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Old 12-06-2012, 02:45 PM
 
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I am moving from Atlanta, GA area for a job. I have the choice of either working in an office in Crystal City off of Crystal Drive or an office at Bailey's Crossr[SIZE=3]oads[/SIZE] in Falls Church. I was hoping someone could give me some advice as to the better area to work/live. I am 30 years old and have a wife and small dog. I am looking for a one-bedroom apartment for around $1300-$1600. Any thoughts as too which would be a better fit?
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:23 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
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Crystal City is busier, more downtowny, and slightly more upscale--not by that much, but the old scuzzy hotels there are rapidly disappearing. It's much more urban that Bailey's, which is basically a few tallish buildings amid strip malls, parking lots, and older postwar neighborhoods. Rent will be a lot cheaper near Bailey's. (I work near there myself and cut through Bailey's on the way home.) They're actually not far from each other. You probably wouldn't get parking in C. City but might at the Bailey's office. Bailey's is nowhere near the Metrorail, if that makes a difference to you. It does have cheaper places to eat.

If you're into happy hours, are an urban kinda guy, don't mind paying more in rent, and plan on taking Metro, I'd say pick C. City. If you just wanna get home after work, value cheap eateries over hip ones, and plan to drive, go with Bailey's.

BTW, most of Bailey's is in Alexandria, though I guess a far corner of it sort of goes into FC.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 12-06-2012 at 04:32 PM..
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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I think Crystal City is a much nicer area with tons of restaurants and retail (especially if you include the adjacent Pentagon City), but you won't find an apartment for that price, especially not a pet friendly one.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:57 PM
 
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Bailey's Crossroads is about as trashy as it gets inside of the Beltway in NoVa. I would never voluntarily live there, as it gives the entire area a bad name. Crystal City all the way.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GustavoFring View Post
Bailey's Crossroads is about as trashy as it gets inside of the Beltway in NoVa. I would never voluntarily live there, as it gives the entire area a bad name. Crystal City all the way.
The combination of good ethnic restaurants like Peking Gourmet Inn, Rabieng's and Duangrat's along Route 7 and the number of convenient big box stores at Bailey's elevate it over some other parts of inside-the-Beltway NoVa, but I won't be more specific for fear of going off topic.

The salient point for the OP is that a cheap rental near Bailey's probably won't be in a very nice building or area, unless he can find something decent at Skyline. Crystal City remains the apogee of sterile 1960s architecture in NoVa, but my guess is that a cheap apartment there, if it exists, would still be in a decent area, and there are even more good/fun restauraunts near Pentagon City and Row and along 23rd Street than in Bailey's.

Last edited by JD984; 12-06-2012 at 06:25 PM..
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:00 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
The combination of good ethnic restaurants like Peking Gourmet Inn, Rabieng's and Duangrat's along Route 7 and the number of convenient big box stores at Bailey's elevate it over some other parts of inside-the-Beltway NoVa, but I won't be more specific for fear of going off topic.

The salient point for the OP is that a cheap rental near Bailey's probably won't be in a very nice building or area, unless he can find something decent at Skyline. Crystal City remains the apogee of sterile 1960s architecture in NoVa, but my guess is that a cheap apartment there, if it exists, would still be in a decent area, and there are even more good/fun restauraunts near Pentagon City and Row and along 23rd Street than in Bailey's.
It definitely is more run-down at that end, as you go west toward Culmore. Toward Skyline, the scene along Route 7 is quite a bit--well, not "nicer"--but certainly less shabby. In fact, there are some very attractive houses and townhouses (and some dowdy ones) in the area around Seminary Road, behind NOVA Community College. There are a couple of tall apartment buildings there, near the intersection of George Mason and Seminary--and one across route 7 (just over the border, in Arlington), behind the church there. (Though maybe that's a condo building.) The houses in that area south of Route 7 and east of Carlin Springs Road (on either side of Seminary Road) have large yards; if you can find one for rent, I'd think that would be a good option, since y'all have a dog.

Most of Bailey's is lightyears nicer than the worst parts of Route 1 that I've seen (which are just north of Ft. Belvoir).

ONE IMPORTANT THING WE ALL FORGOT TO MENTION:

Crystal City is ground zero for Rolling Thunder, the annual influx of motorcycle riders who come into town on Memorial Day and parade into DC. Most of them stay at the hotels along Route 1 in Crystal City. They also come into town on Independence Day and 9/11 (though in smaller numbers).

C City also sees a lot of marathons and street festivals (e.g., Crystal City Wine Walk). And it's directly under the flight path for Washington National Airport (DCA, aka "Reagan").

So if you're averse to crowds or noise, not the place for you.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 12-06-2012 at 07:47 PM..
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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I do really like the Seminary/King/395 area for apartments. SUPER convenient to grocery shopping and all the errands you'd ever need to run, and easy access to Old Town, Shirlington, or Crystal City for good restaurants. Plus, a short commute to either of your employment centers.

You should be able to find a 1 br place for under $1600 there, but the ones I know of in the area that allow dogs have pretty low weight limits (the highest we found was 30 lbs when I rented an apartment around there, though it may have changed if they are struggling to fill units). They also charge a nice $40-50/month in pet rent, so be prepared for that! Parking was free at all of them though, which is a pleasant perk compared to Crystal City.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:30 AM
 
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I hate Bailey's Crossroads, every time I drive through the area I get a headache - terrible traffic, dirty surroundings, and dumb pedestrians trying to cross Leesburg pike wherever they like. If I had a choice, I would not work or live there. I imagine crime rates are high too.

I had lived in Pentagon City for years and was a frequent visitor to Crystal City, and it is much much better than Bailey's. If I were you, I would work in Crystal City and get an apartment on Columbia Pike for the price range you are looking for. Commute from there to Crystal City would not be more than 15 minutes by car, and there are also bus routes that you can use.

You can also get a studio apartment for around $1500, or a basement sublet in one of the single family homes between Pentagon City and Crystal City.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:42 AM
 
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I'll just mention that you don't actually need to live in the same community in which you work, though I agree with the previous posters on the relative merits of the two workplace locations.

Working in Bailey's Crossroads gives you a greater choice of affordable apartments than does Crystal City, where you will pay a premium for the proximity to the metro and DC. However, your price range is towards the bottom of the market for 1 BR units in the area, so you might consider what sort of commute you are willing to tolerate to get more/nicer space.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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I second Columbia Pike near Courthouse Rd. The Pike Ride Busses to the Pentagon City Metro are very frequent and used by most commuters that live in that area. There are a lot of bars, restaurants, and a couple gyms along the eastern part of Columbia Pike, and the average age is probably around 30. You might be able to find a one bedroom for 1,600.You could also take the Pike Ride Busses from there to Skyline/Baileys (I think) but that would be a much longer ride.
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