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Old 05-02-2010, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,203 posts, read 69,442,249 times
Reputation: 16832

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
I've been to Alexandria hundreds of times. I know Del Ray. No, I don't know every neighborhood off of Richmond Hwy. etc. I've been to Arlington even more. Bethesda and DC have more restaurants esp in a small area. Please don't make up what you think I know or don't know.
Actually, in your defense, I'd like for Stephen81 to back up his claim that there are more restaurants per capita in Arlington County than in Fairfax County. Let's not forget that there are dozens of restaurants each in just a few small pockets here, such as Tysons Corner, Reston Town Center/Spectrum Center, and Fair Lakes/Fair Oaks. I, too, always thought Arlington was a bit (not terribly) underserved in the restaurant category, especially Rosslyn.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Dudes in brown flip-flops
660 posts, read 1,542,416 times
Reputation: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
Actually, in your defense, I'd like for Stephen81 to back up his claim that there are more restaurants per capita in Arlington County than in Fairfax County. Let's not forget that there are dozens of restaurants each in just a few small pockets here, such as Tysons Corner, Reston Town Center/Spectrum Center, and Fair Lakes/Fair Oaks. I, too, always thought Arlington was a bit (not terribly) underserved in the restaurant category, especially Rosslyn.
Rosslyn is one neighborhood in Arlington, and is primarily a commercial center. It's the equivalent of looking at Sunrise Valley and Sunset Hills and asking where the restaurants are in Fairfax County.

http://www.arlingtonva.us/Department.../file69129.pdf states that there are 588 restaurants in Arlington (no idea how restaurant is defined). That's about one restaurant for every 340 Arlingtonians. Fairfax County would need over 3,000 restaurants to have the same number per capita. My internet skills were not good enough to find the total number of restaurants in Fairfax County, admittedly. If you looked at non-chain restaurants per capita, though, there's no way that Fairfax comes out ahead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
I've been to Alexandria hundreds of times. I know Del Ray. No, I don't know every neighborhood off of Richmond Hwy. etc. I've been to Arlington even more. Bethesda and DC have more restaurants esp in a small area. Please don't make up what you think I know or don't know.
If you knew of Del Ray, then why would you say "Alexandria stinks" and then focus entirely on Old Town and the Fairfax County section of Alexandria? Your original post neglected to mention any differences between the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria portions of Fairfax County, which is HUGE to any newcomer (your intended audience), and many of your comments were specific to only one of those jurisdictions. If you really want to help people, you can't use a bunch of generalities, which generally just come across as antagonistic.

I'm also trying to figure out what a historic southeastern city would look like if not red-brick. Alexandria looks a lot like the old parts of Georgetown, Richmond, and Charleston - brick, and some brightly colored old wooden rowhouses. It's not like this area had ready access to stone or stucco in 1780.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,203 posts, read 69,442,249 times
Reputation: 16832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen 81 View Post
If you looked at non-chain restaurants per capita, though, there's no way that Fairfax comes out ahead.
I won't at all dispute this since probably 50% (if not greater) of the restaurants in Fairfax County are chains. I'll throw Arlington the bone on this one. However, I DO think it is possible there are over 3,000 restaurants in Fairfax County. Don't triple-dog-dare me because I might just set out on a photo tour to snap a photo of each and every one!
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Dudes in brown flip-flops
660 posts, read 1,542,416 times
Reputation: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
I won't at all dispute this since probably 50% (if not greater) of the restaurants in Fairfax County are chains. I'll throw Arlington the bone on this one. However, I DO think it is possible there are over 3,000 restaurants in Fairfax County. Don't triple-dog-dare me because I might just set out on a photo tour to snap a photo of each and every one!
Only if you take photos of every Starbucks, too!
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:17 PM
 
461 posts, read 819,857 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen 81 View Post
My internet skills were not good enough to find the total number of restaurants in Fairfax County, admittedly.
Moderator cut: Address the issues, not another poster, please

The fact is that I captured the spirit of Alexandria, and many agree. I illustrated my point with examples. It was not a college survey class.

I'll just say again that while I love Arlington, I do sympathize with the poster who wondered what the big deal was when she walked down Wilson Blvd. I'll just repeat that it has enough restaurants and bars but is no Madison Square Garden. What makes Arlington great is are the residents who live there who give it it's vitality. Many work in DC and often spend their evening time there as well. Another thing about Arlington is that it is very easy to Metro into DC for restaurants cultural activities. You can even walk across the Key bridge to Georgetown.

