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Old 04-03-2010, 02:25 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,358 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi Everyone,
My fiancée and I have been living in Centreville for about a year now. We think its a great area as far as convenience and the number of shops that are around. I'm originally from Pittsburgh and am really missing the neighborhood feel. I would like to live in an area that has more trees and is walking distance to local places instead of seeing apartment complex after complex.

Joe works in Tysons and I teach down in Woodbridge. We were hoping to find a neighborhood that would be a good commute for us and would give more of a local feel. We were thinking of Mclean or Arlington. We need to rent and our budget is probably around 2000. Any advice you could give us would be great!
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:32 PM
 
7,969 posts, read 18,098,030 times
Reputation: 2597
Quote:
Originally Posted by grotkowskim View Post
Hi Everyone,
My fiancée and I have been living in Centreville for about a year now. We think its a great area as far as convenience and the number of shops that are around. I'm originally from Pittsburgh and am really missing the neighborhood feel. I would like to live in an area that has more trees and is walking distance to local places instead of seeing apartment complex after complex.

Joe works in Tysons and I teach down in Woodbridge. We were hoping to find a neighborhood that would be a good commute for us and would give more of a local feel. We were thinking of Mclean or Arlington. We need to rent and our budget is probably around 2000. Any advice you could give us would be great!
Arlington would be perfect, especially if you've enjoyed the nightlife in the Clarendon and Ballston neighborhoods. The downside is that you may not enjoy your commute down to Woodbridge. You'll certainly see more trees in McLean but I'm not aware of it as being scaled for having shops and such within walking distance.

The City of Falls Church might be a good spot to consider. Certainly lots of trees. If you lived off Broad Street, you could walk to get groceries and such. A slightly better compromise in your favor would be Lorton, specifically its Town Center. That redeveloped area might be a little "prefabricated" but you could certainly walk to a number of things.
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,237 posts, read 67,399,655 times
Reputation: 15881
Quote:
Originally Posted by grotkowskim View Post
Hi Everyone,
My fiancée and I have been living in Centreville for about a year now. We think its a great area as far as convenience and the number of shops that are around. I'm originally from Pittsburgh and am really missing the neighborhood feel. I would like to live in an area that has more trees and is walking distance to local places instead of seeing apartment complex after complex.

Joe works in Tysons and I teach down in Woodbridge. We were hoping to find a neighborhood that would be a good commute for us and would give more of a local feel. We were thinking of Mclean or Arlington. We need to rent and our budget is probably around 2000. Any advice you could give us would be great!
Unfortunately I, too, miss the cozy, intimate, neighborly feel of true communities back in Pennsylvania. Northern Virginia is mostly just very generic in nature, and I'm tired of people using "everything here is new" as an excuse. Everything is NOT "new." Reston was developed roughly a half-century ago now and is noticeably showing wear and tear. People drive everywhere to everything, many barely know their neighbors (waving on occasion as you drive past doesn't count), and the area in general is designed to accommodate vehicular traffic first and pedestrians/cyclists second. I live in Reston, and there is no "neighborhood feel" here, either, and those who do think Reston is very "cozy" obviously have never lived in a true tight-knit neighborhood like the established ones in places like Pittsburgh or Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before for comparison purposes.

I would say the few areas here that could potentially offer a "cozy" atmosphere would be parts of the City of Falls Church, the established parts of Vienna, parts of Arlington, and parts of Alexandria such as Del Ray or Old Town. If I stay here long-term I plan to eventually move to a place like Berryville, Warrenton, Middleburg, Fredericksburg, or Winchester and power-commute to work in Tysons Corner. There's just such a distinctly different atmosphere in communities such as these versus "census designated places" in Fairfax County. People on here despite me and squawk against me all the time, but unless you've lived in Pittsburgh or Scranton you have no idea what those of us decrying the lack of a "community spirit" are belly-aching about. I have absolutely ZERO desire anymore to try to get involved with anything going on in Reston because I don't even know what we are. Are we a homeowners' association? Are we a census designated place? Are we a special tax district? We're certainly not a "town" or a "community." If we're not the latter, then why should I even care? To me Reston is just a bunch of politically-savvy aging empty-nester hippies who keep to themselves or the young nouveau riche "poseurs" who prance around Reston Town Center shopping/dining at chains while maxing out their credit cards. It isn't a place I feel like calling "home."

