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Public Spaces

Topic of the week: Where we live

Our contributors all roughly share similar views on ways the city could be built and operate, yet we all chose to live in different places across the region. So we asked them, "where do you live, and why did you choose to live there?" Here are some highlights:

Logan Circle. Photo by thisisbossi on Flickr.

Andrew Bossi, Logan Circle: When I moved here from Laurel in 2010, I saved money on taxes, utilities, and transportation—easily making up for the increase in rent. I live by Logan Circle, a 10-15 minute stroll from every Metro Line, Chinatown, and the 9th, 14th, and U Street corridors, and there are buses that fill in the subway's gaps—getting me to Georgetown, Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan. Still need to find a decent way to Capitol Hill... but I often just go by foot; even that is an easy walk.

My 50-minute commute to work consists half walking, half rail—and I love it. My commute is my exercise. In my spare time I find a delight to going on a stroll that takes me past major world landmarks, always with my camera in hand. Lastly, I'm surrounded by four grocery stores (so many of my friends aren't even near one) and enjoy a quiet neighborhood with a great view of the Washington Monument and National Cathedral from my roof. I just wish I could actually afford to own a place in my neighborhood.

Veronica Davis, Fairfax Village: In 2005, I was living with my dad in Potomac. I was perfectly happy being a freeloader, but the commute to L'Enfant Plaza was killing my time and my wallet. It was time to start looking for my own place. (The real reason I was motivated to move: my dad was selling the house). I wanted to live in a condo and I didn't want to drive for any portion of my work trip. The minute I saw Fairfax Village I knew this was the place for me. The selling points were:

  1. 1 seat bus ride to L'Enfant Plaza for $2.50 round trip (2005 bus fares)
  2. The crime was relatively low, which was important as a single woman in my mid-20s.
  3. Older neighbors who knew everyone and everything in the neighborhood gave my mom comfort that I'd have people checking in on me.
  4. A suburban feel without being in the suburbs. It's a quiet neighborhood with manicured lawns and plush trees.
  5. Skyland Town Center was "coming", promising new amenities less than a mile from my condo.

Mount Rainier. Photo by Mr. T in DC on Flickr.

Brent Bolin, Mt. Rainier: I moved here in 2002 and ended up in Maryland because I couldn't afford DC and the MD politics were a good fit. We looked in a lot of different places before we discovered Mount Rainier and fell in love with the sense of community and the overall vibe. A historic streetcar suburb right on the DC border, the city has great fabric and great architecture that promotes front porch culture and close ties with neighbors.

I live a block from Glut Co-op, a funky progressive food store that's the heart of our neighborhood and a good lens on the diverse, progressive, working class values that have defined the community. We have incredible bus service from our town center down Rhode Island Ave in addition to the West Hyattsville Metro station on the north side of town. We are very near the Anacostia Tributary Trail network to get out by bike or on foot to great park amenities.

Topher Mathews, Georgetown: I moved to Georgetown from Arlington in 2003 because my roommate and I found a ridiculously cheap two bedroom apartment overlooking Montrose Park on R St. The unique juxtaposition of the bucolic charm of the park with the dense neighborhood was enough for us to break our lease on a drab garden apartment in Courthouse. I've stayed and started a family here because I love the history, the dense walkability, the parks, and of course the close proximity of over 500 shops and restaurants.

I also love that I can quickly get to all the other great central DC neighborhoods with a short bus or bike ride. I look forward to raising my daughter in such a beautiful and multifaceted neighborhood, but with a mind towards emphasizing to her the need to foster the literal and figurative connections between Georgetown and the city it belongs to.

Falls Church. Photo by Thomas Cizauskas on Flickr.

Canaan Merchant, Falls Church: I live in downtown Falls Church. I moved there in August where I traded proximity to the metro in Arlington for a little more space in my apartment but without sacrificing overall walkability. Regardless, I'm well within a 1/2 mile of a hardware store, music shop, bowling alley, dry cleaner, barber, several restaurants, and even a major music venue.

Bus service is pretty frequent on routes 7 and 29 which allows me to function very well without a car of my own. And I can still walk to East Falls Church Metro if I need to. Falls Church is a great example of how being a suburb doesn't automatically mean one must have a car to get around and how good principles of urban development can work at several different levels of density.

