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Old 03-08-2008, 10:28 PM
 
49 posts, read 193,735 times
Reputation: 16

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Hello, as a current Richmonder and future Restonian, I'll be joining your ranks fairly soon having just landed a job at the NNMC in Bethesda. I know crossing the Potomac in the morning is an experience akin to crossing the Styx, but I've decided to commute from Virginia in order to maintain in-state residence to make grad school more affordable, and since my grad school of choice is GMU residence in Fairfax county is an added plus.

I understand the commute will be about 30 minutes (if god is feeling especially kind), and on an actual day will probably be closer to an hour. I just wanted to ask of your vast expertise if that sounds accurate. I can accept an hour's drive, but I've heard stories from at least one friend of mine formerly of NoVa that it could be potentially double that. In the interests of disclosure, this was immediately followed by the tale of a ridiculously bad experience on I-66 and thus may be something of an exaggeration.

Of course my future roomate tells me there's a metro bus stop about a mile away, and my understanding of the Metro so far is that I can drive there, take the bus to West Falls Church, and get off at Medical Center after transferring onto the red line. Is this correct/feasible, or am I better off paying the tolls on the Dulles Toll Road? Or worse still, risking the gaping maw of Tysons Corner by taking Leesburg pike?

Finally, is there a decent nightlife to be had in Reston, or is all the fun in NoVa concentrated in Arlington/DC? Thanks to all, I hope to be among you soon and griping about the usual crap like every other transplanted New Yorker :P

PS: When it snows, does VDOT actually know what its doing or do you guys freak out just as much as the rest of the state's population?
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:36 AM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,891,978 times
Reputation: 3774
Hi True!

Getting out of Retchmond is worth almost any pain! Even I-66 and "the ring of death" aka THE BELTWAY.


"Of course my future roomate tells me there's a metro bus stop about a mile away, and my understanding of the Metro so far is that I can drive there, take the bus to West Falls Church, and get off at Medical Center after transferring onto the red line."

Drive where? No no no no, you don't drive to the bus (unless you charm someone into letting you park in their front yard!). You get to the MetroBUS stop the best way you can, and then ride it to the nearest MetroRAIL station....hop the train and boom, you're at work before you know it (usually)!

There are some decent bars in Reston and all points in between. If you will be studying at GMU...you will certainly wind up at Auld Shabeen, the Firehouse....and if you're really young and uninhibited, Buffalo Wing University.

But yeah, the SERIOUS nightlife is DC/ Ballston Arlington.


Welcome to DC! But would you do us a favor? We DO NOT need another transplanted Nuhh Yawker asking why there is no decent pizza around here! We don't know. PUHLEEEZE do not mention pizza, ever...we're sick of hearing about it! Sorry, but we are content with our delicious 7-11 pizza! And a Big Gulp to wash it down! We don't wanna hear about NY pizza!
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:17 AM
 
62 posts, read 211,570 times
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Any particular reason you're headed for Reston (perhaps the future roommate you speak of)? If I knew I was going to be heading over the American Legion Bridge everyday, I'd try and live as close to the Beltway as possible. I'd consider Tysons, Vienna or Falls Church. Might shave 5-15 minutes off your daily commute. You could also head to the Arlington Orange Line corridor and make a Metro-only trip in - that would be close to 45 minutes train-time.

Unfortunately, Metro is not an easy option from Reston to Bethesda. You'd need to drive/bus to West Falls Church on the Orange Line, make the ~35 minute trek to MetroCenter, then hop on the Red line for a ~15 minute ride to Bethesda. That's easily over an hour, plus you're using 2-3 different modes of transit which in itself can be tiring (possibly standing the entire length of your commute - including the busride) and inefficient (waiting for the bus, waiting for the Orange Line, waiting for the Red Line). Then again traffic is waiting too, but at least its climate controlled.

Last edited by claude henry smoot; 03-09-2008 at 07:26 AM..
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:20 AM
 
49 posts, read 193,735 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by car54 View Post
Getting out of Retchmond is worth almost any pain! Even I-66 and "the ring of death" aka THE BELTWAY.
I must be the only 20-something in the tri-state area that doesn't hate Richmond. I'm actually going to miss this place when I leave, although I will say I have yet to find decent chinese food in this town, the number of good thai places pleases me. Plus all my friends are here and I haven't known how to get around a place this well since I left Roanoke, and THAT place had to be escaped.


Quote:
Originally Posted by car54 View Post
Welcome to DC! But would you do us a favor? We DO NOT need another transplanted Nuhh Yawker asking why there is no decent pizza around here! We don't know. PUHLEEEZE do not mention pizza, ever...we're sick of hearing about it! Sorry, but we are content with our delicious 7-11 pizza! And a Big Gulp to wash it down! We don't wanna hear about NY pizza!
Don't worry, I've been Virginian for about 15 years and on the pizza front am perfect happy with Papa John's or better. However when the northern conquest is completed I make no guarantees you will be spared.


Quote:
Originally Posted by claude henry smoot View Post
Any particular reason you're headed for Reston (perhaps the future roommate you speak of)?
Future roomate is a stranger (or I guess acquaintance at this point). I just landed the NNMC job about a week and a half ago and starting next monday so only motivation was to find the best balance of space, distance, and roommate quality as fast as I could. After looking at 6 places (would've been more but YOU try house hunting in NoVa out of Richmond), Reston won the prize.

