Back in US/DC for a few days on business. Was happy to see while the city is certainly chock full of early 20 somethings wishing DC was New York, it's still chock full of random violent bums.
I actually flew up without needed homestuff for the condo I rented, so I expected to see 5000 CVSes everywhere. Surprisingly, I am just north of the Verizon Center and walked a good 8 blocks west with no CVS in sight!
It is pretty sad the amount of franchises though. 90% of places in the city seem to be horrible mall franchises.
Last note, will be attending the Raptors game tomorrow for old times sake.
This is funny coming from a religious capitalist such as yourself, Indu.
When businesses do well, they grow. In doing so, some scale and become "chains." So grow faster by franchising. People buy franchises every day as a means to be in business for themselves while also buying into a proven system. It's a way of minimizing risk.
If people didn't shop at CVS, they wouldn't grow. If people don't like CVS, they shouldn't buy stuff there. There would be less of them.
But there are tons of new and emerging areas of the city eat great food and buy great stuff if you are so inclined. Go to Chinito's Burrito's on Florida Ave, across from Gallaudet. Go to H Street, NE, to 8th & Penn, SE, to 14th St, to U Street, etc. Go to Georgia Ave in Brightwood. Check out Union Market for heaven's sake. Go to the art galleries in trinidad and near H Street. Yeah, F Street now has J Crew and Anthro, but several cool little Euro shops as well.
City is big and diverse enough that if you dont like an area go somewhere else.