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The City of Washington, D.C. doesn't exist?

Dan

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That's my conclusion, at least ... the City of Washington, D.C. ceased to exist in 1871.

At one time, Washington proper didn't fill the entire District. There was the City of Washington and the City of Georgetown in Washington County, and the City of Alexandria in Alexandria County. These entities were located in the "Territory of Columbia."

In 1846 the portion south of the Potomac River, including Alexandria County and Alexandria, was retroceded to Virginia. Alexandria County outside of Alexandria eventually became Arlington County.

In 1871, Georgetown D.C, Washington D.C. and Washington County D.C. were abolished by Congress. A new territorial government was established, called the District of Columbia. That government is the only one functioning as a municipality for the area defined as the District. The District's Web site reads "The government of the District of Columbia holds a unique status in the country's political system, functioning as a state (!), county, and city. "

There is really no "City of Washington." It's the "District of Columbia," which has a postal address of "Washington, D.C."

Am I wrong?
 
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Hey Dan.....have you ever auditioned for a game show? You are a wealth of knowledge! (no facetiousness here) :D
 

El Feo

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Lots of folks here that can help out

Dan, yeah, you're right.

I think people in the area even subconsciously acknowledge it every day. PlannerGirl and the other DC area cyburbians may have a different take, but in my years in Arlington, I absolutely NEVER heard anybody refer to it as Washington. If you were gonna cross the Potomac for business or a little fun, you told people you were going to "D.C." or "the District (geeky as that sounds)." Perhaps that little linguistic tic, which may seem vaguely cliqueish or arrogant to people outside the area, is actually just a vesitgal habit that's held on until today.

Being a bit anally retentive, I'd further argue that the D.C. website is wrong. It's a Federal Territory, run as a municipality, not a county - and it's sure as hell not a state (where's its star on the flag? - let the cries of "taxation without representation" begin!).

More trivia for your Jeopardy tryout -- created in 1870, Arlington is the largest county in the U.S. with no incorporated municipality. By law, Arlington can't create any political subdivisions within its borders. I've never found out whether it was true or not, but the rumored reason was that D.C. and the City of Alexandria didn't want any cities cropping up in the new Alexandria county (it wasn't named Arlington County until 1920) to compete with them for residents or commerce.
 
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PlannerGirl

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Lol i think your right El Feo!

Most folks i know call it "the City" or DC the folks farther out in the burbs call it Washignton but these are the same folks that are horrified to set foot in the place.

I tend to think Arlington already puts DC and Alexandria out for places to live and jobs-heck until a couple months ago USAToday was based in Arlington, hum the Pentagon, the high end residential overlooking the City/G-town. Traffic is not near as bad as Old town Alexandria.

But then im a "snobish" Ballston resident (so Dave thinks) so what do I know ;-)
 

Tom R

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lines

More trivia. Did you know that the Mason - Dixon Line not only runs east - west between PA and MD but north - south between DE and MD. Original survey posts still exist. So, one can live east of the Mason - Dixon Line as I have.
 

PlannerGirl

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Trivia

The Rosslyn Metro Station*in Arlington* features the third longest continuous escalator in the world (194 feet, 8 inches). It takes 140 seconds to ride from top to bottom. The longest is at the Metro station in Bethesda, Maryland (213 ft, 10 in), also part of D.C.'s subway line. Second longest is in the St. Petersburg Underground in Russia (195 ft, 9 1/2 in).
 

Joe Iliff

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I think you are correct, Dan. The "Washington" part of Washington, DC is really redundant, since their aren't separate cities in DC. It exists as one entity. I think you can thank the postal service for the hanging onto of the name "Washington". The standard address system established by the US Postal Service requies a City name and State or Territory name or abbreviation. So, though there is no "Washington" separate from "DC", we have to used both names because that is the standard.

Mexico City is much the same way. It is not a city within a Mexican state, it is the "Districto Federal", and the head of the government is called the "Mayor of Mexico City", when their true title is something like "Administrator of the District Federal".

Another place with a similar peculiarity is the City of Baltimore, Maryland. It doesn't lie in one of Maryland's counties. So, in some functions, it is the equivalent of one of the state's counties.

Indianapolis (and Jacksonville, FL, I think) merged with the surrounding county to form one government (though, there are a few semi-independent cities within the jurisdiction).
 

Tom R

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trivia

More: If you go from the Atantic to the Pacific through the Panama Canal, you're actually going west to east (more or less).
 

PlannerGirl

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Lol i lived there its more north to south but its screwy seeing the sun RISE over the PACIFIC and set over the ATLANTIC-becouse of the funky 2 shape of the country.

FUN!
 
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Useless City Facts

New Orleans is called the Crescent City because it follows the turns in the Mississippi River to bascially form a crescent. Because of this, there is no true north-south. Directions are given according to either Lake Ponchartrain, lakeside or north, or the Mississippi River, riverside or south. East-West is typically referred to as upriver (heading uptown) or downriver (downtown bound) or some old school natives will refer to those directions as "backatown" (back of town) or "frontatown" (front of town). The area across the river from New Orleans is called the "West Bank" although it's really east of the city. I live on that side and the sun rises in my window every single morning (definitely not due west). As you head out of the city towards the suburban areas, true north-south, east-west directions become more evident. Confused yet? :p
 

Joe Iliff

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South of Motown

Or how about how Canada is actually located SOUTH of the United States . . .


When going from Detroit, Michigan to Windor, Ontario, you're actually traveling from north to south. Next thing you know, the Ontarians will be eatin grits and whistling Dixie.
 