Dan Reed, Silver Spring: When I finished graduate school in Philadelphia, I was unemployed and moved back in with my parents in Silver Spring. I knew that whenever I moved out, I wanted to have what I had in West Philly: a grocery store, coffeeshop, and bar within walking distance, the ability to get to work without driving, saving my time in the car for fun trips; and chill, friendly neighbors with a strong sense of community. And I wanted to live in Montgomery County, where I'd already gotten my hands dirty in blogging and activism for several years.

It wasn't easy, but I found it all one mile from downtown Silver Spring, and I plan to stick around, if only to give my DC friends an excuse to visit and learn that yes, there is life beyond Eastern Avenue, and better food too.

Aimee Custis, Dupont Circle: In the 6 years I've lived in the District, I've lived in 3 separate neighborhoods, but my current neighborhood, Dupont Circle, is my favorite. I love being in the middle of things in central DC—going out for froyo or picking up a prescription at midnight on a weekday.

In Dupont I've always felt completely safe, even living alone as a 20-something single woman and walking home from a service industry job late at night. Also, it's surprisingly (to me) affordable and a great value for what I do pay. In my price range, with the amenities I want, I've been able to find lots of choices in Dupont, when I've been priced out elsewhere.

David Versel, Springfield: When I returned to the DC area 2011 after 10 years away, I was met with sticker shock when I tried to find a 3-4 bedroom home for my family near my job at the time in the Fort Belvoir area. We ended up renting a townhouse in Springfield; later, we bought a 47-year old fixer-upper and got to work.

As far as suburbs go, you could do a lot worse. I am a short drive from the Franconia-Springfield Metro, and can walk or bike to several Metrobus and Fairfax Connector lines. I have also found this area to be very diverse and interesting in terms of the people and the ethnic dining options, and my neighborhood is also one of those rare places where kids still play outside with only occasional glances from parents. And the schools really are great in Fairfax County.

All that said, I am still largely car-dependent, and no matter how I get to my current job in Arlington, it still takes an hour each way. When my youngest kid finishes high school, my wife and I will be returning to the city.

These are just a few of the responses we got. There were so many, we couldn't fit them all in one post, but we could fit them on a map.

Click for interactive map.

What about you? Where do you live and why?

Steven Yates grew up in Indiana before moving to DC in 2002 to attend college at American University. He currently lives in Southwest DC.  
Aimee Custis is a wonk, communicator, and professional advocate at the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Her writing represents her own views, though they're often aligned with her employer's. Weekends, you'll find Aimee at home in Dupont Circle or practicing her other love, wedding photography


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I'm not sure all of the markers are accurate. Veronica Davis is still showing in DC.

by selxic on Jan 29, 2014 10:54 am • linkreport

Dang, David Versel takes the prize as the furthest south AND west (beating me).

by Canaan on Jan 29, 2014 11:01 am • linkreport

You just made me look at the map again, Canaan. The thought of Springfield being a southern extreme seems crazy, but as a western extreme is unbelievable.

by selxic on Jan 29, 2014 11:06 am • linkreport

This is not an exhaustive list. The map does not include all the contributors, just the ones who responded to the Topic of the Week.

by Matt Johnson on Jan 29, 2014 11:09 am • linkreport

Glad to see Mount Rainier made the list. That's home for me too! Totally underrated area in the region with some good things happening.

by Maurice on Jan 29, 2014 11:12 am • linkreport

Husband and I recently bought a house near the Wheaton Metro. We really wanted to buy in DC, but single family homes were out of our budget, as were most 2 bedroom condos when you tacked on the often outrageous condo fees. We both have good careers and make decent money, and it was pretty disappointing to realize that we couldn't really afford anything in the District. However, we really like our townhouse in Wheaton and are still able to walk to the Metro, Safeway, restaurants, etc, and so we're mostly happy with our decision.

by Rebecca on Jan 29, 2014 11:13 am • linkreport

selxic: Veronica's point is showing in DC because that's where she lives. Fairfax Village ≠ Fairfax County.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 29, 2014 11:17 am • linkreport

I misread Fairfax Village as Fairfax, VA.

by selxic on Jan 29, 2014 11:19 am • linkreport

I need to refresh more often.

by selxic on Jan 29, 2014 11:19 am • linkreport

"We all chose to live in different places . . . "

Umm, not Dan Malouff and Aimee Custis.

by Crickey7 on Jan 29, 2014 11:23 am • linkreport


My sense is that one of the reasons why SFHs in the 'nice' parts of DC have been so exorbitant is because the people buying them have generally either been older (many years of high earnings saved up) or sufficiently wealthy to plunk down five-figures per year per child on DC area private schools. "good careers and decent money" can't compete with "Principal at Booz Allen and GS-15" or "Partner at Arnold & Porter and executive at nonprofit."

by Dizzy on Jan 29, 2014 11:24 am • linkreport

No, that's still true. Dan and Aimee don't live together. Or even in the same building. Or on the same block. Just the same neighborhood.

