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Old 09-20-2010, 06:41 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,860,633 times
Reputation: 869

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Yeah, you can't really claim Old Town is as accessible to Metro the same way that the Wilson Corridor in Arlington is accessible. Not if you have to wait 10+ minutes for a bus service that may or may not be caught in traffic, etc.

I am curious, though. Do illegal immigrants have an "I" on their forehead or have some distinguishing characteristic?

I suspect urban ills will exist anywhere. Small towns ... most of them are places where 80% of people can't hope to make over $30k a year. That's why there's a huge influx of people to cities.

If you are not fussy about the particular small town you're in within say a 2-3 hour drive ... good luck to ya and you will be just fine. I suspect you'll find problems exist pretty much anywhere you go ... if you expect people to be *******s, they won't disappoint.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:06 AM
 
7,966 posts, read 18,043,285 times
Reputation: 2588
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
I don't want to discourage anyone from taking the bus. During business hours, it may be a good option. Myself, and apparently many of the locals don't use it. One thing to be aware of, is that the trolley stops at 8 p.m., and the last DASH bus on the schedule stops at 8:36. The walk back is dark, and while I'm sure that taxis must run at night, I never see one when I want it. The best option is to have a friend drive you to the station.

All of the DASH buses I've used see pretty popular with people from all walks of life. I'd imagine most of them would include Alexandria city residents. As already mentioned, bus routes don't end as early as you might recall, except maybe Sundays. The Hotel Monaco (formerly Holiday Inn) just west of City Hall always seems to have taxis in queue when I pass by. If the late-night walk back to the Metro is dark (not so much when the holiday lights are up in the trees), then I've never found it to be intimidating.

During non-rush hour, the Metro is extremely slow. I always feel like I'm waiting 20-25 minutes up on that darn platform. Then you may have to transfer, such as at Rosslyn, and wait another 20-25 minutes.

That would not be Alexandria's fault. Barring construction work, I can usually catch a train within 15 minutes even beyond rush hour. As it is, King Street and Braddock Road are fortunate to have two Metro lines, not to mention that the city has four stations in total (or five if you include Huntington just outside city limits).


I used to be a big fan of the Metro and took it everywhere. You might want to learn from my experience and realize how much faster driving is during non rush hour and just get used to doing that. For example, going to points in DC from NOVA during non rush hour on the train, or going against rush hour can typically take an hour to an hour and a half, which does not include getting to the Metro itself. I have to transfer at Rosslyn to get into Alexandria, so it's always slow.

While again not an Alexandria issue, it may be a more of a time vs. money issue. Finding and paying for parking in DC and "Orange Line" Arlington can be even more expensive than in Old Town. Others, such as yourself, may decide the effort to do so is worth saving the time waiting on the Metro platform.

Getting home at night by car is so nice. It's already parked, so you just hop in it and zoom home. I can get home from deep in DC in 30 minutes. There's always something convoluted about exiting Alexandria, but getting home from there doesn't take too much longer.

If one plans to imbibe or otherwise plans to socialize late, driving home from Old Town may not always be the best idea. Alexandria is virtually surrounded by the Beltway so there's no getting around that...except to go around it. In any case, Old Town doesn't seem to be lacking for city residents, area visitors or tourists.
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Last edited by FindingZen; 09-20-2010 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:10 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,772 posts, read 10,676,132 times
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we live in annandale and usually find Old town Alex pretty accessible by car, on nights or weekends. We avoid cruising down king street, we take Duke, and we can usually snag a parking space without taking that much time. Of course we are willing to walk a distance from the space (this IS an urban area, after all) and we have a care, not a van or truck.

We even usually manage to find street parking when there are events going on. Though lately for fireworks we have taken advantage of free off street parking.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:27 PM
 
461 posts, read 795,912 times
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Well, between the perspectives, a pretty thorough picture of the transportation situation with Old Town has been shown. Wikipedia says that the waterfront is about 17 blocks from King Street Metro near where most of the historic and entertainment destinations are located. So if you choose to walk or bus from the station, there it is. Driving will cut your time in at least half. It can be frustrating (please see my tips above if you haven't) but I've never had to leave town out of inability to find a spot.

The place is like a big brick box. You are blocked in by the Potomac to the east, the Beltway and labelscarred strip mall oblivion to the south, GW parkland and interstate hell to the north, and mazy suburbs to the west. Oh yeah, and five stories high of brick, brick, brick to towering and boxing towards the apogee of the sun.

I do recommend visiting. The have Robert E. Lee's boyhood home there for goodness sake. (Complete with brick courtyard.) Personally, congestion plus no close Metro is not my cup of tea. (I know Ax boosters love the bus/Metro setup.) If you are a claustrophiliac, love dank smells, impatiens, and slime molds, all in an overpriced, overaggravated setting, you may want to consider living there.

