Attacking Life with Comedic Jaws of Sarcasm. Recovering Dating & Relationship Blogger - Made it to Step 12 When I Got Married.

These Vagabond Shoes

You all are probably familiar with the I heart NY shirts. There was even a song that went along with this slogan. A very, very bad song on all the New York television stations in the 70’s. IIIIIIIIIII love New Yorrrrrrrrrrrrk. Oh hell. Now I have several commercials from the 70’s going through my head like that stupid Flemington Furs in NJ where they follow the lady down the street and the Pocono’s commercial…”winter spring summer or fall!” Okay, off topic.

So here it is. The logo we all know.

I assumed that New York was the first to make this slogan. New York is always the first to do anything. Anyway, seems I was right.

Recently, I started seeing the same shirts for D.C. I find it hard to love D.C. so it is comical to me that someone would actually put this on a t-shirt. It’s like putting “I love a swampy shithole filled with lying politicians and a sub-par public transportation system” on a t-shirt, but whatever. There’s a guy with a Ben’s Chili Bowl tattoo in my neighborhood, I suppose everyone has their vice. Anyway, suddenly I am seeing people all over town wearing these shirts. Not just any people though.

You would expect to see this on a tourist, right? A tourist walking next to another tourist wearing the FBI (Female Body Inspector) shirt. Hardy har har. But there are very few tourists in my ‘hood or any of the ‘hoods in which I hang.

Here’s the offending apparel by the way:

So who is wearing them? Homeless people. HOMELESS PEOPLE!

Okay, what is going on? Seriously. Are they being handed out at the area shelters? Does anyone see how this might be a cruel twist of philanthropy – having a homeless person wear a shirt announcing their “love” of a city they are ill equipped to leave; declaring love for a city that has disappointed them in so many ways; proclaiming their supposed attachment to a city that has chewed them up and spit them out, into the gutters of the soon to be unplowed snowy streets. Thanks Fenty! You’re a real workhorse! Sorry, off topic again.

Whoever handed these shirts out is either an idiot or has a sense of humor more fucked than mine. Can you imagine that meeting where this gem of an idea was hatched?

Douchebag Number 1: Gee, let’s make a bunch of ‘I love D.C.’ shirts and give them to the most captive audience we know have – the homeless.

Douchebag Number 2: Oh, Douchebag 1, you are so smart. There certainly are a lot of homeless people here. They will be happy to have a clean, new shirt. The swamp city simultaneously gets some free advertising during peak tourist time. Ingenious!

Douchebag Number 3: Yes! Using people who wander the streets all day instead of paying for advertising. Walking billboards! It’s like subliminal advertising, soon everyone will be wearing the shirts!

Douchebag’s Boss: You’re getting a payraise Douchebag 1! For the millions you saved us in advertising I’m going to give you 1/10 of 1 pay grade raise.

Douchebag 1: That’s four dollars a year! Thank you! I might be able to move closer to the city now. My commute from West Vagina is hard!

I personally want to make a shirt that says “I heart D.C. Cops.” Then I want to wipe my ass with it. Oh. Sorry. Off topic again.

Most cities, err, most normal cities try to minimize the undesirables by pretending they don’t exist. Here? Oh, hell no. We’re just pompous enough to not only use our undesirables, but to put them in the brightest yellow shirts anyone can find. I think that is a much better tourist draw anyway. Now we just need a new slogan.

“The District of Columbia, we’re so wonderful even the bums won’t leave!”


  1. Drunken Chud

    hahahahaha. i love the bums in detroit, they have a swagger. seriously, if they’ll try to catch you in a lie or else just flat out give you attitude if you refuse them money. personally i laugh at their life decisions and walk away, but they get so many people to just cave under the pressure. the only guy i give money to is the guy in greektown who plays the sax. everytime i step off the people mover (think the simpsons monorail episode) he’s standing in front of a steam grate playing the sax. it’s like i’m in an episode of zalman king’s redshoe diaries. so, by the very nature of zalman having helped me through puberty i feel inclined to give this man money. plus he’s a rad ass sax player who is always smiling (cuz he makes fat bank doing nothing) and plays whatever our drunk asses feel like singing after a game.

  2. I-66

    This city’s apparent desire to be New York is laughable. I swear to God, if I actually hear someone refer to the area north of Massachusetts Ave as “NoMa”, I’m going to have to be restrained to keep from smacking them.

  3. Crack Whore

    Well you know how I feel about **hearting** DC. Did you ever see the HUD shirts I made, will send pic if you post it! It started out with Orvetti talking about the FBI Tees and why no one wanted other gov’t Tees so me and AliCat made a HUD one, HILARIOUS. People have stopped me on the street about it.

  4. tums

    you’ve got me reading again, dammit. and you know i had to sound off on this one. first, the “i heart dc” shirts are something that has just been created by the vendors of dc– the same people that created the “you don’t know me– witness protection program” t-shirts. it’s not something city is behind or is promoting– so there’s nothing “official” about it. in fact, i’m sure you’ve seen the tongue in cheek “i love NJ” shirts– same deal.

    that said, i cannot excuse the douches who wear these shirts. although i’m thinking of buying one of those mini-pink ones.