Different building types, though.

by Matt Johnson on Jan 29, 2014 11:27 am • linkreport

Notably, no Arlingtonians. Maybe the Arlington Way takes so much time & energy that none of us have time to write?

by CVF on Jan 29, 2014 11:30 am • linkreport

@Dizzy: The problem is that supply of SFHs in desired areas is pretty much fixed, except for some expansion of desired areas. Given that there are far more people who would like a SFH in such an area than available houses, those with the most money bid up the prices to high levels.

Another issue is that there aren't really many non-SFHs appropriate for families around here. I would have loved to have found a 3BR condo/townhouse somewhere metro-accessible, but due to the difficulty in finding one of those my wife and I instead had to go the SFH route. We ended up in downtown Silver Spring for the same reasons Rebecca cited, and even then we had to buy a place that needed a significant amount of work.

by Gray on Jan 29, 2014 11:31 am • linkreport


That's because Fairfax Village is in DC.

by Sean on Jan 29, 2014 11:44 am • linkreport

Canaan Merchant: Regardless, I'm well within a 1/2 mile of a hardware store, music shop, bowling alley, dry cleaner, barber, several restaurants, and even a major music venue.

Assuming the music shop you're referring to is the awesome and independent Action Music (it's no Chuck Levin's but a lot cooler than Guitar Center), then you should also add that you're walkable to a full service grocery store, 24 hour CVS, and the W&OD bike trail that gives you access to the R-B Corridor and DC.

by Falls Church on Jan 29, 2014 11:48 am • linkreport

I bought into my co-op in Adams Morgan in 1999. Despite being over a 10 minute walk from Metro, I enjoy the 42 and circulator, access to bikeshare and a super high Walk Score. Neighborhood amenities include a Yes! Natural Foods, Safeway, local coffee shops and all the residual week-night benefits that a weekend nightlife district provides (dive bars, good restaurants, wide sidewalks). My only qualms are trying to find a bus on a Sunday (made easier now with Nextbus) and having to bike up the hill from downtown all the time. (First world problems!)

by recyclist on Jan 29, 2014 11:52 am • linkreport

Lorton. Small townhouse in suburban hell. Neighborhood is ok though. Uneventful and anonymous. South Run Stream Valley Park is a overlooked little gem as are the connections to the CCT, Lake Mercer and Burke Lake. It ain't no Skyline drive, but it's a 5 minute walk to get there. Wife bought the place before I moved in and is convenient to her work location. Not mine. Will move as soon as the house is not underwater. Prices are slowly recovering from the collapse.

by Jasper on Jan 29, 2014 11:52 am • linkreport

I should have replied to the original request. I live on Capitol Hill, just south of Lincoln Park. I moved to Cap Hill when it was still a little sketchy, but my friend and I needed a place on the Blue or Orange line with easy access to the BW Parkway - so Capitol Hill fit. It had a good enough night life in walking distance, but was quiet and neighborhoody and we didn't have to live in an apartment. My landlord never realized how little he was charging us so I stayed while nearly a dozen other roommates came and went (we would rent the small third room to summer interns every year, and make enough to almost cover the whole rent for the summer). When my wife and I got married, we moved a few blocks away because we like the area and it was halfway between our work locations.

by David C on Jan 29, 2014 11:55 am • linkreport

It's bizarre what I'm able to walk to reasonably well. Comic book shop and a book store that specializes in sci-fi/fantasy. And a bike shop. I could go on...

I'm closer to the intersection of 29/7. The only real gap is a mainstream grocery store that's within easy walking distance (Giant is about 1 1/2 miles or so which would make for a long walk). I'm very close to Halal Mart but its difficult sometimes if I'm looking for a specific item (e.g. they didn't have mozarella cheese when I needed it, nor did the russian food store). But then they have a bin of ready made samosas which is something every grocery store should have.