Moderator cut: Argumentative

Last edited by bmwguydc; 05-02-2010 at 07:36 PM..
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
2,031 posts, read 6,305,705 times
Reputation: 908
I personally like Old Town Alexandria. I especially like the gas light lampposts, the waterfront with the beautiful views of the Washington Monument, etc and the dinner boats lit up at night. Gadsbys Tavern is an interesting stop also. Although I would never drive into Alexandria and look for a place to park I would definately get a Hotel room and walk around(if I had time). I agee Richmond Highway is quite depressing but if you are driving up from the South Old Town Alexandria is definately an improvement. It has improved over the years!
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:47 PM
 
461 posts, read 819,857 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by roanoker 4 View Post
I agee Richmond Highway is quite depressing but if you are driving up from the South Old Town Alexandria is definately an improvement. It has improved over the years!
Yes, I have heard that Alexandria just used to be a bad run down area. I'll definitely give it improvement points.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,897 posts, read 27,337,255 times
Reputation: 7041
Route 1 was formed by a confluence of suburban sprawl run amuk, combined with development of new housing with the opening of the Beltway and 395. That led to people moving out of the area, those who were not already on the GW Parkway/Fort Hunt corridor, resulting in a pattern of decay that set in as the housing units and shopping centers aged.

Recently, things have begun to improve with the upgraded shopping centers, new hotels, and plans for continued improvements. The REX bus also helped to mitigate some of the traffic on Route 1, but from Old Town the road is not aesthetically pleasing at all.

I read something once where an urban planner was discussing roads like that and stated something to the effect that driving on such roadways made for a measurably more stressful commute. The roadway issues need to be addressed, since the sign pollution creates too artifical a landscape, especially headed down the hill from Beacon Hill. Add to that the congestion, and it makes for an unpleasant commute/living environment. If this were addressed, with a busway or light rail connecting Huntington to Fort Belvoir, that would help the rebounding in this area of the county. That would be long-term plan, but right now the improvements are a very good step for the area.

Beacon Hill used to have an airfield, but it was closed down to make room for housing in the 1950s. Here's a link to an interesting site about forgotten airfields: Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Virginia: Southeastern Fairfax County

Huntley Meadows also had land cleared for an airfield, but use has never been substantiated. There's information that as well, on the above link under Alexandria Airport/Hybla Valley.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:40 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
14,323 posts, read 20,141,473 times
Reputation: 18436
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
Just an FYI for those considering where to move. What passes for historic in Ax is just ubiquitous red brick, mold spores, and 550 sq foot flats with lead pipes and rusty window unit air conditioners. In Old Town, snooty residents fortunate enough to own 3 sq ft of earth can be seen proudly watering their impatiens in the dank shadows of other unimpressive housing units. HUD projects abound with drug freaks just blocks from expensive housing. The town turns its back on the beautiful Potomac river, which can only be seen if you're either on a dock on in a single small park.

South of Old Town is the nasty Richmond Highway Corridor, which is a stop light garden abundant with dying strip malls. To the north and west, new overpriced townhouse gardens sprang up during The Boom, which are walkable if you enjoy sidewalks that lead 100 feet to nothing other than other townhouses with people as socially inept as you.

I almost forgot the worst part. Folks commute there from very high-speed roads, and they have the impression that they should be able to drive fast through town where people walk. It's one of the most aggressive driving areas in the region, and especially victimizes pedestrians. The police are as bad as it gets too, if you're a law abiding citizen.

Just being down there depresses me, which I why I'm posting to spare some of you. If you're single, move to Arlington. If you're gay, move to DC. If you're married, look into the NOVA exburbs. If you hate yourself, well, you know where to go.
Wow. I recognize the severe level of frustration that you so effectively display here and I can relate to the sentiment. Brings back memories of why I left the area to move to northern CA almost 21 years ago. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:06 AM
 
461 posts, read 819,857 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwguydc View Post
Route 1 was formed by a confluence of suburban sprawl run amuk, combined with development of new housing with the opening of the Beltway and 395. That led to people moving out of the area, those who were not already on the GW Parkway/Fort Hunt corridor, resulting in a pattern of decay that set in as the housing units and shopping centers aged.

Recently, things have begun to improve with the upgraded shopping centers, new hotels, and plans for continued improvements. The REX bus also helped to mitigate some of the traffic on Route 1, but from Old Town the road is not aesthetically pleasing at all.

I read something once where an urban planner was discussing roads like that and stated something to the effect that driving on such roadways made for a measurably more stressful commute. The roadway issues need to be addressed, since the sign pollution creates too artifical a landscape, especially headed down the hill from Beacon Hill. Add to that the congestion, and it makes for an unpleasant commute/living environment. If this were addressed, with a busway or light rail connecting Huntington to Fort Belvoir, that would help the rebounding in this area of the county. That would be long-term plan, but right now the improvements are a very good step for the area.

Beacon Hill used to have an airfield, but it was closed down to make room for housing in the 1950s. Here's a link to an interesting site about forgotten airfields: Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Virginia: Southeastern Fairfax County

Huntley Meadows also had land cleared for an airfield, but use has never been substantiated. There's information that as well, on the above link under Alexandria Airport/Hybla Valley.
Thanks for the explanation. I know that a few are out there here and there, but I wish that histories of communities like the one above were more available.

I do believe that the driving situation in Alexandria (or anywhere) does spill over into to overall attitude of communities.
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