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Old 04-18-2009, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,102 posts, read 67,204,935 times
Reputation: 15753

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Well I must say that I'm sorry I doubted everyone who lashed out in me during my initial charge on into your sub-forum like a bat out of hell with my anti-sprawl editorializing, as I'm now sitting here in the lobby of our Marriott (no, not even a "mini-vacation" can separate me from my beloved City-Data), and I'm firmly infatuated with all that your fine area has to offer!

I've snapped dozens upon dozens of photos that I'll be uploading tomorrow evening when we return home to Pennsylvania to help profile my trip a bit better. While Herndon and Reston admittedly ARE just as "sprawly" as I had feared they would have been, after taking Normie's sage advice and scoping out Lake Anne for Founder's Day today I was nearly brought to tears with delight to see just how much of a sense of community pride and neighborly conhesion there was all around me during the festivities. On a whim I also begged my father to drive us out to Leesburg to see what the town center was like, so we battled the Route 7 gridlock (is that highway ever NOT backed up?) and were delighted to see that there was some sort of lawn & garden exposition occurring all over the downtown with entertainment, vendors, happy families, etc. We had a wonderful dinner Friday night at Clyde's in the Reston Town Center, where our rather cute waiter (if I should happen to be so bold) not only gave us some great leads for our apartment hunt but also gave us a complimentary dessert as new residents to the region.

After some GRUELING apartment tours I have finally decided to make Archstone Charter Park (or was it Charter Point?) in Reston my new home. For $1,100/month I'll be within walking distance of the Reston Town Center, Lake Anne, some great running opportunities along North Shore Drive, the W & OD Trail, and will only be a couple of miles from my office.

I really can't complain about much down here thus far. Route 7 is terribly congested beyond capacity (which ought to be addressed by expediting the new Metro line out to Loudoun County if your leaders have any sort of foresight). I was not a fan of the high presence of "posers" at the Reston Town Center on Friday evening where there were quite a few people who were simply to "be seen," if you catch my drift (driving around and around in Maseratis and Ferraris, wearing sunglasses even after the sun had set, using unnecessarily pretentious language in coversations, and I got the sense that a few of my peers were pointing and laughing at me as they enjoyed their "Happy Hour" because I was accompanied by my parents to the "hot spot.") I was very, very surprised by how many people around my age (22) were cruising around in nicer vehicles than my parents, who earn nearly $100,000 annually. What do they all do for a living that they can afford BMWs and Audis at age 22? I try not to have the greened-eyed monster syndrome, but I'll be earning roughly $45,000 to start (including my sign-on bonus), and I don't foresee being able to comfortably afford a luxury vehicle that lavish until I'm AT LEAST thirty. Are there a lot of "trust fund babies" in Reston, or what?

Other than the terrible traffic congestion and the feeling that I'm not going to "fit in" with my peers who are obviously much more well-heeled than I am I'm very, very impressed with NoVA. People are very polite and friendly, even though out of the two dozen people we've introduced ourselves to only ONE was a native of NoVA.

I'll be back on tomorrow with photos and much more commentary from my trip! I hope all goes well tomorrow so I can soon be a new resident of Reston!
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:15 PM
 
Location: DMV/Bos/NYC?
183 posts, read 614,886 times
Reputation: 109
Welcome to NoVA (and DC)! And don't sweat not being able to keep up with your "peers"; trust me, a BMW is nothing but a car note, and the posers are everywhere. If you want to feel poor, go to Tysons II, where the teenagers are wearing Burberry. Route 7 is the pits, and even with the Metro, it's not going to improve much, as it serves as a major artery for traffic from Winchester to Alexandria, and the Greenway is too expensive for most to use daily. Being in Herndon, you're going to spend more time on 267 than on 7 anyway, so get a EZPass.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:46 PM
 
26 posts, read 59,759 times
Reputation: 29
Welcome to NoVa, hope you'll enjoy all the things that NoVa has to offer. Not everybody in NoVa drives fancy cars wearing designer clothes(certainly more of them compared to other places). I don't think you should worry about not "fitting" in, it just depends on who you associate with. Not all rich people are snobby like the kids you mentioned.
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:51 AM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,092,834 times
Reputation: 6458
There are a lot of rich parents in the Faifax area and they buy their babies nice cars. My daughter attends a private Catholic high school in Fairfax and you would be AMAZED at the cars some of these 16-18 year olds get to drive. Their parents are pretty darn rich--all business owners. One of my daughter's friend's parents owns one of those counter service restaurants that you see in the mall food courts around here and they have a lot of money. But they aren't all bad kids and I think her rich friends, for the most part, have been wonderfully nice, good kids. There are some idiots but you can figure that out pretty quickly.

