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Old 04-09-2010, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,012 posts, read 2,853,013 times
Reputation: 1072
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagotodc View Post
Thats the general idea yes. The photos make it look strictly office-buildings (e.g. the type of place that has zero people there on a weekend, no stores of any kind other than a panera), but in general, yea that's what my wife would want.
A lot of the buildings in those photos are condo buildings.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
9,344 posts, read 15,397,201 times
Reputation: 4996
There are stores in Ballston, too. There's a mall, and Harris Teeter grocery store, across from the Mercedes dealer. Some of the smaller stores are open during work hours, but they are more lunch/convenience stores.

You might also consider Clarendon, just down Wilson Boulevard from Ballston as it has more shops, around the Whole Foods. Really, though, they're both close and are sub-neighborhoods so if you found something in one area over the other, it would not be bad. You're still very close to DC, McLean, and Georgetown.

Georgetown has its issues, beneath the veneer, aside from the college kids gone wild. There is a petty crime problem, and some of the streets and alleys are desolate, at night, making for prime mugging zones, which does happen. One poor guy who worked for me was mugged three times in five years, walking to the Metro at DuPont from the canal area, and all on the Georgetown side.

People tend to drop their guard thinking that it's fine because it's a "good" neighborhood, and it is for the most part, but for a family, I'd trust the Arlington County police a tad bit more to maintain the peace because they are not spead as thin. And, just in the interest of disclosure, I'm not someone from a small town who is scared of an urban environment, and have lived/worked in Georgetown.

Another area you might consider, on the Maryland side, is Chevy Chase area. It's a little further from McLean, but has residential areas interspersed with commercial areas, shops, restaurants. It's not as tall as Downton Bethesda, overall. You can get to McLean without taking the Beltway from Chevy Chase, which can come in handy on days when 495 is a parking lot, just watch your speed on some of the side roads as DC has speed cameras.
__________________
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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Last edited by bmwguydc; 04-09-2010 at 12:37 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:02 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 2,171,627 times
Reputation: 711
Yeah, I second bmwguydc's rec for Chevy Chase/Friendship Heights. If you're willing to stretch your imagination a bit, it's sort of like a very petite version of N. Michican Ave. (without the skyscrapers). It's also Metro accessible.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:38 PM
 
3 posts, read 2,801 times
Reputation: 10
This sums up Arlington:
YouTube - Arlington: The Rap
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC (formerly Vienna, VA)
5,838 posts, read 5,974,509 times
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I agree that Friendship Heights or even Tenleytown in DC looks similar to what you pointed out. I think they are great areas. Downtown Bethesda, MD would be great as well. In Virginia, I'd say North Arlington or downtown Falls Church might have what you are looking for. Vienna, where I live, has a "downtown" walkable area but it's mostly suburban and family-oriented.
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:46 AM
 
81 posts, read 140,301 times
Reputation: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagotodc View Post
So my wife is falling in love with Georgetown. Anyone have any idea what it might mean to commute from Georgetown to Mclean? I'm guessing 1 hour?

Are the times listed here even remotely accurate?

Commuting from McLean Virginia: An Easy Commute to Almost Everywhere | Virginia Real Estate News

They stirke me as low.

No, no. I used to reverse commute from Dupont to McLean. 22 minutes door to door. If you can get to the Key Bridge quickly within Gtown (could be problem) then < 20 minutes is doable.

But that was McLean proper. The problem could be getting into Tysons due to all the construction of HOT lanes and the metro. I can't help you with last leg.......
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:59 AM
 
81 posts, read 140,301 times
Reputation: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagotodc View Post
So my wife is falling in love with Georgetown. Anyone have any idea what it might mean to commute from Georgetown to Mclean? I'm guessing 1 hour?

Are the times listed here even remotely accurate?

Commuting from McLean Virginia: An Easy Commute to Almost Everywhere | Virginia Real Estate News

They stirke me as low.
As you know, real estate agents are generally pathological liars. (*) Those commute times are valid if you go to work at 3 am. Except Dulles airport, which underestimates unless you live up near the Potomac. Because of the access road there is never traffic. I was 18 minutes house-to-Garage 1 even at 5 pm. That's the biggest thing I miss about McLean. It was easy to get to IAD and get far away from this rotten place.

(*) One of the few semi-honest ones is that guy Frank from the Clarendon pool party. He has a great website to access home listing. Google Frankly MLS.
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:56 PM
 
834 posts, read 869,766 times
Reputation: 626
Thanks guys. This is all very helpful.

I'm coming to the area this weekend to check things out with my wife. I'm hoping to hit up Rossyln/Ballston/Clarendon and then see some of the options further out in Falls Church/Vienna/Tysons area. Chevy Chase I'll save for Sunday or Monday.

I'm thinking I'll start in the Arlington areas as they are probably (by comparison) less of a cultural shock. With that in mind, if I wanted to go out to dinner Sat somewhere kind of fun (not a chain but also not in DC) any recommendations? I'm not picky - vietnamese, french, italian, whatever, ideally mid-range to upscale (e.g. more of a special night out). Similarly, any nice cafe's to try on Sunday? We are in our early 30s if that helps frame what people might like. Ideally looking for places you can stroll around after dinner.

One challenge is that I don't know the area -- that's not so much of an issue for the arlington part of the plan - as i expect I can find the town 'center' - but more of a challenge perhaps for Falls Church / Vienna / etc.. Would anyone be able to provide an address that would put me near what these places have to offer -- or a "town center" if such a thing exists? I worry I'll just take a random exit off the highway, find myself somewhere in a residential suburb, drive around and miss a major portion of the area. I have no idea if this is a stupid thing to worry about - I just picture a lot of sprawl and crawl with pockets of stuff that would be easy to miss.

My other thought was to just drive (or take the metro) to the metro stops in these locations (e.g. fairfax / gmu) on the assumption that these are centrally located near shops/businesses/etc.....but that seems to not be the case once you get past ballston -- i see parking garages...Can I just go to the metro stops from Rossyln to Vienna (9 stops by my count) and get a sense of the areas? E.g Rossyln to court house to clarendon to GMU to Ballston to East Falls to West Falls to Dunn Loring to Vienna?

Last edited by chicagotodc; 04-11-2010 at 04:20 PM..
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
9,344 posts, read 15,397,201 times
Reputation: 4996
Once past Ballston, the Metro stops are in the median of I-66, so it would not be in town. Ballston, Clarendon, and Rosslyn would all be fine to explore from the Metro stop.

For Falls Church, the downtown area would be Broad Street & Washington Street, for a starting point. Tysons Corner is tough, but roughly Routes 7 & 123 or Route 7 & International Drive is the heart of Tysons, though residential areas are more toward the Toll Road, Vienna (on 123), or off Gallows Road. Vienna would start at Nutley Street & Maple Avenue West, and continues along 123 toward Tysons.

If you want a nice restaurant for dinner, 2941 in Fairview Park would be my recommendation, especially if you want to sit outside by the lake.
__________________
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

City-Data Terms of Service
City-Data FAQs
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:54 AM
 
834 posts, read 869,766 times
Reputation: 626
Last q. I can crash at a friends place for a a few months while they are out of the country. It would be in Cleveland park. Anyone have any idea how bad that commute might be to Tysons? An hour?

I'm sure that would be painful, but the prospect of saving perhaps something close to $10,000 by doing so is somewhat attractive.
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