But soon they'll be building a harris teeter where the old post office/anthony's is.

by Canaan on Jan 29, 2014 11:59 am • linkreport

@canaan: yeah, David just barely beat me out for furthest south, though I definitely have that beat now. :o)

by Froggie on Jan 29, 2014 12:23 pm • linkreport

@Canaan, I'm not sure I should be proud of this honor or not.

Seriously, though, the fact that I am the outlier says a lot about the GGW constituency relative to the Washington metro area. While most of us conceive of "Greater Washington" as DC, Arlington, Alexandria, and a few select parts of MoCo, PG, and Fairfax--basically the footprint of Metro--the actual OMB definition of the "Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metropolitan Statistical Area" includes 24 jurisdictions, spanning from the Pennsylvania border to just north of Richmond, and from Chesapeake Bay to the Shenandoah Valley.

While many of us may ignore and/or disparage those who live outside of the region's core, the fact remains that only 17 percent (1 million out of 5.8 million people) of the MSA's residents live in DC, Arlington or Alexandria. That doesn't even include another 300,000 people who work in the metro area live beyond its borders.

There is no question that the urban core of the region is resurgent and will continue to gain importance over the next generation. However, as long as the majority of region's residents--and voters--live in the hinterlands, it will continue to be an uphill battle to secure the infrastructure investments and policy changes that will be needed to reshape the region in a denser and more urban manner.

Is there anyone out there who lives in Frederick? Dale City? Sterling? I'd love to get your perspectives on how things are (or are not) changing in your backyards.

by David Versel on Jan 29, 2014 12:24 pm • linkreport

Beautiful downtown Silver Spring! My wife and I used to live in Logan Circle, but then things changed for the better, and we had to move out. I look at Silver Spring as the next DC neighborhood out, but with good public schools. We miss the historic character of Logan Circle but love the diversity and vitality of Silver Spring.

There was an interesting article related in the NYT about technologies effect on communities, but it had some things that are valid for people's attraction to density, at whatever level.

"For example, he discovered that city people don’t actually like wide-open, uncluttered spaces. Despite the Modernist assumption that what harried urban people need are oases of nature in the city, if you bother to watch people, you see that they tend to prefer narrow streets, hustle and bustle, crowdedness."

by Thayer-D on Jan 29, 2014 12:27 pm • linkreport

River Terrace. Small, quiet community of affordable (3 bedroom homes under $300K in DC!) homes with frequent bus service to Minnesota Ave (1 mile) and a CaBi station. The streetcar will start up soon, a quick walk to the end of the line, and excited about future expansion down Benning Road. River Terrace Park along the Anacostia is beautiful.

I get a lot of "Where is River Terrace?" and then "EAST OF THE RIVER?!" While its not perfect, it's affordable, it's close to the things I do, it has enough transit to make car-lite feasible, and it's nice to have a little patch of grass so we can grill.

by Birdie on Jan 29, 2014 12:35 pm • linkreport

For the record, I live immediately adjacent to Howard Law. Beautiful views of Soapstone Valley and Rock Creek parks from the balcony; <5 minute walk to Metro, almost all of which can be done underground (although the closing of the East entrance means that I now have to cross Connecticut); and an enjoyable walk down to Cleveland Park and the Zoo (FONZ represent!). Walk to Giant, CVS & Walgreens, Starbucks, Golds Gym, Calvert Woodley, and the little neighborhood liquor store that could (now open until midnight daily!).

Forest Hills isn't exactly a happenin' neighborhood, but it's really grown on me after 5 years.

by Dizzy on Jan 29, 2014 12:39 pm • linkreport

Birdie: I've always loved River Terrace (the geographer in me appreciates that it's one of the few DC neighborhoods with such well-defined boundaries!), and friends have said that once the streetcar is up and running, the neighborhood will certainly see a lot of "gentrification"-related stresses, as it's going to be on more people's radar as a place to buy. Feels like an analogue of Trinidad to me.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 29, 2014 12:39 pm • linkreport

That's pretty well said, David Versel... minus the "hinterlands" part.

