Every so often, the rivalry is renewed. Of Baltimore, a Washingtonian will say something like, "I wouldn’t want to live there, but what a place to explore." In turn, a Baltimorean will answer back, "The Washington Monument in the National Mall is nice, too, if you're into giant sterile obelisks that would make Fellini blush." Such is the nature of a rivalry between two cities separated by about 40 miles of road but an ocean in culture and attitude.
With the debut of bthesite.com's comprehensive list of "100 reasons why Baltimore is better than D.C.," the response in our nation's capital was swift, if not unforgiving. There were mocking inquiries into the real value of lacrosse, yes, but also grudging acceptances of the city's flaws. Here are a sampling of some reactions from Washington news organizations and defenders:
** The Washington City Paper's Perry Stein said the cover "is enough to make any Washingtonian fret over the safety our status as the nation’s capital."
"By now, Washingtonians should be used to this kind of boneheaded municipal oneupsmanship, most of it predicated on lazy cliches about D.C.'s federal character, dearth of culture, and fashion-backwardness."
** Stein's partner in crime at the City Paper, Jessica Sidman, examines the validity of a select few reasons.
"81. Waiting in line for an hour for a damn cupcake?! You're joking, right?
Don't blame us; they're tourists. Probably from Baltimore."
** At the DCist, Matt Cohen and Sarah Anne Hughes take down one of Baltimore's barbs ...
"Natty Boh. What's that, D.C.? Don't have your own old-school beer -- you know, like Pabst or even Schlitz? That's sad." (No, but we do have some kick-ass craft beers. Also, Natty Boh isn't even brewed in Baltimore anymore)"
... and acknowledge another one.
"Obama's favorite TV show is 'The Wire." (Ok, yeah, The Wire is pretty great)"
** The Washington Post's Sarah Kogod culls the sports-related entries for a pack of unhappy commenters (200 comments and counting!) as she takes a dig at the official team sport of Maryland.
"There are 100 of them, some of which don’t exactly make a great case for Charm City, such as the multiple reasons involving rats and one that just stated, “Lacrosse, yo. Lacrosse.”
** But nowhere did the list strike more of a nerve, though, than at Sean Hogan's "DC is for Baseball" blog, where, at 1,500-plus words, he breathlessly compiles a list of retorts.
"18) We can get reservations at our restaurants, too. Your list is stupid. You're stupid, Baltimorons."
There's only 50 there, but Hogan promises more. That's what this beef does to people.
In the Twitterverse, meanwhile, it wasn't hard to find a handful of incredulous and downright defensive Washingtonians.
Baltimore sports fans have such a inferiority complex against Washington sports fans. They want to create a rivalry. We're not interested.
If Baltimore is better than DC then pigs must've finally figured out how to fly.
Is Baltimore for real trying to pick a fight with DC that they're the better city? That's so cute.
Baltimore being better than DC is like saying Detroit is better than Chicago.
At least there's a voice of reason amid all this inter-city sniping.