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Old 04-19-2013, 01:58 PM
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,165,934 times
Reputation: 3764


I may be missing the obvious here. I don't feel as though the cities in Northern Virginia are cities by the same standard cities in Hampton Roads are. Sure you have taller construction, higher density, and more amenities than you find in Hampton Roads cities, but they feel like suburban areas that have grown to become cities, rather than post-industrial areas, so they lack the grit you find in Hampton Roads.

I'm not referring to cities like Alexandria, but cities like Fredericksburg and Reston, that have everything a person could possibly need, but seem suburban by most standards. I realize that the cities have their own economies and no longer need Washington DC for labor, but some of these areas still feel like bedroom communities to Washington DC. One could make the point about Virginia Beach and Chesapeake with respect to Norfolk and Portsmouth, or Williamsburg and Gloucester to Newport News and Hampton. A point well taken, but I prefer the fact that, despite the lack in density and height, cities here seem to a lot larger, population wise, and in sheer land area, than the cities in NoVa. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on who you ask.

Should I also take into account that a lot of these areas are planned communities, just like Washington DC, and therefore the areas (and the District) have come into their own in a different way than Hampton Roads? It just dawned on me the other day; it is easy to make comparisons when you're actually passing through Northern Virginia to DC, take a look around, see how clean the buildings are, look for the potholes that usually find you in Hampton Roads, see how tall the buildings are, how wide the roads are, etc. etc.

At the same time, I'm not sure if I want all of that because it seems sterile.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:23 PM
Location: Coastal South Carolina
6,188 posts, read 548,098 times
Reputation: 4722
I am ol' school and call hampton roads - Tidewater , Va. I grew up in Tidewater and visited Northern Va a time or two (as little as possible). They are very , very different , like the North vs. the South. The people are very different, the area like you describe is different, one is coastal the other inland cities. The culture is different, the food is different, even the interest in the communities is different. I felt like an Alien in Northern Va. , but some people like it....
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