingtonian Magazine failed to meet that mission.

I am a proud resident of Ward 7 and a frequent diner at Ray's the Steaks East River. I found the review offensive to the proud residents that live East of the River. Rather than "help readers better understand [our part of] Washington," the review perpetuates stereotypes of our community and the people that reside here.

Ray's the Steaks is not "a fascinating study in contrasts" nor is it a "bold sociological experiment". For years, the residents of East of the River have been traveling to Maryland, Virginia and other parts of DC in order to enjoy a meal with their families or have a drink with their friends. There is nothing "bold" or "experimental" about putting a restaurant in a neighborhood where there is an untapped market for sit-down dining. It is actually a no-brainer. Some might even call it a smart business decision.

While I understand the message the Washingtonian was "trying" to convey in the "Insider Tip" section, unfortunately it was written in poor taste. Terms such as "unaccustomed to life East of the River", "apprehensive about making the trip over there" and "watch over the block" are divisive. Life East of the River is no different that West of the River. We go to work, our children go to school, we walk our dogs, we ride our bikes, and we go to the library just like other Washingtonians. East of the River is not a foreign country.

In my opinion, the review demonstrated that the Washingtonian staff is out of touch with the neighborhoods and residents East of the River. I invite the Washingtonian staff to explore all the wonderful things our community has to offer without prejudice then fulfill your mission to "help your readers better understand Washington" East of the River.


Miss V


  1. awesome. well said. you could have torn into them, in my opinion, and been justified in doing so. way to be classy and take the high road!

  2. Awesome letter. It hits on the themes/language I found offfensive in the Insider Tip section of the article. I hope your letter is published.

  3. Fantastic responses. Thank you for writing and defending the neighborhood!!

  4. I am curious to see how certain journalists/bloggers describe their "up and coming
    neighborhoods in which they have huge financial investments. I notice Washington DC has a lot of "neighborhoodisms" and ppl like to judge or assign status to neighborhoods to make themselves feel exclusive.

    This is proof, that we have to continue to define and report on our neighborhoods and create a community that we can be proud of...

    Good Job!

  5. This brings to mind Ms. Manners' response to anxious suburbanites after she invited them to her DC digs:

    Suburbanites: “Is it safe?”

    Ms. M: “I promise not to hurt you.”

    (Or words to that effect).