Bucky alum

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How about the Jersey Beach

New Jersey is the only place that i can think of that it is called the "shoooorree" as in "i'm going to the shorre" instead of "i'm going to the beach"

It drives me nuts. (end of rant)
 

Habanero

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Re: Trivia

PlannerGirl said:
Second longest is in the St. Petersburg Underground in Russia (195 ft, 9 1/2 in).
and on a side note. the one in St. Petersburg is the scariest ride around.. I think it took us less than 20 seconds to fly down the thing and it wasn't a pleasant 45 degree angle, more along the lines of 70 degrees...

Be the squirrel and say, "whhhheeeeeeeeeee"!
 

Dan

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Re: South of Motown

Joe Iliff said:
Or how about how Canada is actually located SOUTH of the United States . . .
Or that there's a part of Minnesota, detached from the rest of the state, NORTH of Canada...



Can't forget Fulton County, Kentucky.



Two cities in Spain, Ciudad Autónoma de Ceuta and Ciudad Autónoma de Melilla, are in Africa.

If you really want to get confused, there's Baarle, a village in The Netherlands. And Belgium. And The Netherlands. And Belgium. And The Netherlands. And Belgium.













As far as urban oddities goes, though, not much beats the streets of Buffalo's West Side. They're platted to the Canadian border ... which happens to be the middle of the NIagara River. The old Black Rock Village street grid extended as far as it could go into the rapids. No, the Niagara River didn't change course through the years ... the roads were platted into 50 foot deep water to begin with.
 

kms

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South Charleston, WV, is really west of Charleston, but it is south of the Kanawa RIver.
 

donk

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Were I live everthing is referred to as up river or down river. Where it gets crazy is when you are talking about the little south east branch of the west river and are trying to figure out which way is north when trying to find a property in the iddle of no where.

The other funny one is that Saint John, NB has no downtown, only an uptown.

Finally, can't rememer what Danile Pinkwater book it was in, but he claims there is no LA. Why cause have you personally been there?
 

Dan

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donk said:
Finally, can't rememer what Danile Pinkwater book it was in, but he claims there is no LA. Why cause have you personally been there?
LA used to be named "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula," but it was shortened to "El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles."

The official name of New Mexico's capital is "La Villa Real de Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis."

The town where my parents live, Amherst, New York? It's named after British general Lord Jeffrey Amherst, commanding general of British forces in North America during the final battles of the French and Indian war. He supposedly invented chemical warfare, by sending blankets from smallpox patient's sickbeds to enemy Indian tribes.
 

BKM

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San Francisco is another one of those weird city-county hybrids. The signs on the Bay Bridge read "You are now entering the City and County of San Francisco. Be Afraid, El Guapo. Be Very Afraid" :)
 

BKM

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Actually, San Francisco makes me realize how conservative and square I really am. Not that I will be moving back to "The Heartland" (i.e., Indiana) any time soon, either.
 
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BKM said:
San Francisco is another one of those weird city-county hybrids. The signs on the Bay Bridge read "You are now entering the City and County of San Francisco. Be Afraid, El Guapo. Be Very Afraid" :)
New Orleans is the same way........the city is the Parish/County. There are no other municipalities or census designated places in Orleans Parish.
 

Mastiff

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Planderella said:


New Orleans is the same way........the city is the Parish/County. There are no other municipalities or census designated places in Orleans Parish.
Yeah, the streets are like spokes of a wheel. Learning that town was a challenge...

And it's pronounced "N'awlins" for New Orleans... but it's in "Or LEENS" parish. Go figure.
 
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Mastiff said:


Yeah, the streets are like spokes of a wheel. Learning that town was a challenge...

And it's pronounced "N'awlins" for New Orleans... but it's in "Or LEENS" parish. Go figure.
Some people say Or-lee-uns which is similar to the French pronunciation but I have no idea why we pronounce the city and the parish differently. However I do know one thing, hearing someone say New OrLEENS is like hearing Rosanne Barr/Arnold sing the national anthem. **shudder**
 

Dan

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When I left Las Cruces, my best friend Eva and I made the great trek across the United States, returning to Buffalo where I would go back to grad school. Anyhow, one of our stops was in New Orleans. I pronounced it NOOOOYUHHHGLURG(burp)BLAHARGH(burp)LEEEAAAAAUUUNNNNWHOOOOSHOWMEYOUR(thud).
 
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Dan said:
When I left Las Cruces, my best friend Eva and I made the great trek across the United States, returning to Buffalo where I would go back to grad school. Anyhow, one of our stops was in New Orleans. I pronounced it NOOOOYUHHHGLURG(burp)BLAHARGH(burp)LEEEAAAAAUUUNNNNWHOOOOSHOWMEYOUR(thud).
**People heard hysterical laughter coming from Monica's office and wondered if she finally went insane.** :D:D:D
 

Mastiff

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Planderella said:


Some people say Or-lee-uns which is similar to the French pronunciation but I have no idea why we pronounce the city and the parish differently. However I do know one thing, hearing someone say New OrLEENS is like hearing Rosanne Barr/Arnold sing the national anthem. **shudder**

It's like nails on a chalkboard, isn't it?

I was eating in a nice restaurant awhile back, and this bunch of women sitting behind me were discussing a trip one of them took to "New Or-LEEEEEENs"... Once, no problem. Twice, it started to get to me. But by the fourth or fifth time, my ears started to bleed. Not one to suffer, I turned and said:

"Went to Lousiana, eh? How long were you there?"
"My husband and I went for a week!"
"Really? And in all that time, no one told you how to pronounce the city's name?"

*Blank stare*

"N'awlins! It's N'AWLINS! And if you can't manage that, at LEAST go for New OR-lans! If you say "New or-LEENS" just one more time, I'm going to vomit all over your table!

*Frightened look*

"Sorry... just thought you might want to know"

I felt like John Belushi from Animal House when he smashed the guitar... they changed the topic of conversation and talked in hushed tones.
 
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