Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DC: The (next) City That Never Sleeps?

A recent war of adverts broke out last week over who can claim the moniker "The City that Never Sleeps." I'd always associated that phrase with New York, NY. Having lived there, I know first hand that its a 24 hour city. It's not the largest in the world, its not a political capital, and its probably been passed in financial significance by several cities. However, it can still stake the claim as capital of the cultural world and certainly of the United States. If there is a archetypal 24 hour city, it is New York City.

London is now trying to co-opt that image. As it prepares to become the next host of the Summer Olympics, the city is trying to appear as cosmopolitan and relevant as possible. New York Times City Room blog recently featured a post about an advertisement billing London as "the city that never sleeps." Really London? Come on now. They desperately want to top Beijing as host city of the Olympics. Part of that is the city's image. Remember the flap over the 2012 Olympic logo? That was all over perception and branding. Topping Beijing will be tough, but Beijing did what China does best, go big.

Well, can DC ever go big? Will we ever be a 24 hour city? We only have one reputable 24 hour restaurant, the Diner in Adams Morgan. Where are the other 24 hour spots? Where should there be? My vote is for Metro to stay open 24 hours from Thursday night until Sunday night. And maybe a place like Ben's Chili Bowl or Tryst. They could pull it off, on the weekends anyway. Then maybe we could steal the moniker, too.