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Thread: Anything to know or avoid in the NoVA area?

  1. Wine-o
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Why is Alexandria better than Arlington? I know next to nothing about the area. It seems like our money would go further in Arlington, but it sounds like there's some reason Alexandria is worth paying more, maybe? What is better about Alexandria?

    When the yellow line is shut down, will there be bus service of some kind to replace it, or some other way to get the the Pentagon?

    One big draw is being close to our many friends in the area, and most of them are in Alexandria. And while we do have a fairly good budget, not spending all of it (or getting more/better for what we do spend!) is always better.

    With that in mind, any additional insight?
    Man it's too early lol, Blue line also hits Old Town but that will be shut down as well. Info here - https://wtop.com/tracking-metro-24-7...-year/slide/1/ I'm sure they'll run bus service, but it'll easily take twice as long.

    As for Alexandria vs Arlington, hard to explain I guess but Arlington is just more "stale." Since you said you wanted urban, I'd imagine you'd be looking at Court House/Rosslyn/Clarendon/etc and it's just really not somewhere I'd ever want to live. If you like malls and chain restaurants, then sure. Old Town is more of a mom and pop type of neighborhood with lots of cute shops, etc. Someone else mentioned Shirlington in Arlington and that's prob the only Arlington hood I'd even consider but it's not on Metro. Delray in Alexandria is another cute hood but same issue, not on Metro really.

    Where in Alexandria are your friends? I mean, it's really not far from DC if you want to head down that way often. I've gone out there with friends a bunch of times.
    ~Becca~


  2. Wine-o
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild*Rose View Post
    Idk how old you are or what you social scene is but that area is, atleast seemed to me, more rich college kids and really young professionals.
    .

    THIS!!!
    ~Becca~


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    Quote Originally Posted by brahette View Post
    Man it's too early lol, Blue line also hits Old Town but that will be shut down as well. Info here - https://wtop.com/tracking-metro-24-7...-year/slide/1/ I'm sure they'll run bus service, but it'll easily take twice as long.

    As for Alexandria vs Arlington, hard to explain I guess but Arlington is just more "stale." Since you said you wanted urban, I'd imagine you'd be looking at Court House/Rosslyn/Clarendon/etc and it's just really not somewhere I'd ever want to live. If you like malls and chain restaurants, then sure. Old Town is more of a mom and pop type of neighborhood with lots of cute shops, etc. Someone else mentioned Shirlington in Arlington and that's prob the only Arlington hood I'd even consider but it's not on Metro. Delray in Alexandria is another cute hood but same issue, not on Metro really.

    Where in Alexandria are your friends? I mean, it's really not far from DC if you want to head down that way often. I've gone out there with friends a bunch of times.
    Okay, malls and chain restaurants is exactly what I don't want! Thanks!

    I have a super good friend in Del Rey and I don't know where in Alexandria the other is, and a third friend who is still in Japan with me but will get there in November. The thing that makes me most excited about DC is that not only will I actually know people, it's actually some of my very closest friends who will be there. For someone who hates meeting new people, this is a dream!
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    Quote Originally Posted by brahette View Post
    THIS!!!
    We are in our 40s but sometimes I feel like we fit better in the neighborhoods of really young professionals. We are about as far from hipsters as one can get, but not having kids puts us in a different mindset than most of our age-peers. Neighborhoods with people in their 30s and 40s tend to be more about good schools and playgrounds and a gymnastics studio for Sally and a karate place for Timmy, and a big yard so they can throw Sally's 5th birthday party with an epic bounce house, and close to the soccer field where they spend every weekend. And maybe they all go to Appleby's after the game.

    I want to walk to a coffee shop (not a Starbucks, and I don't actually even drink coffee) where I can sit for a few hours on an old comfy sofa and write or read, and have a little deli that knows my order after a couple months and have a few restaurants we walk to on a regular basis, and to be able to walk to at least a small grocery store, even if I still have to drive every week or two to a larger one. That sort of thing. If you are familiar with San Diego, I want North or South park or Coronado, but I'd also take downtown.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
  5. Wine-o
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Okay, malls and chain restaurants is exactly what I don't want! Thanks!

