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Old 09-10-2009, 12:12 PM
7 posts, read 22,505 times
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I'm moving to Alexandria in about 15 days (short notice job offer) and I wanted to know what everyone had to say about it. I'm moving to a complex on Eisenhower Ave., and I'm not familiar specifically with Alexandria, as much as I am with Arlington, DC, etc. I chose Alexandria for the price and the location to a metro, specifically the fact that the blue line takes me to work! It was also reasonably priced considering what it offered, which worries me. I know housing in Pittsburgh is very different than DC, but you always get what you pay for!

Any advice is welcome. Where is the best place to eat, shop, etc. Survival without a car? Convenience, and of course, crime rates! do you feel safe walking from the metro at night? (its 0.4 miles away!).

thanks in advance!
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:47 PM
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First, as an Alexandrian, let me say, welcome!

As to your questions - it depends where along Eisenhower you will be. The earlier Eisenhower developments, west of Telegraph Road, are along a stretch with no really near businesses or urban (mixed use zoning) feel. Those are townhouses, and you said complex, so perhaps you'll be east of Telegraph Road, which puts you closer to Old Town, and all the newer development around the Patent Office, called the Carlyle neighborhood. That area is much more a part of the city in terms of convenience, getting to things, etc.

This area is very safe and you needn't worry. I walk in the King Street Metro area at night with no concerns (yes, I'm aware of my surroundings, etc etc as any urban person should be). The area is a relatively recent development for Alexandria. There is a Whole Foods, and some other shops are in the Carlyle area but I'm not over there often and I can't say specifically what. Other grocery stores are a bit farther away, not walking distance. Not so much shopping in the way of national stores - there's a Crate and Barrel. There are several CVS drug stores in town. Library is on Queen and Columbus, near Washington St (and a larger branch east on Duke, about 3 miles outside of Old Town). Also outside Old Town on Duke are Giant grocery store, some chain restaurants, and other shopping. Further up Duke there is Landmark Mall. DASH buses can get you to all these places.

There are some restaurants in that part of Duke and King streets, but more as you go further east on King into the most touristy part of Old Town. Very walkable in Old Town. DASH bus service and also "trolley" service (it's not really a trolley, but a bus that looks like one). Get a bike with baskets and have a great cheap way of getting around, shopping, etc.

If I think of more, I'll add it, or ask if you have more questions.

(now that I think about it, there is also a "complex" of apartments or condos off of Mill Rd, off Eisenhower, which is also outside the main part of town. But still close - just not right in the thick of things)
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:42 PM
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Great area- lots of places to eat/things to do in Old Town and very safe and transit-accessible. I'm guessing since you said "reasonably priced" that you're moving to
Avalon. I knew a couple of people who lived there and it seemed fine. It's cheaper because of it's location- about a half mile from the Metro instead of right on top of it like other apartments in that area.

Survival without a car, though? I wouldn't want to do it. The Eisenhower/Carlyle area has a bunch of restaurants and a movie theater, but it's really lacking in necessities. You've got Whole Foods for groceries about a mile away, but no "normal" grocery store, no drug store, no convenience store (outside of the tiny ones in the apartment complexes that close early), no clothing stores, etc. The bike idea mentioned above is a good one. If you're going to rely on your feet or the bus, it's going to take you hours just to run simple errands.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:19 PM
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My DD (also from Pittsburgh) is in Alexandria, although she's more at the other end. She does have a car but also uses a bike (unlike Pittsburgh, Alexandria is mill-pond flat), so while I can't speak to the specific area you are referring to, I do think a bike is an excellent idea.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:03 PM
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Welcome to Alexandria!

The closer you are to Old Town, you're likely to find more walkable areas and generally interesting things to do. If you're within walking distance of the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station (Yellow Line) you'll have accomplished this. If you're closer to the Van Dorn Metro station (Blue Line) then you'll have a bit of a commute. Both areas are reasonable safe although towards the West End (Van Dorn/Landmark area), there appears to be petty theft issues, per previous posts on this forum.
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:21 PM
Location: Alexandria, VA
15,143 posts, read 27,785,743 times
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Welcome to Alexandria - GO STEELERS
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:23 PM
3,307 posts, read 9,382,105 times
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Oh, wow, I just reread the top post and I totally missed the "Blue Line" part... the OP must be moving close to Van Dorn Metro (probably Reserve at Eisenhower) rather than Eisenhower Ave. Metro.

In that case, disregard my first post entirely and follow Tone509's advice instead. Safe area, but not as safe as the other end of Eisenhower. Don't leave stuff in your car. You're probably fine walking at night to/from Metro since I always see people doing that. It's not at all a walkable area though- close to the Metro but absolutely nothing else. You need a car, or at the very least, a bike, or else you're totally at the mercy of the bus schedules.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:45 PM
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I totally missed that too - and there are residential areas down at Eisenhower and Van Dorn. If that's the case and you're near Van Dorn Metro station, then without a car you'd be taking Metro down to King St Metro in order to do anything in Old Town. Even with a bike, it's kind of far to be riding for everyday needs, and you wouldn't want to ride on Van Dorn itself. Eisenhower has a bike path.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:44 AM
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You guessed it - the reserve - i had read and heard good things about it, and heard it was a pretty safe area so i jumped at it. being from out of town and having little time to figure this out, i pretty much was willing to take anything close a metro and something safe. I don't mind metro-ing it elsewhere to shop, it's pretty much what i do now in pgh. as long as i can find a cvs close to work, and a grocery store (definitely a fan of whole foods) I'd be ok for a while.

Any idea where i should start looking to move to, since it seems like no one here likes the reserve?
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:06 AM
7 posts, read 22,505 times
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oh, and should i have anything to be worried about? I'm checked the crime reports, no assaults (minus the occasional crazy couple) and no murders - mostly theft, and i don't have a car so i should be less worried?
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