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Old 04-10-2010, 01:14 PM
 
14 posts, read 23,164 times
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Hi, there. I am relocating to work in McLean/Tyson's from an impossibly cute seaside town in New England. I am mid 40s, single and will be looking for community theater opportunities as soon as I get unpacked to balance out my desk bound day job. I like characterful neighborhoods, where you can walk for an hour after dinner and just look at the homes and gardens and kids playing and feel happy about where you live. I also have to walk my dogs in winter AM and PM, when it is usually dark, so streetlights and sidewalks are a bonus. Thanks to forums I get the general answer is Falls Church, Vienna or McLean, but are there particular pockets or sub neighborhoods or even developments that you can recommend? There is a rental opportunity in Franklin Woods for example that looks charming, and there is a pocket of mid century moderns that seem to abut Route 66 that have a cool vibe - -any pointers much appreciated. Budget is $2500 +/- for rent. I don't want a ton of outdoor space, and a townhouse or even high rise would be fine - -it is the "walk-iness charm" that I'm looking for. I'm writing this after sitting on a dock, stopping by the general store for an ice-cream cone, and popping in to get a book at my teeny little library.

Thanks!
PW
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,541,775 times
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If commute wasn't a concern, Old Town Alexandria has all the charm (and dog friendliness!) you're looking for. A lot of the shops will set out water dishes for the pups or have treats behind the counter for their visitors, and you wouldn't lose the water front appeal. They also have community theater there.

The problem is, it's not a short commute from Alexandria to Tysons--probably 40 minutes or so. (I've only done it in the evenings, but I would imagine morning would be shorter since 395 will be a reverse commute).

Also great about this whole area is the abundance of dog parks. Some have lights (I know of one specifically in Arlington that does) until as late as 10:00 pm, so during the winter you can still get out and let the dogs burn off some energy. I know my border collie mix goes crazy without some full on running every day!
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
1,419 posts, read 3,008,126 times
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sad to say you're not likely to find anything resembling a cute seaside New England town (I'm from CT) within an easy commute to Tysons. I agree that Old Town Alexandria would be a nice option, but even that is no comparison to what you're used to. I'm out in the countryside and not familiar with too many areas closer in, but I think it may be a tough search.
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:11 PM
 
5,070 posts, read 8,604,955 times
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I hope we're not being punked. It's just that, with the latest batch of relocation posts and gripes about NoVa , I feel like the main character from "Murder She Wrote," Truman from "The Truman Show," and Aunt Bea from "Mayberry RFD" have all landed and are either having, or are about to have, some serious culture shock.

For the most part, NoVa is more like "The Brady Bunch," except with more colonials and fewer contemporaries. If we need to revamp for "Sweeps Week," just let us know and we'll try to redesign our stage sets in time!
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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Default not being punked!

I've enjoyed your posts and I totally understand that I'm living in a lala land postcard right now- -

The basic question is, given that I'm looking in Vienna/Falls Church/Mclean, are than any particular STREETS or SUBDIVISIONS that would be pleasant to live in and charming to walk, where I could expect friendly neighbors and stroll for about an hour (that's usually a 3 mile loop)?

Thanks!

PW
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,540 posts, read 12,592,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
I hope we're not being punked. It's just that, with the latest batch of relocation posts and gripes about NoVa , I feel like the main character from "Murder She Wrote," Truman from "The Truman Show," and Aunt Bea from "Mayberry RFD" have all landed and are either having, or are about to have, some serious culture shock.
Ha, ha. I was just thinking that it sounds like the OP lives in Cabot Cove, Maine. Not many places like that around here. I agree that maybe Old Town will please you. You might want to look at Occoquon but it will be a bit of a commute to Tyson's, as well. You might like Bethesda, MD. There is a vibrant downtown with lots of shops, restaurants, parks, etc. There is a 6-7 mile biking trail (Capital Crescent Trail) that leads to Georgetown. I used to ride my bike down there many evenings after work, and I felt like I was on vacation.

Falls Church and Vienna are more walkable than many other "towns" around here, but not necessarily charming. I do think there are pockets of neighborhoods throughout NoVA that would be nice to walk around in but beyond looking at houses, there might not be much else in walking distance. NoVa is sorely lacking in quaint, walkable downtown towns or cities.
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:35 PM
 
15 posts, read 19,795 times
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JEB -- thanks for that laugh!

Great thread, by the way. McLean is really pretty, and parts of Arlington are charming and neighborly. Good luck, I'll be checking this out too (although my budget isn't as good as yours).
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,540 posts, read 12,592,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkiewilson View Post
I've enjoyed your posts and I totally understand that I'm living in a lala land postcard right now- -

The basic question is, given that I'm looking in Vienna/Falls Church/Mclean, are than any particular STREETS or SUBDIVISIONS that would be pleasant to live in and charming to walk, where I could expect friendly neighbors and stroll for about an hour (that's usually a 3 mile loop)?

Thanks!

PW
There is the "historic district" in Vienna that is nice to walk around it. I put historic in quotes because many argue that there's nothing historic about it since many are new builds or add-ons. Regardless, it's very pretty, walkable and pretty much never-ending - in that you could keep walking from there into the rest of the town without being stopped by a highway or the like. The streets are Windover, West Street, Pleasant Street, Knolls Street, etc. in the NW section of town. Coming down Route 123, there is a sign that will point you toward the "Historic District."

From there, you can walk up to Church Street which has an ice cream shop, bread shop, a few restaurants, pizza, place, some shops and such. There is an historic house there as well as the W&OD bike trail that runs through it along with a nice, red caboose.

Even if you don't live in the "historic" district in Vienna, you could live in other neighborhoods and still do a nice 3-mile loop. You will probably walk by dozens of brick and siding ramblers, though or newly constructed McMansion cottages. It's still very pleasant. There are parks, the community center, the library, the Town Green and baseball fields all through the downtown. People are friendly. Downtown Vienna is very walkable. Some housing is quaint. Maple Avenue (Route 123) leaves a lot to be desired in the quaintness department. Church Street is more "quaint" looking, albeit some of it contrived. Overall, I found it to be one of the nicer towns to live in in Northern Virginia within the constraints my family had as far as location. Check out my photo tour of Vienna and you can get an idea of what it looks like. I plan to do more of a NW side of town photo tour real soon . Maybe I'll get to it this week and take pictures of some of the historic district, the original school for black people, and more of Church Street.

Here's the first tour I did:

Photo Tour of Vienna
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:16 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,945,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeb77 View Post
i hope we're not being punked. It's just that, with the latest batch of relocation posts and gripes about nova , i feel like the main character from "murder she wrote," truman from "the truman show," and aunt bea from "mayberry rfd" have all landed and are either having, or are about to have, some serious culture shock.
lol, jeb!
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:02 PM
 
53 posts, read 134,527 times
Reputation: 20
We were just visiting NoVa last week for a house hunt. Let me tell you, it is VERY different from New England. We live in Ma. and are having a hard time with the county concept. There are no real "towns". In fact, we decided to stay put due to quality of life issues.

One place we didn't look, but interested me was the Lake Anne area of Reston (at least I think that's what it's called). That might be a place to check out due to commute and places to walk.
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