  5. Worlds Greatest Slut

    noma!.. I heart DC.. plagiarized school plan… the only ones with original ideas seem to be the bush camp.. but all their ideas are evil… Evil but Original..
    xxxecutive privledge … sounds like a new porn..

  6. JohnnyDC

    When I’m president I plan to restore the mall to swampland!

    I also plan to get the bums out of DC by promising free liquor in Maryland.

  7. Ms Anthrope

    I recommend Tick Tock Liquor in Takoma Park.

    Johnny DC, can I be your chief of staff, I’d like to see this place BURN. I mean look how famous Chicago is since their fire…can’t we have one too. If we can steal ideas on school plans, we can steal the idea to burn the MF.

  8. Dara

    Darn it! Not only do I have that stupid song from that stupid Poconos commercial from my childhood stuck in my head, but now every time I see those stupid shirts I’m going to play the “tourist or homeless” game.

    It’s like “Gay or Canadian,” only creepier.

  9. Velvet

    Chud – mmmm Greektown…land of Feta and where all my “relatives” are…

    I66 – Yeah, NoMa, all their little names for neighborhoods are hilarious. There are more, but I’m drawing a blank right now. They’ve created ones we hear of in Real Estate land that never really catch on either. “Ooh, this property is in the very active (fill in the blank) neighborhood.” Then everyone looks at me and asks, “where’s that?”

    Crack Whore – Hmm. There are a lot of whores and sluts commenting all of a sudden. I have NOT seen that shirt.

    Tums – I haven’t seen the I Love NJ shirts, though, I assume that people actually wear those and truly love NJ. When you buy the mini pink one, can I rip it off of you?

    World’s Greatest Slut – Gee, you get called a slut one time in someone’s comments and you embrace it like a hostage released from the Middle East. I forgot about the plagiarized school plan. That’s awesome.

    JohnnyDC – If YOU become President, I will NEVER LEAVE. EVER!

    Ms. Anthrope – Atlanta burned too. And they keep their homeless in one area downtown by the Underground where no one ever goes anyway besides the tourists.

    Dara – I am so glad someone else remembers that commercial. I also recalled, “College, In New Jerseeeey…. Works for me, gonna work for you…” But the Flemington Furs commercial I looked for on You Tube. I’m having trouble remembering what they say to the lady when she’s walking down the street in her fur that prompts her to turn around and say “Oh. Thank you” with a snotty tone.

  10. minijonb

    let’s see if this HTML trick will work…

    I ♥ DC

    …would that look good on a t-shirt?

  11. minijonb

    …damn. The strike-through code didn’t work. Too bad.

  12. Phil

    I-66: Sadly that trend has stretched all the way down here in the ATL, where a concerted effort is being made to designate the area south of North Avenue (the street generally considered to divide Midtown from Downtown) as “SoNo”. So stupid (though I love the window of opportunity that would open if this caught on to call north of North Ave “NoNo”).

    It’s just stupid.

    And you gotta love a city that treats it’s homeless as walking billboards.

    Though it’s slightly more humane than what Atlanta did in 1996: “hello homeless man, would you like to ride on this bus?” “uhh…sure” (3 hours later) “uhhh.. where am I?” “Why, you’re in Alabama. Last stop! Good day, sir!”

  13. homeimprovementninja

    Since I grew up in NYC, damn you for putting that song in my head. Fyi, the next line in the song is “WHAT a GREAT va-CAY-shun”. I think that’s a poor man’s iambic pentameter.

  14. I-66

    Phil: That makes baby Jesus cry. Though really, if it leads to something being called “NoNo”, it can’t be too bad. That, and opposite of SoHo in NYC is NoHo, which is more of a declaration than anything else.

    World’s Greatest Slut: I could never smack you, unless that’s what you’re into.

  15. Ulysses

    Where’d you take that picture? ‘Cause that’s gotta be the most shapely homeless gal I ever saw, and I think it is supposed to be chilly-ish tonight.

  16. barbara

    You’re right. Somebody should come along behind and pass out a shirt that says “DC fucked me over.” I’ll bet the homeless would wear that one too and would probably not feel hypocritical about it at all.

  17. Not So Little Woman

    I’ve seen those also in Mexico City, where they have it as I *heart* DF, which stands for “Distrito Federal”, Federal District, which is the official name for Mexico City in Spanish.

    And though I thought it would’ve been better to make the whole T-shirt in Spanish (Yo *heart* DF) I bought one anyways because I happen to *heart* Mexico City.

    Now I get cat-called in the streets of NY: “Who’s DF?” “Hey… Those are my initials!”

    I’ve taken to not wear it too much

  18. Ulysses

    NSLW’s comment reminded me: don’t you (Velvet) and Barbara have a shared friend with the city’s initials? Maybe it’s some odd self-esteem campaign…

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