by selxic on Jan 29, 2014 12:41 pm • linkreport

I happily bought my place in Arlington, off Columbia Pike about 4.5 years ago. The promise of the streetcar was a huge selling point, but besides that: I'm about a mile or less from 4 grocery stores. I can choose from the ever-increasing number of restaurants and bars on the Pike or in Shirlington. The 16 buses run at headways similar to Metrorail, and the ART41 gets me to Ballston/Clarendon when I want to hang out with Brown Flip-flops. I'm 1,000 feet from two major bike trails, and have a CaBi station 200 feet from my door step. I have a single-seat bus ride to work in DC. My car stays parked in the lot 5 or more days of the week. I can catch 2-dollar movies at the Cinema & Drafthouse, or head to the Columbia Pike farmers market. It's a diverse and rising community with an excellent local government that often gets overlooked because of the lack of immediate metro stations. Oh, and my mortgage payment (for a 2-bedroom) is less than I was paying in rent in a shared house in the Bluemont neighborhood near Ballston. It's great and getting better every year.

by tdr on Jan 29, 2014 12:42 pm • linkreport

Shoutout to Columbia Heights/ Mt Pleasant and the greater Ward 1 area. I love that you can have a quiet peaceful block with just about every imaginable amenity needed, but still be a 10 minute walk/bike/transit ride to a huge number of places in the city. Once we get some streetcars and bus lanes going I can't imagine ever leaving.

by BTA on Jan 29, 2014 12:43 pm • linkreport

I moved to Rosedale from Eckington when I purchased my new house lastyear. I chose the Rosedale neighborhood in East Capitol Hill primarily for the transit access, affordable row houses, friendly neighbors, and high quality amenities nearby.

I'm a lifelong DC area resident, and I have always liked Northeast. It has more long time local residents, and isn't as anonymous as other parts of town. I'm an avid sports fan, and it's a one seat transit ride from every major DC sports team's venue (or a brisk walk in the case of DC United).

As a car-free citizen, Capital Bikeshare, transit, and walkable amenities were huge factos. Though Rosedale does not yet have a Capital Bikeshare station, it's about a half mile from three stations. Several major bus lines (B2, D6, X2, X8) run through the area, and it is walking distance to Stadium-Armory and the streetcar line. The new Rosedale Rec Center has state-of-the-art sports facilities, a new library, and a swimming pool, all built just a couple years ago. It is close to but far enough away from the excitement of H Street, and with new shops and restaurants opening monthly along H Street, Benning Road, and Bladensburg Road, the amenities are constantly improving. Crime has been declining for years, and with new pedestrian and bike facilities, the streets are much safer to navigate.

The only downside is that the neighborhood is in Ward 7, the lone outpost of the Ward on the west side of the Anacostia. So far I haven't experienced any major issues with that, but the physical and psychological barrier of the river isolates the neighborhood from the rest of the Ward, I have concerns our neighborhood's interests may not be explicitly represented at the Ward level.

by Dave Murphy on Jan 29, 2014 12:54 pm • linkreport

In addition to Arlington it would be great to have more people from NE and SE. But that aside while we might have contributors there I'm sure I've seen people from amongst the commentariat that live all over the region including I'm sure slightly further out areas like Reston or Gaithersburg. I think it's actually a testament to the thought and effort put into this blog that people from all other the region (and from outside) participate in some way.

by BTA on Jan 29, 2014 1:09 pm • linkreport

I live in Forest Hills about 500ft from Politics and Prose when I am home from college with my parents. They chose the location because it has almost all of the urban amenities that one wants and a suburban feel where we are right off Connecticut and Nebraska. There are 4 grocery stores less than a mile from our house, a CaBi station and decent bus transit between the L2 and M4 within a block that all bridge the mile gap to Van Ness or Tenleytown. My father's job and my high school were both within a mile and direct bus access for most of my mom's career on K Street or just north of Dupont Circle. This access to transit and proximity to school let me walk, bike an take the bus to school and allow an independence that few others at my college seem to have had growing up and I am very grateful for having been raised in this manner. The only real downside to that part of Forest Hills is how expensive everything is, though some of the apartments are still not quite as outrageous as other neighborhoods

by Ryan Keefe on Jan 29, 2014 1:29 pm • linkreport

I was going to write in, maybe an editor could add mine.

We bought a house in East Falls Church (Arlington) mainly because we wanted to live in Virginia on the Orange line for family reasons, and didn't like the options presented to us in our price range in Ballston. We're looking forward to more development in the area as shown in the station area plan published for East Falls Church. Currently we're in biking distance to Westover, Lee/Harrisburg and downtown Falls Church, but walking distance to very little other than a convenience store and the Metro. Once the Silver Line opens, that will double our train frequency to the RB corridor and downtown DC, which will be a great improvement. It will also give us fairly quick access to Tyson's and Reston.

