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Old 01-20-2010, 05:39 PM
 
Location: St Pete
514 posts, read 848,085 times
Reputation: 625

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I found out I was moving up here about 8 weeks ago. I got a job offer for a gov't job back in Nov and had to wait till the background check was done. Being a computer geek, I spent a few hundred hours researching every single town, neighborhood, apt complex in fairfax and loundon counties. I also read dozens of threads on this board. It's funny how after all the research etc, nothing that I thought about the area is actually true. My job is in Herndon so common sense is that I would live near there or else I would be stuck in traffic hell. Well, I have a friend with a spare room who lives in Lorton so I figured I would crash there for a few days then rent a room near the office. I am happy to report that even during rush hour, the drive is only 45 minutes door to door even when leaving the office at 4:30. This means I can stay in Lorton for a while and save some money. While the distance is almost 30 miles, the Fairfax parkway hums along at 60 mph the whole way. That is less time than my normal 16 mile commute in Atlanta. I actually made it to 2 different offices without a GPS and only got lost once. Even more suprising is that the person I asked for directions was actually nice and polite. I also expected frigid cold up here in the north. It was actually almost 60 outside. I am now pissed that I left my Harley in Ga. (ok, I am fully aware that the temp the past few days was above normal and I soon will start freezing). I do like that there a independant pizza places and sub shops on almost every corner. I also like the fact that there are alot of places to eat and drink coffee walking distance from the house or the office. (my first pizza up here was so / so. Not really any better than Ga pizza but I do like the fact that when you order meatballs, they put real meetballs on it, not ground beef! I am kinda dissapointed about the lack of biker bars though!! The one thing unnerves me about this area is the amount of congestion. It seems like they try to cram an many people as possible into the smallest area. The houses a 4 feet apart from each other and there are townhouses out the ying yang!! As far a cost of living goes, So far lunch and dinner prices were about what I would have paid in Ga. Gas and smokes are also about the same. I will find out about car taxes in the near future. Tomorrow I will try to get a Va. drivers license. It can't be any worse than in Ga where the typical wait time is 1-3 hours. Luckily I will get to go on a week day. After I get a paycheck, I will then attempt to register my car here. I will post an update about the Woodbridge DMV tomorrow.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Loudoun County, VA
1,148 posts, read 3,461,752 times
Reputation: 408
Welcome!! I hope you like it here. But..

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterjohn View Post
While the distance is almost 30 miles, the Fairfax parkway hums along at 60 mph the whole way.
watch out!! Lots of police on Fairfax County Parkway.. They like to hang out under the overpasses etc. with their speed guns. I drive on it four days a week and on most days see people pulled over for speeding. It is too easy to drive on that road..
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,814,058 times
Reputation: 316
Interesting observations! It's funny you say that you enjoy the large number of independent businesses...one of the frequent complaints we hear on this board is that Northern Virginia is all about chain restaurants. I guess that not true compared to Atlanta, anyway?

I think you have an advantage coming here from Atlanta, because you think a 45 commute is not only reasonable, but good It is a perfectly good commute for an area that is, like you say, very congested. But so many people move here wanting a commute that is 30 minutes or less, judging by the requests that come through this forum, and then they're very disappointed when they get here because almost nobody has a commute that short. Except the lucky folks who telecommute!
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:27 PM
 
5,350 posts, read 6,440,600 times
Reputation: 2709
Thanks for your perspective, it's interesting.

But I wouldn't like a 45 minute commute (and I've had that before).
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:56 PM
 
9,871 posts, read 8,365,309 times
Reputation: 8536
When they built out the office parks in Reston/Herndon around the Toll Road, they didn't build up a lot of restaurants and shops so a lot of the eateries sprung up in Herndon.

