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Old 04-22-2009, 06:53 AM
 
74 posts, read 243,286 times
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I have been researching throughout the internet and it seems everyday I settle on a different part of North Virginia to live in. Now I am looking at Crystal City, specifically the Buchanan apartment complex. The building looks nice and the commute into DC would be a breeze but now my concern is the family friendliness of this area. I have 2 young boys and I want to know if there is sufficient recreational activities for them to enjoy such as tot lots, parks etc. Also, how would the school system be? Thanks for your time.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Rosslyn (Arlington), VA
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I would say that it's probably slightly less than ideal. Crystal City itself is mostly apartment buildings, hotels and office buildings, though there is a very nice neighborhood a bit inwards between 16th and 26th Streets and bounded by S. Eads and S. Arlington Ridge. If I remember correctly, the Buchanan house is right off of Rt. 1, so that puts you in the hotel/apartment megalopolis. If you need condo/apt living, I'd look at Clarendon or Ballston -- both might be a bit more family friendly. Clarendon is right by the Lyon Park neighborhood, which for my money is the cutest and most family friendly area in all of Arlington. Lyon Park has awesome playgrounds, one of the areas best splash parks, lots and lots of other stuff.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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I agree. Crystal City is basically a collection of high-rise buildings populated by singles, empty nesters, and people posted in DC for short-term assignments without their families. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to name a neighborhood that is LESS family-friendly.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:54 PM
 
Location: York, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
I agree. Crystal City is basically a collection of high-rise buildings populated by singles, empty nesters, and people posted in DC for short-term assignments without their families. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to name a neighborhood that is LESS family-friendly.
Seconded..However, Spealex, the CS area has improved a lot in terms of attempting to shed it's drab, sterile and "lifeless" image, especially in the last 5 years or so . If I were single and moved back to the DC metro area, Crystal City would be at the top of my list due to it's Metrorail accesibility and proximity to DC. If I were to move my family to the DC area, though, I would be checking out other places to live.

For a family, I would also recommend researching various places in Alexandria and if you are interested in condo/apt living, the Ballston/Clarendon area, as Aristotole mentioned would be another family friendly option. The Ballston/Clarendon corridor also offers a nice selection of retail and dining plus easy access to DC via the Orange line, so that may be something else to take into account. This area caters primarily to the single, young and professional crowd, but there are families that call these neighborhoods home and are happy. I would definitely deem it family friendly.

I don't know if you have researched the Tyson/Reston/Sterling/Dulles areas, but these are also places to consider depending on where your job is and how close you want to be to DC.

Last edited by Gil3; 04-23-2009 at 01:02 PM..
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Old 04-23-2009, 03:41 PM
 
74 posts, read 243,286 times
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I have been looking for a few months now, even though I wouldnt be going to DC until at least this summer. I have looked real thouroughly into Woodbridge and Manassas. I have seen that the nrighborhoods there definately hacve more to offer families than Crystal City. Buttttt, here is something that is dawning on my wife and I. From Crystal City, the ride on the Metro is 9 minutes to L Enfant Plaza. THis is near where my job would be. From other locations, I am looking at 1 hour on the VRE. PLus the VRE monthly fare and gas to get to the VRE station. That my kids live in a friendly enviroment is essential, but if I can leave home an hour later and arrive an hour earlier, I will be home with them more. Is there sufficient parks and recreation in Crystal City. Are parks within a short drivable commute after my wife gets out of work or is it misirable to get around Crystal City? If my rationale seems off, I am making assumptions from 1000 miles away. Share your insight, it is appreciated.
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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Not sure why you're been focusing on Crystal City, but there are plenty of other close-in options that would probably be far more suitable for family living. Have you considered Shirlington, or other parts of Arlington? Or Falls Church? Alexandria?
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:29 PM
 
74 posts, read 243,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Not sure why you're been focusing on Crystal City, but there are plenty of other close-in options that would probably be far more suitable for family living. Have you considered Shirlington, or other parts of Arlington? Or Falls Church? Alexandria?
No, I had not heard of Shirlington. I now have a new place to look at. Thanks for that suggestion. As I stated before, I am really unfamiliar with the area and am trying to determine my best options from 1000 miles away.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:45 PM
 
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People like Crystal City because you don't really need your vehicle and if you do its to drive down the road. Crystal City has every major convenience store like Walmart, Target, and supermarkets. ANd they have lots of chain restaurants.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:57 AM
 
Location: York, PA
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Originally Posted by chitown85 View Post
People like Crystal City because you don't really need your vehicle and if you do its to drive down the road. Crystal City has every major convenience store like Walmart, Target, and supermarkets. ANd they have lots of chain restaurants.
Are you speaking of the Potomac Yards area?
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Rosslyn (Arlington), VA
79 posts, read 214,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Not sure why you're been focusing on Crystal City, but there are plenty of other close-in options that would probably be far more suitable for family living. Have you considered Shirlington, or other parts of Arlington? Or Falls Church? Alexandria?
Gotta agree with claremarie here. There are a thousand better options than both Crystal City and Woodbridge. Each of which would meet both your family friendly and convenience criteria much more fully than either of those two. claremarie mentioned some excellent ones like Shirlington, Falls Church and Alexandira -- all of which are much more affordable than Clarendon (or Crystal City for that matter -- althogh Alexandria might be about the same).

A good starting point might be to tell us what sorta housing you need (1BR/2BR/3BR) and what your budget is. That might help narrow down the list of choices for you.
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