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Old 01-11-2012, 07:03 PM
Status: "Coastin’" (set 11 days ago)
91 posts, read 161,200 times
Reputation: 76


Ok these are good neighborhoods and happen to know people of different backgrounds who are successful that live in these places. These neighborhoods have changed quite a bit. I'm an Arlington native and have seen this change do don't judge a book by its cover. I suggest you get to know people who live there before making a comment like that. Be the change you want to see.

Old 01-12-2012, 05:06 AM
Location: Ft. Washington/Oxon Hill border, MD (Prince George's County)
320 posts, read 700,251 times
Reputation: 220
I have lived in various parts of NoVa for 10 years prior to moving to Ft. Wash., MD and am now married with a toddler and my husband and I are now working in NoVa so we are planning to move to NoVa within the next couple of years. We are also a black professional couple and looking for the same thing. We just don't want to be the only one or 1% of an area, I have experienced that as well and had some self esteem/identity issues related to it as a child. I have friends (also black professional couples) who are homeowners in Haymarket, Herndon, and Falls Church....though the other half of our friends are in Prince Georges in Bowie, Laurel, Upper Marlboro, Clinton, Accokeek. Most of my friends in PG work in DC...a commute to NoVa for work is dreadful from those locations in PG though and send their kids to private schools. As mentioned we do have friends scattered around NoVa and we make a point to get together at each others homes and do family things together and I think that helps a lot. I think you care a bit less about being the only black family on the block when you have a nice network of black friends that are not far away that you see often. If you join certain black organizations you will find those black friendships.

I agree with the other posters that one reason I fell in love with this area in the first place was the diversity and how all these diverse people relate to each other so well (I came from the midwest). I spend more time frankly in NoVa than I do in PG where I live and after being in the DC area 2 decades now (1 decade spent as a resident of NoVa and 1 in PG), I can't think of any experience where I felt like I was treated differently because of my skin color (excluding career matters like assignments/promotions etc. but that is a pretty nationwide issue..and more of that could have been due to being a woman truely).

As my family looks to move, we are looking in the Falls Church, Reston, McLean, Arlington, Vienna, Oakton, Dunn Loring vicinity as they are good locations for both my husband and myself to commute to our jobs in NoVa and we do not want to be too far outside of the beltway...we like being close to DC and public transport options/metro. I have spent a lot of time identifying good districts that also have at least 10% black students and those 10% are mostly middle to middle upper class and not 100% students that qualify for free lunch. In many ways we have more in common with our socioeconomic peers than our racial peers. I also looked for a good mix of diversity where one group was not like 60% or more of the school. I also used the map links posted below that I got from other discussions about diversity on this forum. The two places that met most of my criteria were in Falls Church and Reston/Herndon. Herndon/Reston are farther out that we would like to be but we will look at all of the cities/towns I listed above to see what fits us best. I love McLean and Arlington also and I lived in both as a renter for many years...the locations are very convenient but you do not get much for the money in Arlington. But Arlington fits our lifestyle/personalities more than McLean. I am just not sure we can do a small home in Arlington after living in a 3000+ sq ft home in PG all these years.

Here are the maps, they should be very helpful...

Mapping America ? Census Bureau 2005-9 American Community Survey - NYTimes.com

Interactive map: 30 years of census data - The Washington Post

I totally get wanting to have others that share your ethnicity live nearby (for me it is especially nice as at work I am typically the only one) and my family wants that also but as others have stated, you should feel welcomed in NoVa even if you are the only black family in a neighborhood.
Old 01-13-2012, 06:58 PM
13 posts, read 35,488 times
Reputation: 20
Thanks for the perspective tech lawyer. Good luck on your search!
Old 01-14-2012, 12:58 PM
1,604 posts, read 3,503,116 times
Reputation: 1526
As someone whose black and has personal experience with our treatment, I can chime in to a few things about the best place to live. For one, I'm glad that you don't feel like you need to live in "Murrland" or "Addlanta" like how most of the black community tries to shoves down our throats. To be honest, unless you were planning to live in Montgomery or Howard counties, I would strongly advise against moving to Maryland if you're looking for racial integration and acceptance. There are some "professional black neighborhoods" outside of the beltway in PG County, but most of that is just a combination of bourgie adults and kids who want to act like they're from the hood. So if you didn't fit into that image, then you would've been screwed anyway.