Herndon Map of Restaurants
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,033 posts, read 3,714,967 times
Reputation: 1177
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterjohn View Post
. I do like that there a independant pizza places and sub shops on almost every corner. I also like the fact that there are alot of places to eat and drink coffee walking distance from the house or the office. (my first pizza up here was so / so. Not really any better than Ga pizza but I do like the fact that when you order meatballs, they put real meetballs on it, not ground beef!
I miss Mellow Mushroom Pizza from Atlanta!!!!!
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:05 PM
 
1,281 posts, read 2,240,129 times
Reputation: 1222
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterjohn View Post
I found out I was moving up here about 8 weeks ago. I got a job offer for a gov't job back in Nov and had to wait till the background check was done. Being a computer geek, I spent a few hundred hours researching every single town, neighborhood, apt complex in fairfax and loundon counties. I also read dozens of threads on this board. It's funny how after all the research etc, nothing that I thought about the area is actually true. My job is in Herndon so common sense is that I would live near there or else I would be stuck in traffic hell. Well, I have a friend with a spare room who lives in Lorton so I figured I would crash there for a few days then rent a room near the office. I am happy to report that even during rush hour, the drive is only 45 minutes door to door even when leaving the office at 4:30. This means I can stay in Lorton for a while and save some money. While the distance is almost 30 miles, the Fairfax parkway hums along at 60 mph the whole way. That is less time than my normal 16 mile commute in Atlanta. I actually made it to 2 different offices without a GPS and only got lost once. Even more suprising is that the person I asked for directions was actually nice and polite. I also expected frigid cold up here in the north. It was actually almost 60 outside. I am now pissed that I left my Harley in Ga. (ok, I am fully aware that the temp the past few days was above normal and I soon will start freezing). I do like that there a independant pizza places and sub shops on almost every corner. I also like the fact that there are alot of places to eat and drink coffee walking distance from the house or the office. (my first pizza up here was so / so. Not really any better than Ga pizza but I do like the fact that when you order meatballs, they put real meetballs on it, not ground beef! I am kinda dissapointed about the lack of biker bars though!! The one thing unnerves me about this area is the amount of congestion. It seems like they try to cram an many people as possible into the smallest area. The houses a 4 feet apart from each other and there are townhouses out the ying yang!! As far a cost of living goes, So far lunch and dinner prices were about what I would have paid in Ga. Gas and smokes are also about the same. I will find out about car taxes in the near future. Tomorrow I will try to get a Va. drivers license. It can't be any worse than in Ga where the typical wait time is 1-3 hours. Luckily I will get to go on a week day. After I get a paycheck, I will then attempt to register my car here. I will post an update about the Woodbridge DMV tomorrow.
I haven't been to these places in a while, but the Sunset Grill on Columbia Pike in Annandale and John's Place on Lee Highway in Fairfax were/are bike-friendly. Check them out. I'm sure the local Harley dealers would know.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 26,587,377 times
Reputation: 19055
Welcome to northern Virginia. I think there are more biker bars as you head west toward the mountains.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:30 AM
 
1,182 posts, read 2,632,655 times
Reputation: 1067
Welcome to NOVA! Moving from a city like Atlanta to NOVA isn't as much of a shock as it is for folks moving here from less congested places. We lived in Atlanta for four years. Traffic is every bit as bad, if not worse down there. And Atlanta drivers are some of the worst in the country. NOVA has a lot of traffic and people tend to drive too fast and sometimes very aggressively. But for the most part, they are good drivers.

You've only been here a couple of days. In time you'll likely experience all the negative things you've read. We've lived all over the world. I've never lived anywhere perfect. You'll meet the stereotypical stressed out, frantic, self-absorbed folks as well as the down to earth, caring, kind people. Remember, very few people in this area are actually from Northern Virginia.

The weather...The snow you see piled up on the side of the roads is left over from the December 20th storm. Almost a month ago! The weather will get cold again. The good thing about Northern Virginia is that the winters are fairly short. Enjoy the relatively warm weather while you can.

I'm not going to say one word about the DMV. Talking about it sends my blood pressure through the roof. Actually, I will say this...I hope your experience at the DMV is better than mine.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:35 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 26,587,377 times
Reputation: 19055
Quote:
Originally Posted by mississippimagnolia View Post

I'm not going to say one word about the DMV. Talking about it sends my blood pressure through the roof. Actually, I will say this...I hope your experience at the DMV is better than mine.

LOL, yes hang in there today. Once you get the DMV stuff squared away, treat yourself to something nice (and remind yourself that once DMV is done the worst is behind you).
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