    I have a super good friend in Del Rey and I don't know where in Alexandria the other is, and a third friend who is still in Japan with me but will get there in November. The thing that makes me most excited about DC is that not only will I actually know people, it's actually some of my very closest friends who will be there. For someone who hates meeting new people, this is a dream!
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    We are in our 40s but sometimes I feel like we fit better in the neighborhoods of really young professionals. We are about as far from hipsters as one can get, but not having kids puts us in a different mindset than most of our age-peers. Neighborhoods with people in their 30s and 40s tend to be more about good schools and playgrounds and a gymnastics studio for Sally and a karate place for Timmy, and a big yard so they can throw Sally's 5th birthday party with an epic bounce house, and close to the soccer field where they spend every weekend. And maybe they all go to Appleby's after the game.

    I want to walk to a coffee shop (not a Starbucks, and I don't actually even drink coffee) where I can sit for a few hours on an old comfy sofa and write or read, and have a little deli that knows my order after a couple months and have a few restaurants we walk to on a regular basis, and to be able to walk to at least a small grocery store, even if I still have to drive every week or two to a larger one. That sort of thing. If you are familiar with San Diego, I want North or South park or Coronado, but I'd also take downtown.
    So Del Ray is kinda known for being a DINK neighborhood so I do think that is fitting. Downside is it isn't on Metro but your DH could take a bus to the Pentagon. And with Blue/Yellow shutting down anyway, you wouldn't be able to Metro regardless. I looked at a house that was more Potomac Yard area (just north of Delray) but the 30-45min commute for me to get to the National Mall was a deal breaker. The Arlington hoods kinda strike me more for young just out of college professionals that can't afford to live in DC. I currently live in Capitol Hill, walking distance to Eastern Market and Barracks Row and absolutely love the hood. Plus my 15min commute door to desk is pretty awesome!
    ~Becca~


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    Quote Originally Posted by brahette View Post
    So Del Ray is kinda known for being a DINK neighborhood so I do think that is fitting. Downside is it isn't on Metro but your DH could take a bus to the Pentagon. And with Blue/Yellow shutting down anyway, you wouldn't be able to Metro regardless. I looked at a house that was more Potomac Yard area (just north of Delray) but the 30-45min commute for me to get to the National Mall was a deal breaker. The Arlington hoods kinda strike me more for young just out of college professionals that can't afford to live in DC. I currently live in Capitol Hill, walking distance to Eastern Market and Barracks Row and absolutely love the hood. Plus my 15min commute door to desk is pretty awesome!
    What's the actual time like to get from the DC side (but maybe the Western part) to Delray? I don't know that we will be there long enough for me to get a real job, and I'm imagining my days being kind of like they are here--unemployed and day drinking with friends. lol It's it's 30+ minutes to get to them, that puts a crimp in my plan. Proximity to them is the real reason I zeroed in on the VA side of things, as opposed to looking in DC proper, but maybe I'm overestimating the drive time. Coming from a place where 3 miles can be 45 minutes, and knowing that traffic in DC is bad, I may be taking that a bit far.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    What's the actual time like to get from the DC side (but maybe the Western part) to Delray? I don't know that we will be there long enough for me to get a real job, and I'm imagining my days being kind of like they are here--unemployed and day drinking with friends. lol It's it's 30+ minutes to get to them, that puts a crimp in my plan. Proximity to them is the real reason I zeroed in on the VA side of things, as opposed to looking in DC proper, but maybe I'm overestimating the drive time. Coming from a place where 3 miles can be 45 minutes, and knowing that traffic in DC is bad, I may be taking that a bit far.
    I felt old going back to clarendon/ballston when I was 25 lol. I really like the H street corridor NE, it's gentrifying hella fast though.

    Alexandria is very nice, but feels very clean-cut? I don't know how to phrase it. It's not bland in the big box store kind of way, but I still find it bland.

