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Old 01-05-2011, 04:56 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 3,401,944 times
Reputation: 734

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I'm tired of (seemingly) unhappy/bitter people clawing their ways to an even slightly bearable/mediocre 'look, ma, I've got a townhouse' existence sitting in perpetual traffic or crawling (figuratively) around in gutters full of weed-obscured illegal signs for shady nail salons that have changed hands twenty times in the last six months to benefit from some tax loophole/new-business incentive (mind you, I actually support the latter.. but they need to be much more water-tight than they often are - especially around here). *sigh* In other words, Fairfax Co. Is the Town of Vienna that much different from the rest of the co.? Is it getting even more different, or less different? What about Rosslyn? (I happen to think Clarendon (etc.) is a dump outside of the little outdoor mall/fake downtown area right in the center.) *sigh*^3 (And don't tell me people are generally MORE bitter in Arlington, 'cuz I've shopped at both the Pentagon City (once a month for two whole years!) and Fair Lakes (once a month for about six months now) Costcos and would tell you 'um, no.')
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,010 posts, read 2,702,145 times
Reputation: 2752
I have absolutely no idea if either area is getting better, but I wanted to say

*Welcome back!*

I always enjoy reading your thoughtful, descriptive posts! Hope you have a wonderful 2011 in NoVA.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,555 posts, read 12,624,466 times
Reputation: 8315
I'm not sure I understand exactly what you are asking, and I have no way to compare Vienna to Rosslyn, since I'm not familiar with the latter. As far as Vienna goes, at some level the schools feel very "Fairfax County" to me - part of a big, anonymous school system. But the Town itself feels like an oasis to me separate from the County. During a given week, I rarely leave the Town limits. My kids go to preschool and elementary school in the Town. Our little library feels very community-oriented to me. I walk to our Whole Foods, and my youngest takes a weekly class in our town community center. My daughter takes piano lessons from an elderly woman in her home, who has lived here for dozens of years. My husband and kids always attend the Vienna firestation pancake breakfast. We hang out at Church Street Pizza or get coffee at Amouri. All of these places feel very "Vienna" to me rather than Fairfax County. The special events put on by the Town add to the community feel such as Viva Vienna, the fireworks, the Halloween Parade, and the Holiday Stroll.

When I travel to Tyson's Mall or Fair Lakes, I feel like I am in a more anonymous place - a Fairfax County place. Even if I go to Safeway at Pan Am shopping center I feel like I am outside my community.

Vienna overall feels less transient to me than most of the rest of Fairfax County. I think because something like 90% of the housing stock are single-family homes, we get fewer people here who are moving in and out for a year or two. I have three friends here who grew up in Vienna, went to Madison High and stayed or moved back. There are lots of long-termers. I don't have a feeling whether the area is increasingly more or less like Fairfax County than it used to be. I've been here for exactly 10 years and for the most part feel it's still the same place I moved to in 2000.

Again, I'm not sure if this is what you are asking. And of course, I have a bias toward Vienna, but I try to be honest in my assessment. And I think it is an overall great town to live in.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:44 PM
 
461 posts, read 796,263 times
Reputation: 115
I'd ditto that about Vienna and community. I was in one neighborhood where everyone knew each other and were very friendly. Amazing for this area. Also close enough to DC and I-66 but still a nice neighborhood. It's even won a most livable city award. Also, not too far from the Metro depending, interesting shops and the W&OD bike path.

I don't know if schools are important, but I crossed it off my list for that reason. Look it up on Great Schools and decide for yourself. Also Maple Ave. I gawdawful for traffic especially on weekends.

I know less about Rosslyn, but most places in that area are condos or very small (many are Sears prebuilts) houses. Gross generalization. Bike friendly, and not bad for restaurants. Esp Virginia Square in that area is getting nice development, or at least was during the boom. Roz if you're single, but Vienna if you want a SFH (still quite expensive) and have kids. Totally different animals.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:41 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,862,176 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
I don't know if schools are important, but I crossed it off my list for that reason. Look it up on Great Schools and decide for yourself. Also Maple Ave. I gawdawful for traffic especially on weekends.
???

