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Old 05-03-2010, 02:18 AM
 
461 posts, read 819,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexus View Post
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.
I'm glad you understand. It's just built up memories of repeated behavior that come back when I visit certain places. About a week ago, I was in my old haunt closer into town (the suburbs as opposed to the exburbs). When I lived there, I thought how I wanted to stay in the same neighborhood, but I moved farther out due to the cost of housing. It's so much better here.

When I saw all of the traffic and remembered the cramped condo filled with antisocial twerps who would do nasty little things like leave ugly notes on your car and use the HOA to get at people they didn't like, I can't believe that I ever wanted to stay there. I didn't know how bad I'd had it. So many places are just vile, and people are so used to it that they thinks it's how things are supposed to be.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:15 AM
 
461 posts, read 819,925 times
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Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
I live in the Reston CDP of Fairfax County, where a decaying and ugly 1960s-era dump called "Lake Anne" is ironically called a "historic district", so when I can actually visit a place with sidewalks, brick buildings, independent restaurants and merchants, and a sense of soul and charm I naturally gravitate there. Sure, Old Town has a few chains (i.e. Restoration Hardware, Starbuck's, and Chipotle immediately come to mind). However, by and large there are unique haunts there you can't find anywhere else. I love to walk from one end of King Street to the waterfront and back again, meandering up and down the adjacent side streets to see what treasures I may find.

He, he. The drab 1960's rock pile and architecture at Lake Anne is just hideous, and it doesn't improve with time. Yes, I have done the King Street Metro to waterfront walk many times also. I love long walks like that where you pop into places and see what you find. I know some epic walks in DC. Hopefully, I won't have to endure Ax again.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,892,057 times
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I love Alexandria. I've lived in Arlington, Alexandria, and Springfield, and Alexandria was by far my favorite. It's a wonderful mix of convenience (which much of fairfax county lacks if you have to commute to inside the beltway) and open space (which the main part of Arlington was missing--the high rises are a little smothering sometimes).

I love the people, the character, the charm. I love the gazillions of dogs you see walking when you go down there (and canine cruise!!!). I love the water glass player on the steps of the torpedo factory. I love the parks, the accessibility of everything, and the sense of community.

To each and all their own I'd move back to Alexandria immediately if I could afford a house there. (I'd love to buy a home in the area around TC Williams...)
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,893 posts, read 4,190,318 times
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Fairfax Guy, you sound quite young, so it is natural that you would prefer Arlington (though you describe only the best parts) and DC.

I agree about Route 1 being dismal, but most shopping strips are dismal. Old Town and Georgetown are about the only exceptions around here.

And your criticisms of Old Town would apply to much of DC and other urban areas as well, so maybe you are better off out in deep suburban Fairfax.

I wouldn't bother posting this except your thread reeks of "bug-up-yer-a$$" sentiment. It's like if I just got dumped by a girl in Bethesda, I'd momentarily want to rag on Bethesda.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:19 AM
 
461 posts, read 819,925 times
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Originally Posted by Back to NE View Post
I agree about Route 1 being dismal, but most shopping strips are dismal. Old Town and Georgetown are about the only exceptions around here.
Oh I would disagree. I don't know how you count shopping strips if you're including Old Town, but I like how the stretch of Rt. 7 through Falls Church is improving. Tysons Corner, Fairfax County Government Center to Fair Lakes Shopping Center is pretty nice, Great Falls Villiage, McLean is underrated, Merrifield (what an improvement there although I have my criticisms). Even Bailey's Crossroads and Seven Corners aren't so bad in parts considering where they are located. There are plenty more.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,205 posts, read 69,448,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
He, he. The drab 1960's rock pile and architecture at Lake Anne is just hideous, and it doesn't improve with time.
"Rock pile?" That's AWESOME! I'm going to borrow that phrase to call Lake Anne, if you don't mind!
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:04 PM
 
461 posts, read 819,925 times
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Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
"Rock pile?" That's AWESOME! I'm going to borrow that phrase to call Lake Anne, if you don't mind!
Blush. Please do!
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
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.
Indeed, I have gathered history from people I have met in the region, and it's fascinating when you see the pattern of development and its impact on the region. And, one change makes a world of difference, such as the closing of Beacon Hill Airfield, or that Burke Lake Park was originally a contender for Dulles Airport.

