I’ve lived in two black cities and two white cities. The biggest difference between black cities and white cities is service.
In white cities, service jobs are performed by white kids or white adults (the adults are often the sort who are “just doing the job to pay the bills while they work on their art”). In black cities service jobs are performed by blacks.
When I first moved to DC, it took me a long time to get used to the fact that the mail might come at 10:00pm (or not come at all). That sometimes when someone takes my order for a coffee they might look pissed off at me for interrupting their day. That sometimes my order won’t come and that if I mention this fact to anyone, they’ll get really pissed off at me. That cashiers in the grocery store will stop working when their cell phone rings (most grocery stores in DC now block cell phone reception in the store to prevent this, but this means that you can’t make a call from the grocery store). That some weeks the trash collectors will skip a house or two or simply forget to come down my alley (and calling to ask for them to come back is a huge waste of time).
It’s well known that even the most politically-correct white people flee cities if there’s any possibility that their children might have to attend a school with a meaningful percentage of black kids, but if we leave the city, it will probably because we just want a normal trip to the grocery store.
I remember after I first moved to DC, I went to the DMV on a Wednesday morning. I got there a bit before it opened and waited in line to get in. After I made it past the initial line and got my number, I proceeded into a waiting room. The waiting room consisted of two groups of chairs split by an aisle. Everyone that was already in the waiting room was sitting on the right side. Naturally, I moved toward the left side . . . until I realized that someone had vomited on the floor in the middle of the chairs on the left side. I was at the DMV for approximately 2 hours. In that time no one cleaned up the vomit. It was apparently normal – no one cared.
At the DMV in Seattle, on the other hand, I was in and out in 5 minutes and I had a nice chat about the weather with the lady who gave me a drivers license.