Once you get working you will see that they are a bit of an anomoly around here and show up in certain pockets. They won't be the majority.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,837,713 times
Reputation: 42860
I'm glad you had a good time. Agreed, there are plenty of down-to-earth people even if you don't see them at first glance. Sit back, relax, and give things a chance--you'll find all sorts of unexpected things here, but it takes a little time.

I'm glad you saw the good and the bad. It's good you saw firsthand that Rt. 7is always congested. In time you will learn a few back roads but they're congested, too.

Now you see why we always stress to the newcomers that you want to live near where you work. Meanwhile, you do what you can. You learn to be efficient with errands, you learn to take the metro. They're building roads and extending the metro as fast as they can, but it's going to take a while. Oh well, every place has a flaw... and in my opinion this is a flaw I can live with.
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,102 posts, read 67,204,935 times
Reputation: 15753
I can only check in briefly so I don't "hog" our hotel's only public computer for too long, but I just wanted to thank everyone for the welcome! I'm heading over to the Archstone Charter Oak in Reston for 11 AM to sign a 1-year lease for a spacious (960 square feet) 1-bedroom apartment overlooking a country club! I'll be a half-mile's walk to Reston Town Center (which was awesome despite all of the "posers") and about a mile's walk to Lake Anne. I also understand that the W & OD Trail system runs nearby. Unfortunately this complex has no "perks" (no pool, no fitness center, etc.), but with my free gym membership from work hopefully I can find a good gym within a short commute of my complex. So far I'd give this area a B+ in overall quality-of-life from what I've seen. The people are immensely friendly and have been very accommodating of our inquiries into the region. Traffic is terrible just about everywhere (a huge minus in my book), and the area is less dense than I would prefer. However, I can very easily see myself making Reston work for me!

If nothing else I love the DIVERSITY! Except for Leesburg, where 99% of the people at that festival we attended were Caucasian, it seems like only 50%-60% of the people in Herndon/Reston are like me, and I APPRECIATE being around so many Asians, Hispanics, African-Americans, etc. Hopefully there are other LGBT people down here as well (although I've only seen a few "open" couples at the RTC).

Expect a much lengthier and much more detailed reply this evening with NUMEROUS photos!
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:24 PM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,092,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
If nothing else I love the DIVERSITY! Except for Leesburg, where 99% of the people at that festival we attended were Caucasian, it seems like only 50%-60% of the people in Herndon/Reston are like me, and I APPRECIATE being around so many Asians, Hispanics, African-Americans, etc. Hopefully there are other LGBT people down here as well (although I've only seen a few "open" couples at the RTC).
Since I live here, of course, I always forget about the diversity. Until yesterday.

My daughter will most like be attending West Virginia University this fall and we took a day trip up there for the tour. Our first stop was somewhere around Hagerstown, MD. I was absolutely SHOCKED that when I went to the McDonald's, it was totally, 100% Caucasian--customers, workers, you name it. I swear I must have been standing there with my mouth hanging open because I can hardly remember a time in the recent past where the person waiting on me at McDonald's could even speak much English besides the menu items.

Then, at WVU, the same thing with the town surrounding the college and all of the laborers on campus. It was just shocking to see to me. I know that sounds weird but when you come from this area and it is so diverse and you step back into towns that are reminiscent of the late-60s and early 70s, it's just odd.
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:04 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,951,956 times
Reputation: 1288
Yes, when my children were growing up, we would travel out of town and they would say, "Why is everyone here WHITE?"

Glad you've decided you'll like living here, Scran-Barre!
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,752,398 times
Reputation: 316
It can feel like you're the only not-ostentatiously-wealthy person here, sometimes. But trust me, you're not. Last week, I went to a child's birthday party in the area for the first time (it was for a friend of my son's). I've heard all sorts of horror stories about overbearing, welathy NoVA parents and even though I personally knew the parents of the birthday boy, and liked them, I was still halfway expecting the kid to get his own pony from mom and dad. I was soooo nervous about buying a gift, would it look stupid? But no. The party was pizza and subs and cake and kids being goofy, just like every party I ever went to growing up. It was actually very reassuring. There are plenty of normal folks here, too.
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,782,683 times
Reputation: 18989
Sounds like a nice weekend, and it's great to hear you've found a good place to live. Congratulations!

I'm glad you liked Lake Anne. There's a group called Reston Runners that might be a good way to make new friends. I think a lot of them like running along North Shore Drive. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if you find a few cute guys living nearby. I'll bet there's some sort of LGBT network that can tell you a good place to meet up.
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