The area we live in it's still better to have a car than not, but we have managed to avoid buying a second car by using transit, biking, walking and taking the motorcycle.

by Michael Perkins on Jan 29, 2014 1:32 pm • linkreport

I live in Tysons Corner and have now for more than fifteen years. I bought my 1 br/1 ba condo in 2001 because my job was located there and I wanted to minimize my commute as much as possible. For twelve years it worked perfectly. Then in October 2013, my employer decided to move us out of Tysons, corporate hq went to Reston Town Center and the rest of us were scattered all over the area and I ended up in a suburban office park in Franconia with a fifteen mile commute that takes me about twenty-five minutes each way.

My mother is after me to buy a bigger place within the next year or two since my parents will be moving up here one day to be closer to my sister and me. Up to now, I'd always thought I would stay in Tysons but now I'm more interested in a closer-in location such as Arlington, Alexandria, and DC proper.

by Little Red on Jan 29, 2014 1:33 pm • linkreport

I have lived in beautiful Hillcrest in Southeast DC since 2005. It is a leafy, friendly neighborhood where residents beam with civic pride. Amenities include the newly rebuilt Francis Gregory library and Hillcrest Recreation Center. The mix of housing stock and yard sizes really give the area a family feel. I look forward to the redevelopment of Skyland and Penn Branch shopping centers which are certain to increase the neighborhood restaurant and retail offerings.

by Cynthia Jefferson on Jan 29, 2014 1:49 pm • linkreport

Columbia Heights - I apparently live across the street from Elina Bravve, and my prior place was just up the street from Ryan Sigworth. (And @recyclist, if the co-op in Adams Morgan is on Champlain Street, I lived there from 2001-2004). Nice to see so many previously unknown connections.

by dcd on Jan 29, 2014 1:51 pm • linkreport

I live in Penn Quarter. My wife works in Rockville and I work down the yellow line in Virginia, so this is one of the rare spots that gives us each a one-seat commute. I don't think I'd buy a place here--convenience aside, downtown DC doesn't feel like any sort of neighborhood--but it's been solid for the last few years. We hadn't even really thought about living here when we were looking, but the price was right compared to similar "live in-between both of our jobs" spots in Dupont, Cleveland Park, etc. Being able to walk to Churchkey in 20 minutes or hop the X2 to Granville Moore's doesn't hurt, either.

by worthing on Jan 29, 2014 1:58 pm • linkreport

+1 on Old Greenbelt. Moved there over 25 years ago. It's too dang pleasant and too dang convenient to ever want to leave. Also inexpensive (relatively).

by Greenbelt on Jan 29, 2014 2:08 pm • linkreport

+1 to Huntington ... okay, I actually live on the other (uphill) side of the Metro station, but it is a great and affordable place to live! Plus, there are a lot of changes coming down the pipe that will make things a lot better.


by Thad on Jan 29, 2014 2:27 pm • linkreport

I live just east of Joint Base Andrews near Upper Marlboro. I have a 120-year old Victorian farmhouse on an acre that is surrounded by a suburban subdivision. I have a largish garden (which is more of a 24-hr all-you-can-eat buffet for the woodland creatures) and a separate work shop that is used for wood working projects. I shop at the Wegmans in Lanham for 90% of my groceries and make an occasional Trader Joe's run.

by ArchStanton on Jan 29, 2014 3:35 pm • linkreport

Lived in Mt. Pleasant for about 8 years, back before the CH Giant eventually killed off two established independent MP grocers which I loved.

Moved to Takoma about 6 years ago, the air smells like greenery instead of an alley. Easy walk to shops (scant but growing) and metro with a decidedly small-town feel. And I have a driveway.

by Bob See on Jan 29, 2014 3:42 pm • linkreport

U Street.

Used to be called Cardozo/Shaw when we moved here. We moved here because it was a good value and we didn't mind all the prostitutes and crack houses. We stayed through the gentrification because the neighborhood is so central to everything and easy to get around on transit or bike and the amenities have been getting better and better.

by Ward 1 Guy on Jan 29, 2014 3:44 pm • linkreport

Go downtown Silver Spring and go Dan Reed!

by jag on Jan 29, 2014 4:16 pm • linkreport

I live north of Lincoln Park in Capitol Hill.

I moved here because DC encourages gay people to adopt kids from the foster care system, and now I have a wonderful son.

I work in McLean, but I would never want my family to live out there.