Last edited by FairfaxGuy73; 09-20-2010 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,344,725 times
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Depends upon where you go in each direction. Take the south as an example. If you're on Washington, which turns into the GW Parkway again, toward Mount Vernon, there is absolutely no commercial property, save for a restaurant, and the commercial activities at the circle in front of Mount Vernon that are part of the estate. On Route 1, yes, it's a scarred strip mall landscape with many stoplights, but that's not a primary means of accessing the area for people who choose to live in the Fort Hunt and Mount Vernon areas.

Old Town is brick for a practical reason, Virginia red clay. Frame and brick were very common materials in the vernacular architectural interpretations of the architectural movements during the founding of Alexandria. Similar to Georgetown, one finds a mixture of Georgian, Federal, some Greek Revival, and Victorian.

Brick structures tended to survive longer than their clapboard counterparts, and Old Town was not always the gem of preservation that one finds today, so it stands to reason that there were losses of buildings that did not have the same permanence offered by brick. Some frame structures do survive, and new projects are governed by the current zoning and historic preservation ordinances. Old Town is a special zone in that respect, but other areas of the city, and county surrounding OT are not as homogenized in the colonial form. However, the influences of the styles of the colonial period are still popular, as evidenced by new housing that has been constructed in the area.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:47 PM
 
5,330 posts, read 6,121,958 times
Reputation: 2624
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
Well, between the perspectives, a pretty thorough picture of the transportation situation with Old Town has been shown. Wikipedia says that the waterfront is about 17 blocks from King Street Metro near where most of the historic and entertainment destinations are located. So if you choose to walk or bus from the station, there it is. Driving will cut your time in at least half. It can be frustrating (please see my tips above if you haven't) but I've never had to leave town out of inability to find a spot.

The place is like a big brick box. You are blocked in by the Potomac to the east, the Beltway and labelscarred strip mall oblivion to the south, GW parkland and interstate hell to the north, and mazy suburbs to the west. Oh yeah, and five stories high of brick, brick, brick to towering and boxing towards the apogee of the sun.

I do recommend visiting. The have Robert E. Lee's boyhood home there for goodness sake. (Complete with brick courtyard.) Personally, congestion plus no close Metro is not my cup of tea. (I know Ax boosters love the bus/Metro setup.) If you are a claustrophiliac, love dank smells, impatiens, and slime molds, all in an overpriced, overaggravated setting, you may want to consider living there.
This is getting hilarious.

OMG, I'm in a prison blocked in on one side by a wall of.... parkland. And the phobia of brick (love the drama, btw). Personally, I find vinyl siding to be icky (btw, there are plenty of wood clapboard structures in Alexandria, including Old Town).

Having such a feeling of oppressive blocked-in-ness would mean pretty much any dense urban area would be likewise oppressive. Thus it's not Alexandria that is the issue, it's your dislike of closely built environs. We get it, it's not for you. Now, I and many others will continue to enjoy Alexandria, and it will go on to be a desirable place for many to visit or live.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:41 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,772 posts, read 10,676,132 times
Reputation: 2498
"If you are a claustrophiliac, love dank smells, impatiens, and slime molds, all in an overpriced, overaggravated setting, you may want to consider living there."

I must be one of those, I feel good whenever I visit Old Town.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:16 AM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,617,441 times
Reputation: 2722
Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
"If you are a claustrophiliac, love dank smells, impatiens, and slime molds, all in an overpriced, overaggravated setting, you may want to consider living there."

I must be one of those, I feel good whenever I visit Old Town.
I don't know if I want to live there, but that post definitely makes me want to visit again, so I can figure out why I didn't realize I was trapped in an Edgar Allan Poe story the last time I was there!
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:32 AM
 
5,330 posts, read 6,121,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
I don't know if I want to live there, but that post definitely makes me want to visit again, so I can figure out why I didn't realize I was trapped in an Edgar Allan Poe story the last time I was there!
It's inspired me to change my C-D location setting.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:59 AM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,462,560 times
Reputation: 6954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabethan1558 View Post
Thank you Denton and FairfaxGuy.Your kind words mean alot.Yes,i have contimplated on the right thing to do for my situation.And the only solution is for me to move back home to the south.Then i will truely be at peace.

Thank you both agian
I lived at 510 S. Fairfax in Old Town several years ago. Being from the south myself I was the type to wave and say hello to the neighbors and people walking down the sidewalk. I have never been around a more distant and aloof group of people in my life. They looked at me like I had lost my mind. Sounds like it hasn't changed.

I don't blame you for wanting to return to the south. When my husband retires were going back. He just doesn't know it yet. Lol

Follow your heart honey, it knows what's best.
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