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Old 05-01-2010, 10:47 PM
 
461 posts, read 819,857 times
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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.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:51 PM
 
2,385 posts, read 3,946,670 times
Reputation: 2398
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.
Yep, pretty much.
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:35 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA —> North Carolina in October
24,691 posts, read 35,177,625 times
Reputation: 34591
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.
Yep, pretty much summed up my sentiments after nearly 6 years here.

You should mention that the Landmark area is kinda dumpy and has terrible traffic on Duke St. Don't get me started on that weird intersection of King St Braddock Rd and N Quaker Ln.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Sterling, VA
1,059 posts, read 2,692,967 times
Reputation: 615
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.
Another public spirited citizen, looking out for the welfare of others.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:04 AM
 
8,113 posts, read 18,635,000 times
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Hello.

I might agree with the aggressive driving although to me that crosses boundaries with much of Fairfax and Arlington Counties. But having lived on both the Richmond Highway and Old Town areas, I have a different perspective.

It's certainly hard to get away from the red brick theme in Old Town from the newer office buildings to the "neo-historical" townhomes in the NE quadrant. However, more than a few homes are revered enough to have historical markers on them; in fact, not unlike your "typical" suburban HOA, many of them have restrictions on what cosmetic changes can be made. If the residents have a high opinion of themselves, it may be no different than those in McLean, Great Falls, Georgetown or anywhere else in the region where the affluent tend to congregate.

Concerning the Parker-Gray public housing, I do see a certain irony in the units being located near some of the most expensive homes in the city. But to paraphrase an older rap song, "the freaks [must] come out at night" as the daytime is perfectly fine for people to walk through. You'd be surprised what a friendly "hello" might bring. For better or worse, some of those residents are now being relocated in favor of some market-rate townhomes.

Ah, Richmond Highway. I guess if one doesn't find inner-Beltway Annandale's Little River Turnpike/Route 236 very appealing, then you won't like Route 1/Richmond Highway either. I lived in the latter for my first two years here. While the boom created some upscale housing along Huntington Avenue between the Metro and the higher-end apartment buildings that already existed closer to Route 1, the shopping centers and their variety in retail and restaurants further south have actually improved, in my opinion. In terms of shopping choices, the only difference between here and the popular (if somewhat antiseptic IMO) Kingstowne nearby is the departure of the movieplex. All of that said, I would respect the lack of interest in the low-rise apartment complexes along Route 1. And some of the homes west of Route 1 are, to quote a movie this time are "like a box of chocolates". However, east of Route 1 have some of the more interesting and revered neighborhoods like Belle Haven, Fort Hunt, Stratford Landing and Mount Vernon. And yes, they're all part of "unincorporated" Alexandria.

Going back to the city again, many people including myself have touted the merits of other neighborhoods like Del Ray, Rosemont, Fairlington and Cameron Run. Others' concern about places like Arlandria and the mixed bag in the West End may be justified. As the only "hot spot", Old Town is indeed more laid-back and skews towards a somewhat older crowd than in "Orange Line" Arlington and many parts of DC. While the Alexandria Gay & Lesbian Association sponsors the volunteer street cleaning in the "historic" part of King Street, I have yet to see rainbow flags pop up as in Dupont or Logan Circles.

So while I agree with you on some points, I have a different opinion after living and/or working in both city and county areas of Alexandria for about five years. I even think you may have missed out on a few things.

Last edited by FindingZen; 05-02-2010 at 09:45 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:52 AM
 
1,182 posts, read 2,616,405 times
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I'm not a big fan of that area either. Never really understood the appeal.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:18 AM
 
Location: DC
3,301 posts, read 10,818,812 times
Reputation: 1346
I guess I'm crazy or hate myself, because I love Alexandria, especially Old Town. Fairfax is fine, but too suburban for me (yes, I know Alexandria has suburban parts too), and Arlington's ok. There's more nightlife, but I get a sort of "wannabe urban Stepford" vibe there. Sure, the Landmark and Huntington/Richmond Highway areas aren't the best in the area, but they're far from s***holes. And yes, there are big bad low income housing projects in Old Town, oh no! Welcome to the DC area, it's quite common to find such housing near expensive homes and condos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
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...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.
The brick is the architectural style, haven't you been to other historic areas in Virginia? Even outside VA it's not hard to find historic districts that consist of small brick townhomes. Houses were smaller then. You got taxed on the size of your housefront, encouraging narrower houses. People liked brick. It can be expensive to install central air conditioning in older homes. Not to mention dealing with replacing lead pipes, asbestos, and whatever else is going wrong. Actually, it'd probably be hard to find a house that is 50+ years old and doesn't have some of these issues. It's just the way it goes. As for "turning its back on the river," most historic river towns I can think of tend to back up to the river (Fredericksburg and New Hope, PA are the first coming to my mind). Rivers were/are commercial access points, often lined with docks and warehouses. If you wanted to face the river, you moved out of town for more space. I think Alexandria does a decent job with the waterfront. There's a park, the trail going down the Parkway, and the dock by the Torpedo Factory. I don't really think they need an Inner Harbor like Baltimore. If you look around the Potomac, there's not a lot going on right along the river, so I don't think it's necessarily fair to single out Alexandria for this. What does Arlington have riverside besides highways and a cemetery?
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:42 AM
 
21 posts, read 148,477 times
Reputation: 18
We were just out in NoVA shopping for a neighborhood. Our focus seems to have narrowed to Old Town and Clarendon. Everyone raved to us about how great Clarendon was but there seemed to be a small handful of restaurants/bars And many of them along with shopping were corporate chains. I'll admit we explored mainly Wilson Blvd on foot, but I feel like we missed something about the area. Any suggestions on where to look in Arlington?
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA —> North Carolina in October
24,691 posts, read 35,177,625 times
Reputation: 34591
Quote:
Originally Posted by PHX2DCA View Post
We were just out in NoVA shopping for a neighborhood. Our focus seems to have narrowed to Old Town and Clarendon. Everyone raved to us about how great Clarendon was but there seemed to be a small handful of restaurants/bars And many of them along with shopping were corporate chains. I'll admit we explored mainly Wilson Blvd on foot, but I feel like we missed something about the area. Any suggestions on where to look in Arlington?
Ballston and Shirlington are good options in Arlington. If you like non-chains you'll love Old Town.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:40 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 11,274,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairfaxGuy73 View Post
Just an FYI for those considering where to move...

"Just an FYI..."???

"Information" generally connotes FACTS, not opinions. So YOU don't like Old Town...who cares?

So any newcomer that wants to be close to DC, and can afford it...should have Old Town on their list of places to check out. Their opinion of the place may be completely different...
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