Madison HS is the 3rd or 4th highest SAT scoring school in the county, Marshall is in the top 10 ... Thoreau and Kilmer are well regarded, only Cunningham Park/Freedom Hill get some concern due to average test scores.

Yours is the first opinion I've seen express concern over the quality of schools in Vienna. The concern about 123 is fine, but where in Northern VA are you NOT going to get traffic tie ups along a major thoroughfare?
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,784,418 times
Reputation: 18989
It always comes down to which one is more convenient to work, IMO.

And, to second what Fern said... WELCOME BACK! I hope you had a nice trip, but we missed you around here. It's not the same without you.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:07 AM
 
461 posts, read 796,263 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpickrell View Post
???

Madison HS is the 3rd or 4th highest SAT scoring school in the county, Marshall is in the top 10 ... Thoreau and Kilmer are well regarded, only Cunningham Park/Freedom Hill get some concern due to average test scores.

Yours is the first opinion I've seen express concern over the quality of schools in Vienna. The concern about 123 is fine, but where in Northern VA are you NOT going to get traffic tie ups along a major thoroughfare?
Madison is not in the top 10. Thomas Jefferson is, and Langley is in the top 20, but not Madison. I don't have time to go to GS but people should go there instead of listen to people defend their own turf.

Maple Ave is special. I'd compare it to Rockville Pike on the weekends in MD. Still, if you have 15 minutes, you can get through it. It's not so bad, and Vienna is a nice place, so it would be worth it probably.

Last edited by FairfaxGuy73; 01-06-2011 at 07:21 AM..
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:20 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,862,176 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
Marshall is not in the top 10. Thomas Jefferson is, and Langley is in the top 20, but not Marshall. I don't have time to go to GS but people should go there instead of listen to people defend their own turf.
I said county, as in Fairfax County.

As for country, Marshall is #203, and James Madison is #144 *in the entire country* according to Newsweek's Challenge Index.

GS doesn't measure SAT scores, instead it measures SOL scores.

GreatSchools Ratings FAQ - Defining Your Ideal School | GreatSchools

What do GreatSchools Ratings tell me? Our ratings provide an overview of a school's test performance by comparing the school's state standardized test results to those of other schools in the state. Ratings are given for each grade and student category (gender, ethnicity or other student group) for which test results are available. Keep in mind that when comparing schools using GreatSchools Ratings, it's important to factor in other information, including the quality of each school's teachers, the school culture, special programs, etc.
Which tests are GreatSchools Ratings based on?
GreatSchools Ratings are based on each state's main standardized tests. To get the details on specific tests used in your state, go to any school's ratings page and click on the link below the ratings that says "See which tests were used."


GreatSchools Ratings for Virginia
GreatSchools Ratings for Virginia

In calculating these ratings, GreatSchools analyzed the 2009-2010 Standards of Learning (SOL) End-of-Grade and End-of-Course results for the school and compared them to the test results for all Virginia schools with the same grade levels.

If there are no GreatSchools Ratings for a school, the school's test results were either not reported or incomplete.

Keep in mind that when comparing schools using GreatSchools Ratings, it's important to factor in other information, including the quality of each school's teachers, the school culture, special programs, etc.

GreatSchools Ratings cannot be compared across states, because of differences in the states' standardized testing programs.

Moving on to SAT scores ...

I was slightly wrong. Madison is #5. Marshall is #7 in terms of SAT scores.

TJ (Fairfax) 2200
Langley (Fairfax) 1812
McLean (Fairfax) 1778
Woodson (Fairfax) 1738
Madison (Fairfax) 1734
Oakton (Fairfax) 1729
Marshall (Fairfax) 1690
(snip)

