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Old 06-11-2009, 09:12 PM
2 posts, read 4,365 times
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My husband, 7-month old, and I are relocating to Arlington in September. My husband will be working in Crystal City, and I am a stay at home mom. We are currently leaning towards living in a condo/apt on the metro line- either Orange line (Rosslyn to Ballston), Crystal City or Pentagon City. I've not heard great things about living in Crystal City with a family in this forum.

Any suggestions or recommendations on specific apartments/condos for rent with easy walking distance to the metro stations mentioned above? Our rental cap is $2,400, and we are hoping to have a 3 BDR or 2 BDR with den. There are just so many condos out there, and it is hard to search for availability online this far out. Any suggestions that you provide will help us to narrow our search down. Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:25 AM
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I agree that Crystal City isn't a great choice for kids. It is pretty much a concrete city, with underground access to the metro, limited grocery stores etc. Pentagon City might be a better choice. There are some apts near there that MIGHT have playgrounds, and you would have access to Harris Teeters. Make sure you check amenties like a playground. I would also recommend using google search that shows you pictures of the streets. Gives you a slightly better idea of what an area looks like. But be warned I think they go out on Sundays/Holidays and doing the filming, and there are very few cars on the road in almost every street scene I've seen.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:10 AM
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There are quite a few young families that live in the high/mid-rise apartments along the Orange line. There are also plenty of playgrounds, parks and preschools to choose from.
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:14 AM
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Thanks so much for your replies! Do you know of any specific apt/condos that you would recommend? There are just so many to choose from, and we would love to know if anyone has any first hand experience.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:11 PM
Location: Fairfax County
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I have friends that lived in Randolph Towers (near Ballston) with their child. We attended a birthday party that they hosted in the community room.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:47 PM
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Pentagon city is much better. there's a nice park with playground right accross the street from pentagon mall (enormous mall btw). You can walk to harris teeter(great grocery store) and to Costco. YOu've got everything right there.
Crystal City is a bit more isolated and not any parks around that I know of.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:08 AM
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Pentagon City is very walkable- I lived there without a car- and living there I saw elementary age kids getting on the buses each morning. Next to the harris teeter is also a bed bath and beyond; and next to the Costco is a Borders with a children's section and coffee. In addition to the mall, there's a World Market (good place for wine and gifts), a cvs (or is it a rite aid?), and a square full of restaurants with outdoor seating, maggie moos ice cream, a ballys gym overlooking the square. On some summer nights they have bands play in the square, and in the winter they put up a small ice skating rink. A block down from the mall is a section of county-owned land with a park, nice soccer field (fun to go watch the very competitive hispanic league play on the weekends), a place to grill, 2 baseball fields (and there are local rec adult softball leagues), tennis courts, a library, a senior center, and the fire/rescue department. I also liked having my dentist in the downstairs of one apartment building and my doctor in the downstairs of another. Aside from the apartments right near the metro, there are smaller older nice homes and then, still in walking distance on a nice evening, 23rd street- several churches and then a block with restaurants including thai, italian, ethiopian, mexican, american, greek, kebabs...

Also Crystal City isn't as horrible as some make it out to be- there are shops and restaurants, but more big chains and less overall than pentagon city; also they have this underground corridor system so the streets aren't as busy with pedestrians. It is also pretty close to pentagon city, so if you live there your husband might walk to work, or certainly could bike. Speaking of bikes, Crystal City does have better access to the Mount Vernon trail- which is a very nice ride south along the potomac and also good for bike commuting into dc or up to rosslyn area, as well as the Four Mile Run trail that goes west to shirlington (where they recently built a connection from that trail to the W&OD trail that goes west through all of NoVA). Also, a bit south of both (biking/driving distance) is a more typical suburban big box area with a Target, Pier 1, Shoppers (I think?), movies, Barnes and Nobles, and a bunch of other things I'm forgetting...

Anyway north arlington is very nice too, but for me the "luxury" apartments by the metro were too expensive, and others too inconvenient. But it might be a great area for you as well. Also old town Alexandria is beautiful and not too far from Crystal City (traffic is awful, but it isn't far away).
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:50 PM
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I would suggest that you consider Fairlington. It's a short distance from Crystal City but has a great family atmosphere - walking distance to neighborhood pool, playground and tennis court. You could find rentals through Craigslist (search Fairlington) or even realtors.
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