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Old 09-23-2009, 01:55 PM
 
42 posts, read 115,836 times
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Hi, my husband and I just recently moved to Alexandria last May. We are not from this area so this is all new to us. We are starting to get really interested in living in Arlington. We really like how the area close to the orange line (between Rosslyn and Ballston) is much more walkable. We even thought about just not having a car if we moved to that area. However, we are both still young (in our early 20's) so sometimes we are not sure what we are doing. Would it be a good idea to get rid of the car if we moved to that area in Arlington? Also, I would like to hear some comments and opinions from anyone about why they prefer Arlington or Alexandria over the other. What are the pros and cons of both places?
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by emmy22 View Post
Hi, my husband and I just recently moved to Alexandria last May. We are not from this area so this is all new to us. We are starting to get really interested in living in Arlington. We really like how the area close to the orange line (between Rosslyn and Ballston) is much more walkable. We even thought about just not having a car if we moved to that area. However, we are both still young (in our early 20's) so sometimes we are not sure what we are doing. Would it be a good idea to get rid of the car if we moved to that area in Arlington? Also, I would like to hear some comments and opinions from anyone about why they prefer Arlington or Alexandria over the other. What are the pros and cons of both places?
What section of Alexandria do you live? Old Town, particularly on King Street, is the liveliest area in the city. It does have a reputation of catering more to 30-40somethings but if you like finer dining and (mostly) local shops, then this would be a good place to go out for a romantic date.

The "Orange Line" section of Arlington that you referred to (Ballston-Clarendon Corridor) is extremely popular with 20somethings. It's also extremely expensive, as you may have already heard. For that matter, Old Town is not a bargain, either. However, apartment complexes aren't so convenient in Old Town unless you count condo rentals. The Carlyle/PTO area would give you a choice of two Metro stations but would also be an invigorating walk away from the waterfront.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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More walkable that what parts of Alexandria? I guess from your comparison that you aren't in Old Town.

Arlington is probably going to be more fun than Alexandria for 20-somethings, as there are many in the same age range there, and there is more of a hipness factor that Alexandria doesn't have (could Old Town put a moratorium on antique shops, please?). There is no funky in Old Town (or Del Ray). I feel like a lot of the funky has left North Arlington as well, but it's trendy.

As for the car, depending on where you would live in Arlington, you could do groceries, library, convenience store, etc sans car. If you live in an apartment, I guess you won't be needing to go to Home Depot. And there is Zip car for when you have to have one.

When I lived in Clarendon and Ballston, I used my car a lot. When I lived in Rosslyn and DC, I hardly ever used it.

If you really liked the Wilson Blvd corridor on your visits there, then I'd suggest it's the place for you.
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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No, I am definitely not in Old Town. We live in an apartment near the Landmark area, which isn't really satisfying us. We are not interested in condos or houses right now. It would probably be a better idea for us to get more stable first. We have visited Old Town and really liked it. However, I haven't noticed many apartments there, but I really haven't looked. Arlington just really stuck out to us, but we wanted to find out more before we make that decision. Plus, my husband hates the idea of having to depend on a car. He would rather depend on public transportation like the metro train.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:57 PM
 
7,968 posts, read 18,078,632 times
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Originally Posted by emmy22 View Post
No, I am definitely not in Old Town. We live in an apartment near the Landmark area, which isn't really satisfying us. We are not interested in condos or houses right now. It would probably be a better idea for us to get more stable first. We have visited Old Town and really liked it. However, I haven't noticed many apartments there, but I really haven't looked. Arlington just really stuck out to us, but we wanted to find out more before we make that decision. Plus, my husband hates the idea of having to depend on a car. He would rather depend on public transportation like the metro train.
From the King St. Metro, if you make a right on Diagonal Road (away from King Street) that will lead you to the Carlyle area. The Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) is what will probably stand out first but there are a number of high-end apartment and condo buildings there as well.

Several blocks down S. Washington St. is Monticello Lee, a low-rise apartment complex. Even further down that street is the Hunting Towers high-rise. You can easy catch a Metrobus to take you to the train from there.

These days there is a fair chance you may find a rental in one of the condo buildings closer to the waterfront. It may require looking on a realtor's site.

But yeah... the Orange Line is essentially the 20something mecca. But Old Town is definitely a lively enough place. I also agree that Del Ray is an interesting alternative; the apartments there are a short walk or bus ride from the Braddock Road Metro. You may see a vision of yourselves in, say, the year 2015 as there are a number of young families there.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:51 AM
 
Location: DC
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In addition to the complexes Tone509 mentioned, try looking on CraigsList. I've seen ads there for apartments within some of the houses or condos behind the Masonic Memorial for rent. You could also go on some drives/walks through Old Town and take down the phone numbers on any "For Rent" signs (I just did this with my friend).
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:49 AM
 
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If 20 something....Arlington over Landmark...money aside.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,505 posts, read 23,771,456 times
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Good thread. I am looking at same areas but for 30 something single professional female;

I loved the Old Town brownstones and need walkable social area, not so much trendy/college but not married either; I am ecaping suburban hell after a divorce,lol. Any suggestions are welcome.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,902,275 times
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Originally Posted by dreamofmonterey View Post
Good thread. I am looking at same areas but for 30 something single professional female;

I loved the Old Town brownstones and need walkable social area, not so much trendy/college but not married either; I am ecaping suburban hell after a divorce,lol. Any suggestions are welcome.
FWIW I like Old Town and Del Rey better than Georgetown. Especially if you're a 30-something female hoping to get into the dating scene.

I don't know if this matters or not, but DC has the lowest ratio of single men to single women in the nation. For every 100 single women in Washington, there are only 93.4 men. Your odds get much better in Alexandria. I don't know why, it's just one of those funny things I've read in a few different places so I think it's probably true.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: DC
3,286 posts, read 10,584,458 times
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Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
FWIW I like Old Town and Del Rey better than Georgetown.
Ditto, especially if I were a 30-something (I still love it, but feel that I'm a little young for the crowd at 24). Old Town/Del Ray have a lot more character than areas in Arlington in my opinion, but I also have a love for old historic buildings so I'm biased. It reminds me a lot of the Old City area of Philadelphia (my favorite neighborhood growing up) and I liked how it has both urban convenience as well as a community feel.

Though I am enjoying a ridiculously easy commute now (I'm spoiled, a 20-minute Metro ride is too long for me), should finances and circumstances provide I would only be too happy to move to OT. Arlington's not bad, but given the choice between DC and Arlington you'd really have to push me to move out the District. This is all completely my opinion, as I know a lot of people who love Clarendon, Ballston, Courthouse, and Rosslyn, but it seems too "faux-urban" or Disneyland-ish for me.
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