From Greatschools:
http://www.greatschools.org/cgi-bin/...ating&tab=over
Marshall gets a '9' along with Langley, Oakton, and West Springfield.
Madison gets a '8' along with Chantilly, Fairfax, Lake Braddock, McLean, Robinson, and Woodson,
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:20 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,775 posts, read 10,679,142 times
Reputation: 2498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Bradley View Post
I'm tired of (seemingly) unhappy/bitter people clawing their ways to an even slightly bearable/mediocre 'look, ma, I've got a townhouse' existence sitting in perpetual traffic or crawling (figuratively) around in gutters full of weed-obscured illegal signs for shady nail salons that have changed hands twenty times in the last six months to benefit from some tax loophole/new-business incentive (mind you, I actually support the latter.. but they need to be much more water-tight than they often are - especially around here). *sigh* In other words, Fairfax Co. Is the Town of Vienna that much different from the rest of the co.? Is it getting even more different, or less different? What about Rosslyn? (I happen to think Clarendon (etc.) is a dump outside of the little outdoor mall/fake downtown area right in the center.) *sigh*^3 (And don't tell me people are generally MORE bitter in Arlington, 'cuz I've shopped at both the Pentagon City (once a month for two whole years!) and Fair Lakes (once a month for about six months now) Costcos and would tell you 'um, no.')

Wow. Just wow. I live in a townhouse, and I am not bitter about it - its quite pleasant, and it adds to my life. I live in Annandale whose main drag is one of the worse in terms of weed obscured illegal signs but ya know what - walking on a sunny morning is still a delight, and the Korean restaurants are kewl. Oh and we have the Accotink trail, about which I need to start a new thread. I avoid Costco, though my wife seems to have a weakness for it.

I think Vienna and Rosslyn both have much to commend them, but if you want to get the most of it either, a more positive attitude would be helpful. And there are some really nice residential parts of Clarendon (I should go and take pics, the next time my happy busy life allows me) to post here. Oh and last time I was there there were still remnants of the old 1940s(?) era commercial Clarendon left, though I wonder if you consider that dumpy too.

As for changes, I think Vienna is not changing much, and the residents prefer it that way. Only like densification is right near the metro, which is actually outside the town limits. Rosslyn ISTR has changes in store, hopefully for the better.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:26 AM
 
461 posts, read 796,263 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpickrell View Post
I said county, as in Fairfax County.

As for country, Marshall is #203, and James Madison is #144 *in the entire country* according to Newsweek's Challenge Index.

GS doesn't measure SAT scores, instead it measures SOL scores.

GreatSchools Ratings FAQ - Defining Your Ideal School | GreatSchools

What do GreatSchools Ratings tell me? Our ratings provide an overview of a school's test performance by comparing the school's state standardized test results to those of other schools in the state. Ratings are given for each grade and student category (gender, ethnicity or other student group) for which test results are available. Keep in mind that when comparing schools using GreatSchools Ratings, it's important to factor in other information, including the quality of each school's teachers, the school culture, special programs, etc.
Which tests are GreatSchools Ratings based on?
GreatSchools Ratings are based on each state's main standardized tests. To get the details on specific tests used in your state, go to any school's ratings page and click on the link below the ratings that says "See which tests were used."


GreatSchools Ratings for Virginia
GreatSchools Ratings for Virginia

In calculating these ratings, GreatSchools analyzed the 2009-2010 Standards of Learning (SOL) End-of-Grade and End-of-Course results for the school and compared them to the test results for all Virginia schools with the same grade levels.

If there are no GreatSchools Ratings for a school, the school's test results were either not reported or incomplete.

Keep in mind that when comparing schools using GreatSchools Ratings, it's important to factor in other information, including the quality of each school's teachers, the school culture, special programs, etc.

GreatSchools Ratings cannot be compared across states, because of differences in the states' standardized testing programs.

Moving on to SAT scores ...

I was slightly wrong. Madison is #5. Marshall is #7 in terms of SAT scores.

TJ (Fairfax) 2200
Langley (Fairfax) 1812
McLean (Fairfax) 1778
Woodson (Fairfax) 1738
Madison (Fairfax) 1734
Oakton (Fairfax) 1729
Marshall (Fairfax) 1690
(snip)

From Greatschools:
Virginia schools - VA elementary, middle and high school information
Marshall gets a '9' along with Langley, Oakton, and West Springfield.
Madison gets a '8' along with Chantilly, Fairfax, Lake Braddock, McLean, Robinson, and Woodson,
Yes, that tracks. One more thing is that some area of Vienna have better ES's than others. There's an immigrant population (don't know if they're legal or not) and you'll see police cars around the CVS on Park. Still, again, nice area overall.
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