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Old 01-18-2011, 01:16 PM
 
Location: West Hartford, CT
3 posts, read 7,921 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi. I'm about to finish a Masters of Public Administration from a pretty well-respected program in New England. I also have a bit of work experience, but most of it is from internships and part-time research/administration work (after years of clocking several years of retail toiling). So, not a ton there but some.

I also have a partner who lives in New Jersey and has 3 years of experience at a public policy consulting/lobbying firm. We've both agreed to work towards moving to DC after I graduate in May. We're both familiar with the area (and like it), and we both feel that with our educational and professional backgrounds, DC is the place to concentrate.

Where to live question:

Although neither of us have job offers yet, we're already familiar with the area and thinking about where to live. We're fully aware that living in DC proper will be a challenge, but if we're both working in Central-ish DC, the most obvious choices seem to be Arlington and Silver Spring. We'd both like to be within walking distance of a Metro station, and a neighborhood with a couple of good restaurants and bars, or a movie theater would be nice as well. You know, things people in their mid/late 20's like.

Is there anywhere else we should consider? I'd estimate our starting combined income around $80,000 to $100,000 which I know doesn't buy a lot in the area but living modestly is going to be part of the plan for a while.

Where to work question:

This might be a stretch but if anyone else here has experience as a recently minted MPA in DC I'd love to hear about it. I'm open to working in nonprofits or government, obviously, but I also feel like there are a lot of private firms in consulting or government contracting that I don't really know a lot about. My first priority is getting hired somewhere so that I can get relocated and established in DC and start building a network. If this all sounds very vague, it's because it is, and while I do have some dream jobs in mind that I'd really like to have, I also feel that setting my heart on something specific right now in this economy might just be too much. Anyway, if there is someone here with a background in public admin who would like to chat I'd be more than happy to give some more details.

TL;DR

Is there anywhere two gay 20 somethings should consider living besides Arlington and Silver Springs, and is there anywhere a guy about to finish an MPA should be looking for work outside of the obvious trolling Indeed.com and working my own personal network. Kthanks.

Also - long time lurker, first time poster. Hi everybody.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
2,388 posts, read 3,189,500 times
Reputation: 2884
I've worked in the Van Ness and Friendship Heights areas and they are pretty decent and picturesque. Lots of young professionals and restaurants along Connecticut or Wisconsin Avenues to enjoy. Convenient to metro. Very walkable and clean areas that I think your expected household income could moderately afford if your estimate of a minimum 80k/ year is correct, as far as apartment living goes. The American University campus isn't too far away, for some close distance to a major college and other professional students, and the area isn't far from Georgetown, downtown, or the social 14th and U Street corridors.

I would suggest that general area (Van Ness, and Friendship Heights) along Connecticut and Wisconsin Avenues for you two.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
607 posts, read 1,107,424 times
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I earned my MPA a little over a year ago and moved to DC to find a job a few months later. It took me about 4 months to secure a fed job that relates to my field of study and pays farily well.

Two things that surprised me about my job search in DC were 1, that there were so many other recent grads and qualified young professionals competing for every job and 2, that for any jobs, the pay was so low compared to the cost of living here (particularly for non-profits and Hill jobs).

I live in Arlington and I'd recommend anywhere along the metro's orange line (Courthouse, Clarendon, VA Square, Ballston, Rosslyn).
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Springfield VA
4,036 posts, read 8,391,615 times
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I think it depends on what y'all as a couple value and where y'all would be working. Not all jobs are in the District. So one of you might get a job in Arlington and another get a job in Bethesda. So you have to work out the location of your employer first.

But we'll hypothetically say that both of y'all have downtown jobs. For what y'all want it sounds like the city would be the spot actually. Restaurants and a movie theater in walking distance? Not a lot of places have that actually. There's only so many movie theaters around here.

Logan Circle is starting to become gay central as more and more folks are priced out of Dupont. So you have that area. U street is fun as well but pricy and Logan Circle isn't too cheap either just cheaper than Dupont.

Capitol Hill is an option. There's no movie theater but plenty of restaurants on 8th St SE. Its cheaper than Logan Circle or Dupont and really nice. The boyfriend stays over there and he loves it. Its safe and I'm thinking about moving over there if I ever get transferred to a downtown office. He's been trying to get me to do so for months now. I mean I've done the reverse commute from my old man's house plenty of times but permanently driving out to Fairfax EVERY day I'm not so sure about that.

Now outside the city limits? Yes Courthouse or Clarendon would be the spots for sure but watch out they're pricey. Downtown Silver Spring might be the ticket as well if both jobs are in the city. If one of you works in Arlington or Tysons Corner forget it!

Old Town in Alexandria is fun too. There's definitely more young gays in the District or Arlington than Alexandria for sure but its got everything you wanted. There's a little movie theater and a plethora of restaurants and shops. Its quiet at night but still fun. Some have argued that Old Town is for folks in their 30s versus 20s but I disagree. I know a young couple (straight if that menas anything) in Old Town and they love it. Only one even drives the other takes the metro and they're very content.

Oh and I forgot Columbia Heights is up and coming. I know lots of fresh out of college types doing it up in Columbia Heights. Its a transitioning neighborhood so its still a little rough around the edges but it'll be cheaper than some of the more trendier neighborhoods.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Rockville, MD
3,547 posts, read 7,842,452 times
Reputation: 1367
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrence81 View Post
Old Town in Alexandria is fun too. There's definitely more young gays in the District or Arlington than Alexandria for sure but its got everything you wanted. There's a little movie theater and a plethora of restaurants and shops. Its quiet at night but still fun. Some have argued that Old Town is for folks in their 30s versus 20s but I disagree. I know a young couple (straight if that menas anything) in Old Town and they love it. Only one even drives the other takes the metro and they're very content.
I love Old Town--it's probably the only neighborhood outside of DC that feels like it *is* in DC. Walkable, attractive, great mix of restaurants and boutiques, right on the water with great views of central DC, etc. I typically recommend it to people from out of town who are otherwise considering hanging out in Georgetown.

My only complaint is that I wish the King Street Metro was closer to the waterfront, although the free King Street shuttle helps.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Springfield VA
4,036 posts, read 8,391,615 times
Reputation: 1505
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14thandYou View Post
I love Old Town--it's probably the only neighborhood outside of DC that feels like it *is* in DC. Walkable, attractive, great mix of restaurants and boutiques, right on the water with great views of central DC, etc. I typically recommend it to people from out of town who are otherwise considering hanging out in Georgetown.

My only complaint is that I wish the King Street Metro was closer to the waterfront, although the free King Street shuttle helps.
I agree with the statement about the metro being closer to the waterfront but one can still live in Old Town and still be close to the metro just have to pick one's pad carefully.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:35 PM
 
311 posts, read 771,868 times
Reputation: 364
try my neighborhood, Capital Hill...I live in D.C. for cheaper than what people in Silver Spring pay and Gallery Place Movie theater is right down the street. I am mid 20s with my bf and it is convenient (gentrifying) and cheap and I'm walking distance to Union Station though I prefer to take the short bus ride to Chinatown Metro
The neighborhood blog will amaze you lol
Frozen Tropics
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