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Old 05-01-2007, 01:55 AM
 
8 posts, read 36,025 times
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My husband and I are moving to DC. I'm going to be a grad student at Georgetown, and he'll be getting a job in IT (currently interviewing at a place in Ballston). An ex-graduate student from my department has a 1-bedroom in Seven Corners that he'd be willing to lease to us for a year at a pretty good price (900 furnished, with water/garbage), and I'd appreciate some advice about living in that area to decide whether we want to take the place or not.

We don't have a car, but we don't mind taking the bus. I've looked at bus routes, and it'll be about 10 minutes for him into Ballston, and 25 minutes for me to Rosslyn (where I can then walk across the bridge or take GUTS). These times are pretty acceptable to us, so that's not an issue.

Some questions:
  • What's the general "feel" of Seven Corners? Obviously its a big shopping area (a plus for us, since we'll have to walk to the store), but does it feel like suburbia, super busy with traffic, or what?
  • Any idea on crime rates? I've lived in some larger cities with crime (Oakland & Atlanta), and didn't feel uncomfortable, but my husband hasn't before, so it's an issue for him. If it just looks shady I think we'll be okay, but actual shadiness is bad - I'll be getting home around 10 or 11 some nights, and would prefer not having to hit would-be muggers with my expensive, albeit heavy textbooks.
  • What's the ethnic situation like? From what I can tell, there's a lot of East Asians, particularly Vietnamese, and Hispanics in the area. I'm from the Bay Area, California, and my husband is Indian, so we're cool with living in a very "ethnic" area, but it tends to give neighborhoods a certain feel - not bad, but different.

Any information or advice someone can give would be great.
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Old 05-01-2007, 05:21 AM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
989 posts, read 2,475,102 times
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Seven Corners is the Baileys Crossroads area. It is a very diverse area. It is centrally located and does have shopping around. I had a friend who used to live in a high rise there and was never really comfortable living there-her car was hit twice while parked (hit and run) and, late at night, she was not comfortable going from her car into the apartment complex. It might have just been her specific apartment complex, though.

It is a high traffic area and I have never gotten the feel of any real community or suburbia feel, although I am normally just driving through. You may need to weigh the affordable part ($900/ month), vs. the other things you are looking for in a housing situation.
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:24 AM
 
Location: VA
786 posts, read 4,321,071 times
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Default 7 Corners is not Diverse

Seven Corners is not diverse.... it is basically all Hispanic. If you speak Spanish it is a great place to live.
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:45 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,386,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdcrim View Post
Seven Corners is the Baileys Crossroads area.
No, it isn't. Seven Corners is at the intersection of 7 and 50 near Falls Church, where Bailey's Crossroads is the intersection 7 and 244, considerably further to the south.

But I think the OP has the Seven Corners area pegged about right. It was one of the first 'shopping centers' in the area, but that was forty to fifty years ago. Tysons Corner opened in the late 60's and that was the end of Seven Corners as an actual retail magnet. It's an older area and it shows it, being something of a hand-me-down area these days. There are a lot of Asians and Hispanics, per Census data better than one in three does not have a high schoiol diploma, and there are some pretty questionable areas, between 50 and Wilson Boulevard in particular. There are also some quite decent areas on the sides toward Falls Church in either direction, but if you know the guy/girl who lives there now, you should be able to get the complete lowdown there. It is definitely convenient for shopping of all sorts and it remains a significant bus hub, so with no car, this is a pretty good place to be if the environmental particulars check out okay...
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:56 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,386,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingler View Post
Seven Corners is not diverse.... it is basically all Hispanic. If you speak Spanish it is a great place to live.
It's always something with Dingler. He hates everywhere...
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:24 AM
 
8 posts, read 36,025 times
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Thanks for all the quick replies!

I don't exactly know the person whose place it is - he was a graduate student in the department I'm headed to in the fall, so it's a fairly tenuous connection. Enough to rent from, though. He's giving me some information about the place, but, obviously, has some strong incentives (I'm an economist) to play the place up a bit.

The apartment is located in the wedge formed by Arlington (50) and Leesburg Pike, right off of Patrick Henry, if that helps at all with figuring the relative safety of the neighborhood. When I talk about relative safety, I'm trying to figure out if it's the type of place that I could walk down the street during the day with headphones on or not, if I would have to be actively worried and on the look out walking home at night (rather than just alert, as one always ought to be), or if I'd have to worry about accidentally showing a fat wallet when digging through my bag then getting mugged (not that I'll actually have excess cash, being a grad student, but...).

Also if someone can comment on the look of the area, that'd be great. Is it green or gritty & paved over or full of graffiti, etc? Again, this is really not for me (I like gritty), but my husband, who's been living in Silicon Valley where everyone is a rich software developer and the whole area was transformed from orchards to green suburbia only forty years ago. He's gotten soft.
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:11 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,386,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhai View Post
The apartment is located in the wedge formed by Arlington (50) and Leesburg Pike, right off of Patrick Henry, if that helps at all with figuring the relative safety of the neighborhood.
That would be on the south side of 50 which takes you out of the most iffy-ish parts of the area at least and it's ridiculously easy walking distance to the actual mall from there. Used to play darts at Brinkley's, which is on Rte 7 at the opposite (west) end of the mall, but I don't think I've actually driven that block of Patrick Henry in a decade...probably not since the Rte 7 Lord & Taylor closed. With all the changes that have been going on, I'd want to drive through there for a better look before getting all specific. We economists can't be passing bad data back and forth between us. Can't do that this morning, but might be able to this evening...you've got me all curious now. I'll report back...
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:19 AM
 
8 posts, read 36,025 times
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Thanks a ton - I'd really appreciate that! Google Maps only shows so much detail...
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
989 posts, read 2,475,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
No, it isn't. Seven Corners is at the intersection of 7 and 50 near Falls Church, where Bailey's Crossroads is the intersection 7 and 244, considerably further to the south.
How funny-I never knew that. I really just assumed that they were one and the same.

I guess you can learn something new every day.
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:26 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,057,684 times
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I know where this is. Personally, I would not feel comfortable walking around in this area alone, especially at night. And, to be honest, it's not a very nice place to walk around. It's close to shopping, but not particularly pedestrian-friendly. Lots of large parking lots and service roads separate one group of stores from another. There are lots of immigrants living here, and every few months someone gets hit by a car trying to cross Route 50 between the Seven Corners shopping center and the Target/Safeway shopping center. The intersection of Patrick Henry Drive and Route 50 is particularly grim, with at least 6-7 lanes plus two service roads, and cars everywhere, many driven by people who appear to have had very little driving experience in a developed country.
The Seven Corners shopping center used to be an enclosed mall, but now is a car-oriented group of not very appealling stores (except for Barnes and Noble). There is not much green, but not much graffiti either.
If I were you, I'd much rather live in the Ballston area.
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