Now as for the rules of race relations in the DC area. It's different in this sense:

The further you move from the district, the more integrated and less racially tense the neighborhoods become.

Granted you don't want to move too far into the rural areas, but the suburbs, especially outside of the beltway, are less segregated and racially driven than most urban centers. Overall, this area is fairly segregated, and the funny (as in sad) thing is that a part of the prejudiced attitudes are actually imported from people from other states.

Now for specifics, if I was in your position, I would personally move no further east than Fairfax County. And this is not because of my user name, but I can tell you that my time in that county was the better of my experience out of anywhere else where I lived within the DC area. The word "progressive" means jack crap when dealing with race relations. DC proper has some of the biggest self-congratulatory progressives, but their racial attitudes are some of the worst this country has to offer. Arlington and Alexandria are better...by default, but it's nothing I'd write home about.

From your other considerations, Chantilly, Centreville, Ashburn, and Reston are the best options. The Alexandria section of Fairfax County, while definitely diverse and fairly integrated, is very working class and you may not connect with the neighbors socioeconomically.

For specific details on every neighborhood, I would use the following to make your decision:

Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census - NYTimes.com

Last edited by Do a Barrel Roll; 01-14-2012 at 01:11 PM..
Old 01-14-2012, 01:21 PM
2 posts, read 2,754 times
Reputation: 15
I would first of all like to wish you good health and congrats!! on your upcoming new addition.I have worked in the arlington area for the last 10 years its a great place to work and live, with new condos and homes being built.This place also has plenty of young family professionals like yourselves, and its not to far from NoVa your home away from home so be sure to check it out.Good luck and when you do make the move give me a hit I would love to move your family for a very low price.
Old 01-14-2012, 01:37 PM
Location: Maryland
18,624 posts, read 16,433,169 times
Reputation: 6348
Originally Posted by July2012 View Post
Hello all
I am a 31 yo physician and my husband and I are expecting our first child this summer. We want to purchase a home in a community were we will feel accepted and comfortable. The neighborhood does not have to be mostly black but diverse with other young families possibly with similar accomplishments. In this area "diverse" seems to equate Hispanic or Asian which we are definitely open to but would also like to consider other options. We have lived in NoVa for many years and are not willing to move to Maryland.
Neighborhooods we are considering
-Alexandria (fairfax part)

Thanks so much for your insight!
I'm trying to make sense of what you are saying. You say the neighborhood doesn't have to be majority Black but you want diversity. Yet you don't seem too thrilled with what that means in NoVa, Asians and Hispanics.

Are you looking for a mini-PG county in Northern Virginia? I'm afraid that will be difficult to obtain in NoVa.

Is the District an option? Maybe Shepard Park might be worth looking into and I think that is more along what you are looking for demographically speaking.


Old 01-16-2012, 05:50 PM
13 posts, read 35,488 times
Reputation: 20
Actually EdwardA, you have made perfect sense of what I said. The neighborhood does not have to be majority black but 1-2% would not be ideal.
On the other hand, if the neighborhood has a larger proportion of minorities I'd prefer near equal percentages rather than overly skewed toward Asian or Hispanic. I understand this may not exist in NOVA, therefore, please see below.

I'm not sure what a mini PG county is as I have limited experience with Maryland.

DC is not an option.

After much thought and many great suggestions we will likely purchase in Arlington since we have had such great experiences renting here.
Thanks to everyone for their comments
Old 01-16-2012, 09:13 PM
19 posts, read 37,439 times
Reputation: 17
Ashburn was a great choice for us. She is also a physician and I'm in Sales/tech. Good luck and welcome back to Nova.
Old 01-17-2012, 06:03 AM
7,968 posts, read 18,085,587 times
Reputation: 2593
Originally Posted by July2012 View Post
After much thought and many great suggestions we will likely purchase in Arlington since we have had such great experiences renting here.
Thanks to everyone for their comments
Congratulations on your decision! I'm sure you'll continue to be happy in Arlington.
Old 01-17-2012, 06:05 PM
37 posts, read 96,419 times
Reputation: 39
We are also a professional black family with a small child. We currently live in the city, but will eventually move for schools and space. We will most likely live in VA since MD is too far from DH's job. DH and I lived in an apartment in Arlington years ago and loved it. But I'm sure our wish list will look very different now that we have a child. Both of us have been 'the only black kid' at different points in our lives, and it's hard. I completely understand where the OP is coming from and wish her good luck with house hunting.
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