I don't see how anyone can honestly say they are NOT deceiving people by saying that places like Centreville, Chantilly, Reston, Fair Oaks/Fair Lakes, etc. are "community-oriented." No, they're not. Being able to hop in your tinted window SUV and leave your cul-de-sac to drive to Target without saying a word to or making eye contact with another soul does not a "community" make. A community is being able to walk down your sidewalk, wave to neighbors on front porches, pass children at a lemonade stand, watch grandparents pulling children around in little red wagons, see civic banners/flags hanging from streetlights or utility poles, see flyers for bake sales, car washes, or used book sales at the library, being able to walk to some sort of "main drag" for independent businesses, etc. I don't see any of that in MOST of Fairfax County, and what concerns me is that this honestly doesn't concern many others on this forum. I just don't understand it. I drove through some of my old haunts today in NEPA and nearly cried because I drove down tree-lined streets lined with historic homes with SIDEWALKS with people out and about talking to neighbors everywhere while their children played together nearby. It's NOT "normal" for people to just shut themselves inside and never want to meet-and-greet their neighbors, but people on this forum seem to dismiss these observations as people like me being "too nosy." No. It's called too many don't want their "census designated place" to actually feel like a COMMUNITY!
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,840,353 times
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Hmmm, something with a community feel between Tysons and Woodbridge? Lake Barcroft comes to mind. It stacks up against North Arlington for safety, and, IMO, is nicer than South Arlington. If you dislike the "vinyl siding cookie cutter" look this is a good area for you. Lake Barcroft is especially nice near the lake, but the "contemporary" buildings are starting to show their age. I have no idea what renting there might be like, but it's worth considering.

Vienna has the community feel and is halfway between the commutes--but I have a feeling out of your price range. I could be wrong, though, so it's worth considering.

Falls Church could work well, I think.

Occoquan is another thought. It's close to Woodbridge, but maybe not a fun commute to Tysons. Worth checking out, though.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, Leesburg, Ashburn, Sterling, Reston, Herndon, VA
25 posts, read 114,850 times
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Downtown Fairfax is kind of cool and definitely has a neighborhood feel with older homes, so does Leesburg but that makes the Drive to Woodbridge farther. Also if you get into Downtown Vienna you have a pretty good feel. Folks in the Vienna inn and around Amphora Bakery are friendly enough. Also, personally I like that little village at Occcoquan near the Marina and Lorton is not bad where the redevelopment has been done. There are probably parts of Arlington and Falls Church that you would enjoy also. Locally my favorite is Berryville, it doesn't get any cooler than that but that is another 30 minutes of commute time. The good news is that it is summer and you can get out on the weekends and explore some of these places before making the decision.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,840,353 times
Reputation: 18992
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maursce View Post
The good news is that it is summer and you can get out on the weekends and explore some of these places before making the decision.
That's really the best bit of advice. You're the best judge of what community will appeal to you. You live locally, and you have time--so the best idea is to drie around and check them out. Local papers will give you a clue about community events and the general "community feel" of different areas.
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,833 posts, read 26,449,732 times
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Fairfax is not a bad spot for both commutes. It's easy to get to Tysons via side roads, though there can be some delays, but nothing as epic as Route 66 can be in the morning. It's also an easy drive to Woodbridge, via 123, because traffic is negligible headed south in the morning, especially once you are past Braddock Road.

Vienna would not be too bad, either, and would put you a few minutes closer to Tysons, and not more than an extra 10-15 minutes to Woodbridge. As normie siad, though, it might be a bit expensive, but you never know what you might find.

There's a Prince William Omni bus that heads to Tysons Corner, so if you were to look in Occoquan, your fiancée could take transportation to/from work, provided the bus schedule would work for his commute.

I would also consider Alexandria, since he can take the GW Parkway to 66 outbound to Route 7 to get to Tysons, or 66 to the Toll Road Extension (no toll) to 123, depending upon where he needs to go in Tysons. And, to get to Woodbridge, it's not a terrible commute, since 495 to 95 South is largely against traffic. Traffic builds at Springfield on the worst days, heading to Tysons that way, but the 95 exit branches off before that point.
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