    Ok I'm officially not making any sense and will defer to people who actually live there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brahette View Post
    So Del Ray is kinda known for being a DINK neighborhood so I do think that is fitting. Downside is it isn't on Metro but your DH could take a bus to the Pentagon. And with Blue/Yellow shutting down anyway, you wouldn't be able to Metro regardless. I looked at a house that was more Potomac Yard area (just north of Delray) but the 30-45min commute for me to get to the National Mall was a deal breaker. The Arlington hoods kinda strike me more for young just out of college professionals that can't afford to live in DC. I currently live in Capitol Hill, walking distance to Eastern Market and Barracks Row and absolutely love the hood. Plus my 15min commute door to desk is pretty awesome!
    What's the actual time like to get from the DC side (but maybe the Western part) to Delray? I don't know that we will be there long enough for me to get a real job, and I'm imagining my days being kind of like they are here--unemployed and day drinking with friends. lol It's it's 30+ minutes to get to them, that puts a crimp in my plan. Proximity to them is the real reason I zeroed in on the VA side of things, as opposed to looking in DC proper, but maybe I'm overestimating the drive time. Coming from a place where 3 miles can be 45 minutes, and knowing that traffic in DC is bad, I may be taking that a bit far.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
  9. Wine-o
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDNTrish View Post
    I felt old going back to clarendon/ballston when I was 25 lol. I really like the H street corridor NE, it's gentrifying hella fast though.

    Alexandria is very nice, but feels very clean-cut? I don't know how to phrase it. It's not bland in the big box store kind of way, but I still find it bland.

    Ok I'm officially not making any sense and will defer to people who actually live there.
    I like H St NE as well but they also don't have Metro... just the street car that goes to Union Station. And the Red Line can be a total disaster lol. My vet is up there and that's the only place I really drive to in the city lol. I have walked from my place before, it takes about a half hour which isn't too bad if the weather is nice.


    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    What's the actual time like to get from the DC side (but maybe the Western part) to Delray? I don't know that we will be there long enough for me to get a real job, and I'm imagining my days being kind of like they are here--unemployed and day drinking with friends. lol It's it's 30+ minutes to get to them, that puts a crimp in my plan. Proximity to them is the real reason I zeroed in on the VA side of things, as opposed to looking in DC proper, but maybe I'm overestimating the drive time. Coming from a place where 3 miles can be 45 minutes, and knowing that traffic in DC is bad, I may be taking that a bit far.
    I mean driving is a total crapshoot. The stretch of 395 that crosses the river to DC bottle necks all the time and I always get hung up there/695. I avoid driving in this city at all costs. From Del Ray, it could take 15min or it could take 45. Rush hour is a mess. Going TO Del Ray from DC is a little bit better though as long as you're not in the mass rush hour exodus of leaving the city lol. Knowing how important it is to be close to your friends, as long as your husband is ok with like a 30min bus commute or combo Metro when it starts operating again, Del Ray could work. If you're going to be hanging out with them down there all the time, makes more sense to just go into DC when you feel like making the trek and living in Del Ray area.
    ~Becca~


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    Quote Originally Posted by brahette View Post
    I like H St NE as well but they also don't have Metro... just the street car that goes to Union Station. And the Red Line can be a total disaster lol. My vet is up there and that's the only place I really drive to in the city lol. I have walked from my place before, it takes about a half hour which isn't too bad if the weather is nice.




    I mean driving is a total crapshoot. The stretch of 395 that crosses the river to DC bottle necks all the time and I always get hung up there/695. I avoid driving in this city at all costs. From Del Ray, it could take 15min or it could take 45. Rush hour is a mess. Going TO Del Ray from DC is a little bit better though as long as you're not in the mass rush hour exodus of leaving the city lol. Knowing how important it is to be close to your friends, as long as your husband is ok with like a 30min bus commute or combo Metro when it starts operating again, Del Ray could work. If you're going to be hanging out with them down there all the time, makes more sense to just go into DC when you feel like making the trek and living in Del Ray area.
    30 minutes is what we've set as the ideal max commute, though I think he'd go up to 45 without too much complaint, especially if it was a mindless public transportation commute where he could do some work. It's helpful to know that Del Ray to the Pentagon is about 30 minutes though, as that helps me figure out where the edges of my search should be. I was entering addresses of random rentals I found into google maps to get travel times, but that's not always reliable. So that's helpful! Thank you.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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