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Old 02-19-2007, 11:34 AM
Location: Fairfax, VA
1 posts, read 6,666 times
Reputation: 11


We have lived here on the East Coast for 7 months in Fairfax, VA. We chose to live here because we heard of the great school. We are now in a position where it would be nice to not have to deal with so much traffic and moving to Upper NW would really solve that problem. We have started to look a little in Chevy Chase. We hear so much from our friends in VA that "you don't cross over from VA to MD." It is obvious that this is a big deal. Is it a Red state, Blue state thing? I am curious to hear what others have to say on the subject.
We have 2 kids, 10 and 11 and want to know what it is like to live in Chevy Chase. Fairfax is definitely suburban.

Old 02-19-2007, 01:35 PM
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,151,352 times
Reputation: 1784
Interesting. I had never heard of nor felt much of a divide between Virginia and Maryland in spite of living most of my life in the area. It seems to me that people cross the Potomac, for work or play, or to move for good, at ease. I've actually felt that compared to other areas I've lived in where there are several states within a close area (i.e. the New York NY/NJ/CT area), that the division and rivalry between the states is next to nil in the D.C. area. There are differences between the two areas, none especially pronounced, regarding things like schools, wealth, job opportunities, crime, and politics, which can lead to reverting to stereotypes of an area, but I haven't found that to be especially true. That's just been my own experience however and maybe others have encountered something entirely different.

As far as Chevy Chase, it's basically an urban suburb. It's a suburb, but it has more of an urban flair in the sense of a walkable downtown and better access to public transport than Fairfax. A very large number of diplomats live there. It's also an extremely well off area so housing is incredibly expensive there which I'm assuming you've realized through your research. Schools are top-notch.
Old 02-19-2007, 04:26 PM
2,462 posts, read 7,897,007 times
Reputation: 990
We live in northern Virginia, but our kids go to school in Maryland and my husband also works there. (It's a long story.) You are right that most people don't cross the bridge once they settle in one state or the other; the Washington Post actually did a story about it a few months ago.
Chevy Chase is very nice, but depending on your location in Fairfax, you may get a lot less house for your money. As you probably know, there is an area called Chevy Chase in both DC and Maryland. The public schools in DC are pretty awful -- although some of the elementary schools in Chevy Chase are OK (because the affluent parents supplement what the district offers), the middle and high schools are not, so you might need to consider private schools.
We used to live in the Chevy Chase area, and found it not so convenient in some respects. Many older homes don't have garages, or even driveways, and it can sometimes be impossible to park in front of your own house. The grocery stores and other shopping areas usually don't have enough parking either, particularly on weekends, and the stores are usually smaller, along the lines of the old "Soviet Safeway" in Cleveland Park. The traffic in the commercial areas can be just as bad as you might find in your current area.
The biggest difference we found between the two areas is that there are many more Jewish residents in Maryland -- which means that there are many more synagogues, kosher markets, Jewish preschools, etc. to choose from than you would find in Virginia.
Old 02-20-2007, 04:57 AM
198 posts, read 834,168 times
Reputation: 84
I do think there is a bit of that mentality, where people get "settled" in one state and don't want to move. Honestly, lots of people have lived in all three jurisdictions (MD, VA, and DC), because of jobs, etc. so I wouldn't worry about being thought of as weird. Most people that I know have lived in at least 2 of the 3 jurisdictions at some point. I do know some Maryland people who wouldn't live in VA because 1) the state is more conservative as a whole; or 2) they actually were born and raised in the MD suburbs. I just realized that strangely I don't know anybody that is actually from the VA suburbs, but I imagine it might be similar for them.

Chevy Chase is wonderful if you want a more urban feel than Fairfax Co. There is a strong sense of community and fantastic schools. I agree with the previous poster's comment that you are going to lose amenities like close-by huge suburban grocery stores, and you'll be a bit farther from Target and other big box stores. But Chevy Chase is not far from the beltway, and you can get pretty much any big box store (or grocery store) on Rockville Pike.
Old 02-20-2007, 04:46 PM
157 posts, read 709,853 times
Reputation: 69
Default Chevy Chase question???

Hi Kensington- quick question- what are the elementary schools that serve Chevy Chase, DC? I am having a hard time figuring this out on the web. I am looking for k-3. Do they have a good reputation?
Old 02-20-2007, 07:56 PM
Location: Richmond
1,489 posts, read 7,967,221 times
Reputation: 697
It probably goes back to 1861 when Virginia joined the Confederacy and Maryland chose to go with the North.
Old 02-21-2007, 03:06 PM
1,463 posts, read 5,542,361 times
Reputation: 926
Its Stupid. Its all the same dam area. I think alot of it is tied to race and economics/wealth. Just a great area period....
Old 02-23-2007, 03:23 PM
19,183 posts, read 27,741,368 times
Reputation: 4000
MD is too flat. Most of it barely qualifies as 'rolling'. VA has all those nice hills and runs. More trees, too. And the two grew up differently. Crossing the river isn't a big deal today, but it was in the past. There were more big-money families and estates in the earlier days of VA, and that's influenced its geography, its architecture...just the whole feel of it. Those differences are melting slowly away, though. More and more, everywhere is just everywhere...
Old 03-02-2007, 11:12 AM
9 posts, read 47,326 times
Reputation: 15
Default I have also heard that you don't cross over the bridge

I just replied to someone else about this very issue. You can certainly review my other post. I have lived in both Fairfax County and Howard. Both are comparable but the traffice if much better in Maryland. I also like the location between DC and Baltimore that provides more options for activities and arts. Good luck!
Old 03-03-2007, 09:59 AM
19,183 posts, read 27,741,368 times
Reputation: 4000
There is a lot to like about Howard County, and in some ways it is similar to eastern Fairfax County, only not as dense or traffic-bound. I think it's not an option for many in the DC area on account of commuting times, but for those where Howard is a fit on that score, it's a very good option. At that though, it's only an hour from eastern Fairfax to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, so Charm City venues are an easy enough reach even from there...
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