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The Independent Culture

As Washington DC teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, citizens of New York give their opinion on their capital city.

It started life as a swamp. It should have stayed that way - Addison, 30, television cameraman

It's the most boring town in America. With the exception of Duluth - Steve, 28, truck driver

It's got immense style. There's an electricity and a mystery. I like to walk past all those government buildings and sniff the odour of power - Marianne, 41, lawyer

It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. It's too clean - Andy, 22, barman

The people are strange. Not polite, but not rude. They seem to lack energy, it's like they're always looking over their shoulders - Susan, 34, pyschoanalyst

It scares me. Two officers were killed just sitting in their squad car the other day. I'd rather have the Bronx - Ian, 27, NYPD officer

I only go there when I have to. Washington is the capital of the US; New York is the capital of the world - Ed, 62, former Mayor of New York

JFK said it was a northern city with southern charm. That's true. But they can't make a good bagel - Tina, 42, magazine editor


As New York's crime rate falls to its lowest in 10 years, Washingtonians bite into the Big Apple.

It's dirty, dangerous and the people have no manners. I broke my ankle once when a guy pushed me as we both ran for the same cab - Ann, 31, public relations consultant

I'm gay, so I wish I still lived there - Steve, 26, librarian

It's not very clean and the people always seem to be in a hurry. But it does have the world's greatest restaurants - Paul, 61, Senator

There's a lot of competition there. People just don't see you. You can spend a whole hour and not get a dime - Jack, 53, homeless man

New Yorkers have such attitude. It's like they're fighting for every inch of space. They talk so fast I can barely understand what they're saying. They even have their own timescale. People say, "In a New York minute." You can bet that's less time than it is here - Amy, 24, waitress

If you make it there, you're probably a psychopath - Carlos, 31, former actor

It's much prettier here, but New York is the big city. Nowhere else comes close - Sarah, 28, lecturer

It has the most fabulous skyline. Arriving from the airport at night, my first glimpse of Manhattan never fails to stir my spirit. When I leave I feel anxious, like I'm just leaving a party that is about to get really exciting - Ari, 40, architect

Daniel Jeffreys