Northern Virginia has gone downhill in the last 20 years (Alexandria: lease, condos)
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I agree with most everyone who has posted. I have lived in and out of VA my whole life, Norfolk, Hampton, Yorktown, Stafford, Alexandria, Fairfax. Don't just think that NOVA has gone cold, impassionate and blah....It's down south as well. My neighborhood is affluent...You'd think people could afford to be social. I call my neighborhood ladies the M. Mafia (M is our subdivision, but I don't want to say it). When we moved in...They made sure to find out all about us and then....poof.....they were done with us...knew we were military and wrote us off....I honestly could care less. We import my kids' friends, we have many other military families whom we socialize with on a regular and rotating basis (Thank god for them) and I just live in this neighborhood. We are moving back up to NOVA this summer, and I have to say that I'm dreading it...
I do think this country has changed for the worse. When we retire...we own property in West TX...I never thought I'd want to live there, but at this point, I'd try it..to give my children an experience of friendly people who truly care about you.
I want the "Southern Living" picture.....Don't we all?
When we moved in...They made sure to find out all about us and then....poof.....they were done with us...knew we were military and wrote us off....I honestly could care less. We import my kids' friends, we have many other military families whom we socialize with on a regular and rotating basis (Thank god for them) and I just live in this neighborhood. We are moving back up to NOVA this summer, and I have to say that I'm dreading it...
This forum could be just what you need. I know there are neighborhoods that are very friendly and sociable, just like there are also neighborhoods that sound like what you described above.
C'mon, everyone--let's try to give her a few suggestions. I'm going to say Cascades, of course (because that's what I know) but I'm sure there are some other good places she could check into, too.
Hi! I moved to NoVa in 1984 fresh out of college when the DC area was ripe with opportunities versus no jobs and no future in PA. I loved all of the cultural amenities of DC, the museums, ethnic restaurants, W&OD bike trail, Civil War historical sites, closeness to the beach, the Metro, the opportunities to learn new skills and change jobs--I think all of that is still a benefit to the area.
The bad: I lived there in the middle of 1980's, when "yuppies" and materialism were in full force: "You are what you do, you are what you drive, you are what you have" was the motto and sounds like this is still the case. What a shame.
After 9 years of living in Alexandria, Falls Church, and Annandale (and turning 30) I just couldn't take this lifestyle and the workaholism in this area. I've never experienced this attitude in any other city. Horrendous traffic and over development, overcrowding, outrageous cost of living and the transience became too much for me and I left in 1993.
I think it's a great place to live for a young, single person who wants to start their career, but then move on. I couldn't see raising a family there. I look forward to visiting the area again....as a tourist!
How about we don't turn this into another immigration thread ? We have a separate forum for that.
Wow! Yac, you oversee the Virginia forum too? You're one busy guy, and I give you credit for it! I thought we Pennsylvanians made your life difficult with all of our bickering about Scranton's politics, but now I see you're quite busy down South as well. Wow! I'm impressed by your dedication to this forum!
Getting back on-topic, I just wanted to drop by to let everyone know that I agree 100% with dullnboring and several others who have said that the problems facing NoVA are by no means "unique."
I live in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and our region is the most rapidly-growing in all of PA as transplants from NJ and NY migrate westward into the Keystone State in search of cheaper housing, lower taxes, better schools, less congestion, etc. In the process we now have so many of them pouring in that the Poconos have evolved from rural getaway to full-blown bedroom community. Tailgating, swearing, gang-related graffiti tagging, gridlock, etc. have become the name of the game in Greater Stroudsburg, PA now. In 1970 Stroudsburg was little more than a quaint country hamlet. Now surrounding Monroe County, PA is nearing 200,000 residents.
Schools have been unable to keep pace with the growth; trailers house some classrooms. Roadways are perpetually under construction. Crime is skyrocketing; the Hell's Angels even came to the Poconos several years ago to pledge their assistance in the fight against gang violence in Monroe County. The transplants brought the same problems with them that they sought to evade, and now natives of the Poconos are flocking to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, an urbanized area, ironically to "get away from the city." Hazleton, PA is facing the same illegal immigration issues that many of you were citing before Yac intervened.
Haphazard sprawl just isn't good for our nation in the long-term, but judging by prevailing attitudes on this forum I have yet to convince even one person of this. I myself am tired of living in the sprawl belt and am moving into the city proper of Scranton in a couple of years to raise my family after college. I likewise shed a tear as I see television advertisements for more and more McMansion communities destroying the once-pristine countryside of Eastern PA.
Somehow I just don't think suburbs are to blame for how unhappy you perceive life to be in northern Pennsylvania....
If you could wave a magic wand and magically make all those suburbanites move within the city limits of Scranton would the problems go away? Of course not, because your problems have to do with a lack of jobs, poor urban design, inadequate zoning laws, corrupt politicians, and a generally unpleasant environment.
Some part of NOVA have similar problems--but not to the degree that you have up there in Scranton.
If you are reading this becuase you are moving to NOVA, I hope you will seriously consider the zoning laws and urban design of your community--not just how nice a particular house is. Look for sidewalks (or walking trails), stores within walking distance, parks etc. There are some really great communities and it's a buyer's market--so why not pick a well-planned community that will fare well in years to come?
Where I live now is a very peaceful place. I often walk around the neighborhood after 10 at night../..on the other hand, I've lived in quite a few cities and I still visit many of them regularly. I have noticed an increase in general rage. ../..I'm also disturbed by a growing need for constant stimulation. People seem more frantic, too. They don't seem to know how to relax or "do nothing" anymore--they feel they need to be entertained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week../..I guess I've just gotten spoiled by my peaceful life here in Cascades.
I have to agree with your comments Normie. It's not isolated to just DC, that was just my experience because it was where I lived at the time.
As far as Cascades is concerned, the folks who developed it should be commended; they really did a wonderful job. A lot of that stuff was being built in the 90's when I lived there, so I got to watch it grow. I was very impressed when they put in the cloverleaf overpass, so as not to disturb the Rt.7 traffic!
As depressing as some of these posts are -- I think its encouraging to see how many folks are disgusted with developments in NoVa, and how the writers are also from all political backgrounds.
The NoVa growth is pretty gross. How can people who live in NoVa not have more say in its development? or can they? Are you a part of the smart growth coalition? There are ways to get the towns that we want. These are the beginnings of conversations. You have more power than you know.
Most of us want to be able to walk in neighborhoods and not have to drive everywhere. We hate commuting (that is like the number one thing) so we need more transit options. We can save old houses with the historic trust. We can create walk ways with rails-to-trails. Some counties are putting restrictions on the knock-downs/mcmansion makeovers when they are entirely improper or out of proportion with the neighborhood. In Oregon, there were growth boundaries that allowed urban areas to stay urban and rural areas to stay rural -- and that way it was always just a short drive to the countryside, and if you wanted to develop more you had to figure out to do/re-do with the unused urban areas.
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