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Old 08-15-2013, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
6 posts, read 8,879 times
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Yes! We are narrowing it down... as of now I will likely be working in Arlington or McLean, and my wife will likely float to different sites in Fairfax/Loudoun 2-3 times a week. We've got 3 boys (7, 4, and 2!) and are interested in checking out Reston and Vienna, but we're really open. I'd love to take the next several months and really understand and learn the distinctives and nuances of the different areas before we decide where to transition. This forum has been extremely helpful in that regard.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:56 PM
 
325 posts, read 853,858 times
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Slightly more conservative than Philly. You're officially in the South. Yes, even Arlington & Alexandria are kind of conservative, and it gets more so from there.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Ormond Beach, FL
1,582 posts, read 1,680,873 times
Reputation: 1611
Before you pick an area to live in, try the commutes. A short distance on a map can be a long commute, also folks with long commutes tend to give a unrealistically short answer when asked their commute time, it is their selective memory quoting their commute time in August or on Christmas Eve. Ask a person what their longest commute time ever was and you may be shocked. Snowmagedons happen.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:59 PM
 
3,591 posts, read 8,486,047 times
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I am glad to finally be out of NOVA - just because it was not my cup of tea.
People are highly educated, stuck up, too busy for friends, everyone has a masters and look down on those who don't, everyone is from somewhere else - they are mostly in NOVA for career advancement and most of them do not stay that long. If you are career driven and don't care about friends - this is the perfect place for you!
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:43 PM
 
564 posts, read 1,352,760 times
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I grew up in the DC metro region, in Montgomery County, MD and moved to Fairfax County for much of my adult life. My take. People can be very career/goal-centric. Many are highly educated, I think at least half of my high school class went on to obtain masters' degrees. We are generally a future-oriented people, always thinking about where we are going and what we need to do to get there. I do not believe this is primarily the result of cold, soulless evil -- I have discussed this with many of my friends and colleagues and believe this area to be one that attracts people willing to put up with a lot (traffic, long hours, stress) because they are extremely dedicated to their families/loved ones and believe they are doing what is necessary to take care of them, and the opportunities are here. That mentality can be hard to turn off at the backyard barbecue on Saturday afternoon and it can be off-putting to some when people talk about work instantly. But I find once you move past that, most people are regular folks like anywhere else.

There are as many personality types here as there are ethnicities (a LOT). There ARE a lot of great people here but due to the diversity of personalities, it takes more effort for you to find those people that you can connect with easily. I think if you approach this area with an open mind and positive outlook you will find it's got some pretty interesting people.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
9,157 posts, read 13,740,653 times
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Grew up in Philadelphia area and lived in NoVA/MD for 20+ years.

1. Overall, NoVA has a much more international presence and feel than Philly. Met people all the time who were either from a foreign country living in DC for a few years or were Americans who spent many years abroad.

2. DC/NoVA is much more transient than Philly. In addition to foreign countries, you meet people from all over the US who came to DC to work in politics, get a better job, work for the government, etc. Everywhere I go outside DC, I meet people "who did their time in DC." It seems like nearly everyone passes through DC at one point in their lives or another. Comparatively, many people from Philly are born, live, and die in Philly. They are long-termers there.

3. Government and national/worldwide politics has a huge presence. I noticed this more when I was physically working in DC than when I wasn't. But it's hard not to be aware of the influence that DC has on the country and the world.

4. Physically, in NoVA, there is much less of a community feeling than in Philly suburbs. There are few individual towns. Instead the county runs most things and people live in different sections of the county. Schools, local government, libraries, etc. are county run. It gives less of a distinctive feel to each "place" than the various townships of Pennsylvania. Combined with the transient nature of the population and it's just less "homey" than Philly.

5. As mentioned in others' posts, NoVA is more educated than Philly and more white collar. I can think of many whole blue-collar suburbs in Philly that just don't exist in NoVA.

6. Different ethnicities make up NoVA than make up Philly suburbs. There is a large Asian presence and middle-eastern presence, along with a large population of hispanics. Black population is fairly low. Balance is white but not many Italians, Polish, like in Philly area. People, for the most part, in NoVA live all mixed up. Income tends to segregate neighborhoods more than race/ethnicity. In Philly, there is more segregation by race. Many suburbs of Philly are 90+% white. That doesn't exist in NoVA.

7. Practically, NoVA is more crowded, has more traffic, and is more expensive than Philly. It's more anonymous in NoVA. Cashiers don't stop to chit chat nearly as much as they do in Philly.

For the most part, the transition is not a HUGE one. They are both relatively close geographically to each other, and you will meet a lot of Pennsylvanians in NoVA. While NoVA at one time was somewhat southern, it is pretty similar to other mid-atlantic cities in several respects.

Those are my off-the-top-of my-head thoughts.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:57 AM
 
66 posts, read 102,578 times
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I've been living here for about a year and a half. My impression is that in general, Northern Virginians are the kind of people who would drive through a playground if it cut their commutes by ten minutes, but once they put down their phones and get out of their BMWs, they're about the same as people everywhere else.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:29 AM
 
244 posts, read 516,711 times
Reputation: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairfax Mom View Post
I am glad to finally be out of NOVA - just because it was not my cup of tea.
People are highly educated, stuck up, too busy for friends, everyone has a masters and look down on those who don't, everyone is from somewhere else - they are mostly in NOVA for career advancement and most of them do not stay that long. If you are career driven and don't care about friends - this is the perfect place for you!
Well, I would agree with some but not all. The part I disagree with is that NoVA is filled with stable family units who move here to stay long term. It's a great place to raise a family as you can see from the excellent public school systems we enjoy. Also, for a large metropolitan area, there are a *LOT* of very well maintained public parks and facilities. The entire region is generally heavily covered in greenery of a vast variety - neatly kept grass, shrubs, evergreens, and towering timber. I mention this as this is distinctly different from say NY or LA, where you see a lot of concrete and black top and not much vegetation. If activities in and around DC becomes boring to the family, there are mountains to the west and oceans to the east. Last but not least, no matter how depressed you become living here, you can always take a quick look in Baltimore and put everything back in perspective - I kid, I kid.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:36 AM
 
244 posts, read 516,711 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0lf3cbn View Post
I've been living here for about a year and a half. My impression is that in general, Northern Virginians are the kind of people who would drive through a playground if it cut their commutes by ten minutes, but once they put down their phones and get out of their BMWs, they're about the same as people everywhere else.
Ha!

I actually find NoVA and DC traffic to be less aggressive than some of the other large cities. My wife refuse to drive in NYC while she drives fine in NoVA. In NoVA, you can still drive defensively by controlling all three controllable spaces of front, left, and right. In NYC, you pretty much just make sure you don't hit anyone in front, and have faith that other vehicles are not going to plow into you from the sides.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:38 AM
 
59 posts, read 81,532 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by r0lf3cbn View Post
I've been living here for about a year and a half. My impression is that in general, Northern Virginians are the kind of people who would drive through a playground if it cut their commutes by ten minutes, but once they put down their phones and get out of their BMWs, they're about the same as people everywhere else.
hahaha
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