And, let's not forget the wholesale dismantling of public transit systems in favor of Interstates in the 1950s. DC used to have electric railways and streetcars to Mount Vernon, Fairfax, and other areas in the region. Now, we're coming back to the same topics when discussing light rails and other similar transportation projects to alleviate traffic problems in first suburbs.

The aging of the first suburbs can lead to decline when better quality/larger/newer housing came online, and I think that's a real problem with portions of the Alexandria area. I find it fascinating to know that Old Town was as dangerous as any seedy waterfront district in a neglected city before the renaissance that has transformed it into the quaint area that it is now. Georgetown, too, had its issues and stumbling blocks, but now the rediscovery of the waterway as offering a pleasant escape from the city, and Georgetown's reemergence as a village in the city, have changed the shape of the area.

I think that Old Town either clicks for a person, or it doesn't -- not much in the way of a middle ground. People I know who choose to live there, love it, but then again, I know people who would never be happy in Old Town, despite liking it for an outing, dining, or shopping experience. Similarly, other areas of Alexandria can be great, or they can have issues. I, for one, would not want to live near the sewage plant or the incineration plant on Eisenhower, no matter how much renewal has taken place to transform the area into a neo-urban paradise, but Belle Haven is not a bad area, all things considered.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:28 AM
 
461 posts, read 819,925 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwguydc View Post
Indeed, I have gathered history from people I have met in the region, and it's fascinating when you see the pattern of development and its impact on the region. And, one change makes a world of difference, such as the closing of Beacon Hill Airfield, or that Burke Lake Park was originally a contender for Dulles Airport.

And, let's not forget the wholesale dismantling of public transit systems in favor of Interstates in the 1950s. DC used to have electric railways and streetcars to Mount Vernon, Fairfax, and other areas in the region. Now, we're coming back to the same topics when discussing light rails and other similar transportation projects to alleviate traffic problems in first suburbs.

The aging of the first suburbs can lead to decline when better quality/larger/newer housing came online, and I think that's a real problem with portions of the Alexandria area. I find it fascinating to know that Old Town was as dangerous as any seedy waterfront district in a neglected city before the renaissance that has transformed it into the quaint area that it is now. Georgetown, too, had its issues and stumbling blocks, but now the rediscovery of the waterway as offering a pleasant escape from the city, and Georgetown's reemergence as a village in the city, have changed the shape of the area.

I think that Old Town either clicks for a person, or it doesn't -- not much in the way of a middle ground. People I know who choose to live there, love it, but then again, I know people who would never be happy in Old Town, despite liking it for an outing, dining, or shopping experience. Similarly, other areas of Alexandria can be great, or they can have issues. I, for one, would not want to live near the sewage plant or the incineration plant on Eisenhower, no matter how much renewal has taken place to transform the area into a neo-urban paradise, but Belle Haven is not a bad area, all things considered.
Yes, it's fascinating how towns will make decisions, the impact of which won't be known for 30 or more years. Alexandria refused to bring in the Metro out of fear of crime, while Arlington spent the equivalent of a year's worth of revenue just to re-route the Orange line away from I-66 and into town. Arlington has always had a great fear that they would just become paved over.

My first knowledge of Alexandria was during a time when gangs held "wildings" and would travel in packs attacking whoever they came across. They also had a Republican congressman around that time. Not the case for either now. Can't imagine a Republican (I think he was even pro-gun) ever being elected there again.

As is implied above, there are personality types, which is good to take into account. People really do fall into categories. I personally have a low tolerance for crime and aggressive behavior. Not getting into a debate about how much crime there is but Old Town would never be the paradise for me that many will pay top dollar to be part of.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:41 PM
 
3 posts, read 6,005 times
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Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
I love Alexandria. I've lived in Arlington, Alexandria, and Springfield, and Alexandria was by far my favorite. It's a wonderful mix of convenience (which much of fairfax county lacks if you have to commute to inside the beltway) and open space (which the main part of Arlington was missing--the high rises are a little smothering sometimes).

I love the people, the character, the charm. I love the gazillions of dogs you see walking when you go down there (and canine cruise!!!). I love the water glass player on the steps of the torpedo factory. I love the parks, the accessibility of everything, and the sense of community.

To each and all their own I'd move back to Alexandria immediately if I could afford a house there. (I'd love to buy a home in the area around TC Williams...)
Where in Alexandria did you live?
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