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Old 03-14-2011, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Dudes in brown flip-flops
660 posts, read 1,042,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
I don't agree. Alexandria and several of the western towns that make up Nova were here before DC, and if DC had never been built Alexandria and Leesburg would have continued becoming major cities on their own. It's true that Virginia wouldn't be exactly the same, just like Seattle would be a different place if Boeing hadn't settled there--but so what? It would still be a metro area, it would just have a different major industry.

As for talking about DC and MD on the Nova forum, it's ok by me when the topic is something like the National Zoo. OTOH.... I have to admit the OP has a point. The DC questions have been getting on my nerves a little lately, too. It does seem weird when people ask DC questions on this forum, since we are two distinct and very different areas. Also, the best place to discuss things like Chinese restaurants in Maryland is on the MD forum.

It seems like the people who think Virginia and DC are interchangeable are mostly from out of state. To be honest, if you're moving here it's a bad habit you might want to drop because it can sometimes come across as a sign of ignorance. Also, you'll get better advice and more detailed responses if you learn to differentiate. Only say you're moving to DC if you're actually moving to the District of Columbia. If you're moving to Fairfax or Leesburg or Reston or Springfield or anywhere else in VA, don't say "I'm moving to DC" say "I'm moving to Virginia." They are distincty different places.
Can't say I agree with many of your points.

As far as whether Alexandria and Leesburg would have become significant towns if DC hadn't been created...I don't think many people would call Leesburg major, even today. Sure, Loudoun County has 300k residents now, but Leesburg was an incredibly sleepy town just twenty years ago, and that's with having been near the national capital for 200 years. As far as Alexandria goes, it might have become a Savannah, or maybe a Charleston, but Baltimore is better situated for a port, so Alexandria would have been overshadowed by its larger neighbor to the northeast. Sure, this part of Virginia would probably be more densely populated than Southside or SW VA, but to call the presence of DC anything less than transformative is an understatement. Does anyone really think this area would have been full of transplants from California and the Midwest, and immigrants from all over the world, without DC? Looking at Baltimore and Richmond, and their demographics which haven't changed all that much over the last fifty years, the answer is pretty clearly no.

I'm not sure why you would say that it's people from out of town who call this area DC, either. Anyone who went to high school here who left for college knows that saying you're from Virginia is a one way ticket to being considered a southerner, which is pretty alien to most natives. You learn pretty quickly to tell people you are from DC, because that paints a much more accurate picture about who you are and where you come from than saying you are from Virginia. Maybe on a trip to California, I would say that I am from Northern Virginia, because that is the most precise answer, but I think a lot of my peers would say they were from DC before they'd ever say they were from Virginia.

Maybe part of this is a matter of perspective. NoVA inside the Fairfax County Parkway is very DC-centric, so those of us who live there are much likelier to cross state lines to work and play. I guess if you live in Loudoun, most discussions of DC seem inappropriate, since the District isn't part of NoVA. To be honest, that's how a lot of us in "inner NoVA" feel about Purcellville.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 5,672,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen 81 View Post
You learn pretty quickly to tell people you are from DC, because that paints a much more accurate picture about who you are and where you come from than saying you are from Virginia.
Quote:
Maybe part of this is a matter of perspective. NoVA inside the Fairfax County Parkway is very DC-centric, so those of us who live there are much likelier to cross state lines to work and play. I guess if you live in Loudoun, most discussions of DC seem inappropriate, since the District isn't part of NoVA. To be honest, that's how a lot of us in "inner NoVA" feel about Purcellville.
Completely agree with both of these points. I've been in the area 8 years now (wow), so while I'm not a native, I've been here long enough to assimilate. I tell people I meet on vacations I'm from DC--because my mindset is that of a DCist.

I associate much more closely with DC than I do with Loudoun county. Arlington/Alexandria are night and day from Ashburn or Leesburg. Those who live in Leesburg though, probably feel distinctly separate from DC. It's a major undertaking to get downtown, and there's a lot of separation between the areas. Not so for Arlington, where you can walk across a bridge and be downtown.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 15,710,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen 81 View Post
Anyone who went to high school here who left for college knows that saying you're from Virginia is a one way ticket to being considered a southerner, which is pretty alien to most natives.
Not me or the other kids I went to high school with. I was born in Arlington and the kids at my schools always called ourselves Virginians. I went to college in Chicago and later lived on the west coast and never felt strange saying I was from Virginia. Because I am from Virginia.

I have lived here since 1960 and never felt like I lived in DC. DC is a wonderful city that is next to where I live. I enjoy going over there, but it's never been where I live.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Dudes in brown flip-flops
660 posts, read 1,042,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
Not me or the other kids I went to high school with. I was born in Arlington and the kids at my schools always called ourselves Virginians. I went to college in Chicago and later lived on the west coast and never felt strange saying I was from Virginia. Because I am from Virginia.

I have lived here since 1960 and never felt like I lived in DC. DC is a wonderful city that is next to where I live. I enjoy going over there, but it's never been where I live.
Maybe it's generational, then, or maybe it's because my friends' parents were not from here. It was definitely drummed into my peers' heads that we were from the DC area, not Virginia, especially by people we met from elsewhere in the state. Telling someone from Roanoke that you are from Virginia, just like they are, was a sure-fire way to get laughed at and/or called a Yankee and a fake Virginian.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 5,672,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
Not me. I was born in Arlington and went to high school here. I went to college in Chicago and later lived on the west coast and never felt strange saying I was from Virginia. Because I am from Virginia.