Thanks for your perspective on the commute difficulty. I've got another friend who might be coming up here after graduating from VCU this may, so I'm signing a 3 or 6 month lease and if it turns it it sucks I can always bail out, this time with a more convenient base from which to house hunt.

And if I can't drive to a MetroBus stop, well I have two things going for me there:

1: A bike
2: 4 year's worth of walking around VCU's vast, Vast, VAST campus. Vast.
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:57 PM
 
Location: San Francisco/East Bay and Los Angeles, formerly DC and Boston
2,140 posts, read 3,430,980 times
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Reston nightlife consists of bars attached to chain restaurants.

Best place to go out in NoVA is Wilson Boulevard in the Upper Rosslyn-Courthouse-Clarendon area. It's not DC, but it's far more interesting than going to what Reston calls its "town center", where you'll see minivans, cookie cutter restaurants, and mall cops shooing away teenagers.
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,821,439 times
Reputation: 18992
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueVCU View Post
Hello, as a current Richmonder and future Restonian, I'll be joining your ranks fairly soon having just landed a job at the NNMC in Bethesda. I know crossing the Potomac in the morning is an experience akin to crossing the Styx, but I've decided to commute from Virginia in order to maintain in-state residence to make grad school more affordable, and since my grad school of choice is GMU residence in Fairfax county is an added plus.

I understand the commute will be about 30 minutes (if god is feeling especially kind), and on an actual day will probably be closer to an hour. I just wanted to ask of your vast expertise if that sounds accurate. I can accept an hour's drive, but I've heard stories from at least one friend of mine formerly of NoVa that it could be potentially double that.
I can't say for sure, since I've never done that particular commute--but I wouldn't be surprised. Traffic is a bear, that's for sure. As soon as it is practical for you to live-work-play in the same area you will find life much more pleasant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueVCU View Post
Finally, is there a decent nightlife to be had in Reston, or is all the fun in NoVa concentrated in Arlington/DC?
I'm not 20-something but I do have grandkids and nieces and nephews. From what I've hear, there are some fun places in Reston. There are a lot of organizations, too (Reston Runners, Reston Players, and various arts/music groups seem to be popular with young people). You will probably go into Alexandria or Ballston from time to time, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueVCU View Post
PS: When it snows, does VDOT actually know what its doing or do you guys freak out just as much as the rest of the state's population?
LOL!!!! I don't know how bad the rest of the state freaks out, but if you're from NY you're probably going to be rolling your eyes all winter long. Hey, winter's not officially over yet so here's one to practice on...
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:57 PM
 
49 posts, read 193,735 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks all for the continued advice
Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
I can't say for sure, since I've never done that particular commute--but I wouldn't be surprised. Traffic is a bear, that's for sure. As soon as it is practical for you to live-work-play in the same area you will find life much more pleasant.
Probably, which is why I'm only signing about a 6 month lease so I can head for greener pastures should I decide relocation is especially necessary. Although it bears mentioning that my hours will likely be in the neighborhood of 8-5 so I hope to avoid the worst of the crunch by getting out of the house by 7.


Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
I'm not 20-something but I do have grandkids and nieces and nephews. From what I've hear, there are some fun places in Reston. There are a lot of organizations, too (Reston Runners, Reston Players, and various arts/music groups seem to be popular with young people). You will probably go into Alexandria or Ballston from time to time, too.
Good to know. I'm not much of a nightlifer myself (or at least I haven't been up to this point) but I like the atmosphere provided by having such places around, especially coming from Richmond. Then again not having to deal with people stumbling/yelling around drunk at 3am is cool too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
LOL!!!! I don't know how bad the rest of the state freaks out, but if you're from NY you're probably going to be rolling your eyes all winter long. Hey, winter's not officially over yet so here's one to practice on...
Lived in Roanoke for about 8 years, where the traditional greeting of the snow involved sacking the local grocery stores for a week's supply of bread and milk and generally driving like complete jackasses. This response is the same whether the forecast is for 2 feet or 2 inches. In fairness, the town's mountain location makes the driving bit difficult anyway but you get the idea. Richmond is much the same but the flatter terrain makes the vehicular retardation bit much less forgivable. Of course there hasn't been accumulating snow down here in about 3 years so it'll be nice to be in a part of the state that experiences an ACTUAL winter.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,821,439 times
Reputation: 18992
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueVCU View Post

Lived in Roanoke for about 8 years, where the traditional greeting of the snow involved sacking the local grocery stores for a week's supply of bread and milk and generally driving like complete jackasses.
LOL, what always cracked me up was the people who dash off to Costco to buy a giant package of toilet paper. For an inch of snow! Can you say oy vey? How long do they expect to be stuck inside?
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,102 posts, read 19,934,220 times
Reputation: 7715
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueVCU View Post
=
Lived in Roanoke for about 8 years, where the traditional greeting of the snow involved sacking the local grocery stores for a week's supply of bread and milk and generally driving like complete jackasses. This response is the same whether the forecast is for 2 feet or 2 inches.
Sounds like you are ready to live in the DC area.
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:43 PM
 
49 posts, read 193,735 times
Reputation: 16
Evidently I was a fool to think anyone south of the Mason-Dixon was capable of greeting winter precip with sanity ><
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