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Old 02-07-2012, 05:13 PM
 
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Hi There - We may be moving to the area - husband will work in DC. What is the difference in the atmosphere of Potomac, MD vs. McLean and which schools are better?

Also, are there different parts of McLean that are nicer than others? I notice there are two zipcodes, one closer to Tysons and one closer to DC. Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:22 PM
 
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I always thought Great Falls was the rough equivalent of Potomac.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
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Both are very wealthy areas. I always think of Potomac as "nouveau riche." Lots of sprawling mansions on large lots, although there are many normal neighborhoods, too. McLean seems a bit more toned down to me. I think of McLean more like Chevy Chase - closer in to the city, while Great Falls is more like Potomac - larger homes, farther out, on bigger lots. Potomac also has a very large Jewish presence, which isn't as evident in McLean.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
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Originally Posted by sullyguy View Post
I always thought Great Falls was the rough equivalent of Potomac.
Ha! You know what they say about great minds.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Originally Posted by michgc View Post
Potomac also has a very large Jewish presence, which isn't as evident in McLean.
Agreed. McLean seems more "WASPy", and is the home of more conservative Christians. McLean is the also home of the C.I.A., and I wonder how much that population influences the tone of McLean.

To be fair, I have seen much ethnic diversity in both places with wealthy doctors and technology executives from all over the world.
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
Agreed. McLean seems more "WASPy", and is the home of more conservative Christians. McLean is the also home of the C.I.A., and I wonder how much that population influences the tone of McLean.

To be fair, I have seen much ethnic diversity in both places with wealthy doctors and technology executives from all over the world.
HA! As though the federal employees working at the CIA could afford to live in McLean. Well, maybe some do, but not very many.

I don't think McLean is all that conservative. Perhaps compared to Arlington, but it seems to be a good mix of both sides of the aisle.

I would think trala should take a look at which commuting route will be easier for her husband (depending on where in DC he is working).
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:14 AM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,617,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trala1 View Post
Hi There - We may be moving to the area - husband will work in DC. What is the difference in the atmosphere of Potomac, MD vs. McLean and which schools are better?

Also, are there different parts of McLean that are nicer than others? I notice there are two zipcodes, one closer to Tysons and one closer to DC. Thanks!
Potomac really boomed starting in the 1980s. For the most part, it strikes me as uniformly very affluent, with many houses on lots of an acre of more. There are also a lot of golf and country clubs nearby like Avenel and Congressional. Everyone whom I know from work who lives there is Jewish, though Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) lives there, too. The schools are top notch.

McLean is closer to DC than Potomac and there's more variation in the housing. The older area closer to DC in the 22101 zip code. It includes some expensive areas like Franklin Park, Ballantrae Farms and Langley Forest, but also more modest sections built in the 1950s and 1960s. The area near Tysons (and further out) is in the 22102 zip code, and is a mix of 1970s and 1980s sub-divisions and big properties similar to what you'd find in Potomac or in Great Falls, Virginia. Schools are also very good; test scores are somewhat lower at the high school for the two McLean high schools (Langley and McLean) compared to the Potomac area schools such as Churchill, Wootton and Whitman, in large part because NoVa has a magnet high school in Fairfax County, TJHSST, that pulls in a lot of student from McLean. Montgomery County has some magnet programs as well, but none that draw as many students from the neighborhood high schools as TJHSST. Maybe it's WASPy compared to Potomac, but there is a synagogue in a nearby section of Falls Church that's sometimes described as "the McLean part of Falls Church."

If I wanted a shorter commute to DC, I'd look for something in the 22101 zip code in McLean (or, perhaps, in Arlington, Virginia or Bethesda or Chevy Chase, Maryland). If I wanted a house on more land with a secluded feel, I'd look in the 22102 zip code in McLean or in Potomac. If I wanted a big house near a golf course or country club, I'd focus on Potomac. Really depends on your priorities.

Last edited by JD984; 02-08-2012 at 08:21 AM..
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Originally Posted by fstrdhd View Post
I don't think McLean is all that conservative.
When I said conservative Christian, I was thinking of the McLean Bible Church, and that Episcopal Church which broke away from the main American group because they objected to the endorsement of same-sex marriage. I don't think you would see those sentiments in Potomac. And yes, several of the people I know in Potomac are Jewish, but not all.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
When I said conservative Christian, I was thinking of the McLean Bible Church, and that Episcopal Church which broke away from the main American group because they objected to the endorsement of same-sex marriage. I don't think you would see those sentiments in Potomac. And yes, several of the people I know in Potomac are Jewish, but not all.
There may well be more conservative Christians in McLean than in Potomac. For what it's worth, though, the McLean Bible Church is in Vienna (not far from Reston), not McLean, and I think you're referring to The Falls Church (in FC, not McLean), which broke away from the mainstream Episcopal Church a few years ago, and has a congregation that draws from many parts of NoVa. In general, most people in McLean seem fairly middle-of-the-road to me.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:05 AM
 
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People watch too much TV. There are lots of CIA people living in McLean, and that includes folks all up and down the the various levels of the bureaucracy. Of course, if you ask them, they'll tell you they work someplace else. That's a dead giveaway...
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