I have lived here since 1960 and never felt like I lived in DC. DC is a wonderful city that is next to where I live. I enjoy going over there, but it's never been where I live.
That may just be a personal choice. When people ask where I'm from, I always choose the largest nearby city. I think most people do. People from Walnut say they're from San Francisco. People from Pikesville say they're from Baltimore. People from Smyrna say they're from Atlanta, etc, etc. Growing up, I'd tell people I was from Santa Barbara, not Goleta next door. Now, I say DC, 'cause who the heck has heard of Annandale? If there wasn't this imaginary line in the ground dividing the city from the state (okay, it's a river, not so imaginary I guess), no one would blink. If you look at any other board, there aren't separate forums for "Los Angeles" and "Towns surrounding the south/western borders of Los Angeles", it's just LA & associated sprawl.

I don't have a Virginia mindset, I have a DC mindset. I moved here for the job opportunities in DC or from the feds/contracts, not anything virginia had to offer on it's own. Well, besides cheaper housing.

Inside the beltway is all just a mush of density and smooshed together "towns" with no distinction between them at all. It all blends into DC, in my opinion. I go back and forth between the two all the time (sometimes on a daily basis), so it's as much a part of my life as NoVA is, and certainly more than PW or Loudoun counties are.

YMMV if you live in a more outlying area. Once you get into the more exurban areas or spread out, sprawling lots, it DOES feel different. Not so for inside the beltway though, in my experience.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:54 AM
 
5,179 posts, read 3,524,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen 81 View Post
Maybe it's generational, then, or maybe it's because my friends' parents were not from here. It was definitely drummed into my peers' heads that we were from the DC area, not Virginia, especially by people we met from elsewhere in the state. Telling someone from Roanoke that you are from Virginia, just like they are, was a sure-fire way to get laughed at and/or called a Yankee and a fake Virginian.
When I moved from NC to Alexandria due to my father getting a job with the Feds, we were excited about "moving to Washington DC" even though we moved to Fairfax County and my father worked in Crystal City. One of my first requests for a birthday present was a Redskins helmet and jersey. Definitely there was more identification with DC as our location than with Virginia. We looked forward to visiting all the DC attractions. But my parents hated cities and liked the suburban life, so we settled in NoVA. Just like many big cities have suburbs stretching out away from the urban core - but in DC's case, those suburbs are in different states. Would people in Chicago's suburbs claim they were from some place other than Chicago? Maybe to locals they would identify with their particular neighborhood over the city, but when talking to out-of-staters, I'm sure they'd say they're from Chicago.

When I went to college in the midwest, if I told someone I was from Alexandria, Virginia, it registered blank. But if I told them I was from, or "from around" Washington, DC, then they had some mental association to make. But then I tended to get asked by some Midwesterners if I used to see the president every day back home.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:23 AM
 
4,539 posts, read 5,229,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen 81 View Post
Maybe it's generational, then, or maybe it's because my friends' parents were not from here. It was definitely drummed into my peers' heads that we were from the DC area, not Virginia, especially by people we met from elsewhere in the state. Telling someone from Roanoke that you are from Virginia, just like they are, was a sure-fire way to get laughed at and/or called a Yankee and a fake Virginian.
I don't think it's generational, as I'm closer to Caladium's generation than yours, and I always told people when I went off to school that I was from "outside DC." It wasn't something I gave a lot of thought to at the time, but I guess it did serve to ward off the otherwise predictable responses of "you don't seem southern" (offered as reassurance by the Yankees) or "you're not really southern, now, are you?" (asked with a dagger-like smile by those who referred to the Civil War as the "War of the Northern Aggression").
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:28 AM
 
4,539 posts, read 5,229,917 times
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Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
Now, I say DC, 'cause who the heck has heard of Annandale?
I remember a lot of kids in this area being excited by the reference to Annandale in "My Old School" by Steely Dan in the 1980s.

I didn't have the heart to tell them it was a reference to Annandale-on-Hudson in New York (where Bard College is located). They were convinced that Annandale, VA had finally made its mark on the world!
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 15,710,604 times
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LOL, well whatever floats your boat.

I used to know a guy in Orange County who used to say he was "from Los Angeles" (and I thought that was weird, too.) Laguna Beach is so much nicer than LA, why not say he was from there? But he preferred to attach himself to the nearest big city. I guess lots of people do that. Beats me why you would want to do that, but to each his own.

Getting back to the OP, I don't see people on the Orange County forum asking what county Hollywood is in--you go to the LA forum to ask about Hollywood. I don't see people on the Long Island forum discussing apartment complexes or restaurants in New Jersey. So, while the occasional general question about DC is cool I have to agree that our forum really isn't the right place to be asking specific questions (such as housing or restaurants) for DC and Maryland.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: In the woods
3,286 posts, read 5,258,863 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
It just really grates on me that people start threads in NoVa forum about DC - DC has a forum! I know we are close but can't we keep this ABOUT NOVA? I'm not talking about people that want to know commuting, etc. - but discussions that are solely about something in DC.

I can only imagine how confusing it is for folks that want info. on NOVA to start seeing all these off-topics.
Maybe some of us have lived in both DC and NoVA and can make honest comparable differences, as well as similarities. How does one make an assessment of something when there's nothing to compare it to?

Maybe some of us live in NoVA but work in DC -- and for many years. So there's a strong familiarity of the layout of the city, types of neighborhoods, places to eat and visit, etc.

I don't find that it's such a big deal. When someone gets off topic, many of us just steer them back on.

Anyone coming to the area should know that NoVA is not DC and DC is not NoVA. Each one stands as itself. It is no different than saying that northern NJ is influenced by NYC, outskirts of Miami by Miami, etc. It is just commonsense.
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