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Old 04-06-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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Default Anyone from Philly?

Our jobs are transferring us to DC. We are considering Montgomery County as a place to move. If there is anyone familiar with Swarthmore/Media, PA - are there any neighborhoods like this in Montgomery County?
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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Default From Philly

I'm from Philly ***city*** and I relocated here to Silver Spring, MD area and its great.. It of course isn't comparable to the city however, it has a suburban feel to it and I love the peace and quiet. So... this is a great locatoin 20902.

Hope this helps!
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
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I live in downtown Silver Spring (though I just moved here a month ago) and have spent a limited amount of time in Media (which I thought was a great-looking town when I was there in July 2007). One of the things where the DC area comes up short compared to the Philadelphia area is having very attractive intermediate-sized towns (5,000 to 20,000 people) served by some sort of rail transit. The nice suburbs in the DC area/Montgomery County tend to be bigger/more city-like (though still very nice in a somewhat different way) than those in the Philly area, or don't have/have rush hour-only rail transit. Mind you, others can give you a more informed opinion based on more experience in both places, but that is my impression.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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I did the reverse thing recently and I agree that Montgomery County (MD!) is the place for you. If you can be more specific about what aspects of Swarthmore/Media you like, that might help.

The above poster has it exactly right. DC's Metro is small and limited compared to the network of train lines in the Philly suburbs, and so rail-oriented small towns (and villages) don't exist. In the DC suburbs, the land around metro stations is incredibly valuable so it gets built up, creating mini-cities complete with high rises and dense housing and shopping. Downtown Bethesda and Silver Spring are like this. Perhaps because of the limited rail network, DC-area traffic is terrible. But also because traffic is terrible, people are willing to sacrifice space to live closer to a metro. Anyway....

If you are comfortable amid politically liberal people with graduate degrees, you will probably find a niche in lower Montgomery County. Utne Reader once called it the most progressive county in the U.S.! Housing will be a whole lot more expensive than Media/Swarthmore, but the people are, I imagine, of a similar kind. Bethesda is a really nice place to live with, close in but with lots of amenities. Chevy Chase is very close-in and virtually indistinguishable from parts of Bethesda. The people I know who wanted to live there but couldn't afford to chose Kensington instead, or Silver Spring. Both of those have parts with significantly more ethnic diversity, and public schools are not as uniformly good. Silver Spring is huge, though, and hard to generalize, so you might look at individual zip codes or areas. BTW, if you worried about avoiding Main Line-type snottiness in the Maryland suburbs, know that it doesn't exist here in the same way. Even in quite ritzy areas of Bethesda I never encountered that same kind of thing. Potomac is reputedly snottier, but I have no direct experience.

If "crunchiness" is part of what you like about university-town life, also consider Takoma Park and eastern Silver Spring, which lean more that way. University Park in Prince Georges County has a lot of college professor types and is a nice community too, but I don't know what the schools are like.
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