Diversity rocks.

by mch on Jan 29, 2014 4:28 pm • linkreport

I've lived in Silver Spring for 29 years, downtown for 16. I liked it before it was revitalized and I like it now. I feel rooted here.

by Lindemann on Jan 29, 2014 5:03 pm • linkreport

My wife and I bought a 2BR condo in Navy Yard almost two years ago, happily ditching our 1BR apartment in Rosslyn. At the time, the area had just announced a slew of new restaurants and other offerings which are now almost all finally open (with the neighborhood's first grocery, Harris Teeter, eyeing a late summer/early fall opening date). We picked the area for a number of reasons, first and foremost because we knew it was a neighborhood on the cusp of rapid change, and we wanted to be there to experience all of it. The fact that our property will probably appreciate by a large amount by the time we sell it also doesn't hurt.

A large selling point for me was the presence of two of my favorite things ever, beer (hello Bluejacket Brewery) and baseball. We also both love being able to walk to Yards and Canal Parks and I love being able to walk our dog around and watch the various vacant lots start sprouting buildings. Being a short walk to Barracks Row also gives us a lot more dining and nightlife options to choose from while our immediate area continues to develop.

Our commutes both kind of suck, though hers is by far the worst, with a drive to suburban Baltimore every day; I only have to metro out to Ballston (or bike, when it's not icy as hell outside). But we figured that, no matter where we end up career-wise, if we're in the center of the city, with easy access to metro and the highway, we'll always be reverse-commuting, even if we work in complete opposite directions like we do now.

by JES on Jan 29, 2014 5:19 pm • linkreport

Have bounced around Ward 1 including a long stint in Columbia Heights and settled in Adams Morgan. Love it here, especially being relatively central to everything. Also love how other neighborhoods in the District have developed in the 10 years I've been here and try to get around to them quite a bit to enjoy all they have to offer. I guess I'm one of those people who almost never ventures out to the suburbs, mainly because I don't own a car and have had a few too many frustrating experiences with metro off-peak (also friends and everything I need are in the city).

by dno on Jan 29, 2014 5:26 pm • linkreport

I bought a 3br/2.5ba townhouse in Herndon (the actual town part) about 1.5 years ago, after previously living in Reston, Ballston, and Georgetown (lots of quick moves). Strangely enough, I am closer to shops and grocery stores in Herndon than I ever was in my 3 previous locations. Other than being a bit farther from a metro line, I'm in a more walkable locale than Georgetown and I live right off the 950 route (and have access to many more via a 20-minute walk to Reston Town Center). Even when the silver line comes, I'll only be 1.5 miles from it, which isn't that considerable of a distance given how far parts of DC are from metro stops too.

And the only reason I came out this far? I work in Tysons. I switch between driving to work and taking public transportation month-to-month, but look forward to more regularly using metro in a few months!

by Herndon Resident on Jan 29, 2014 5:29 pm • linkreport

I've only written a few posts here, but if you want to add me to the map its the Park Crest One building in Tysons.

by Navid Roshan on Jan 29, 2014 5:44 pm • linkreport

@JES, I lived on the eastern edge of SW until recently. I love the Navy yard neighborhood. Wish I could have afforded to stay! So many great things. Love skating at Canal Park, love that Justin's Cafe said it was totally cool with them if we brought our skates in (we walked) if we wanted to get some pizza and beers after skating, so long as the blade guards were on.

by Birdie on Jan 29, 2014 6:03 pm • linkreport

Moved to Foggy Bottom in 2010 to attend GW, and have lived in the neighborhood continuously since then -- the past year-and-a-half in my apartment building on F Street.

I'd say the best thing about Foggy Bottom is how accessible it is; I can walk to the National Mall in ten minutes, or Dupont/Georgetown/Downtown in 20. Three Metro stations are within a 15 minute walk, and the 80/31 buses stop at the corner. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are both within walking distance, although I mourn the loss of the Senior Safeway at the Watergate.

I love how vibrant Foggy Bottom is as a neighborhood. Being a year-round resident, the character of the place changes considerably in the summer when students are gone -- and over long breaks during the school year. Otherwise, the student population lends a vibrant feel to the community.

Getting involved in the community here and D.C. politics has been the most rewarding experience I could have asked for in a new home, and I intend to stay in Foggy Bottom after I graduate (I'm wrapping up my last semester now).

by Patrick Kennedy on Jan 30, 2014 1:03 am • linkreport

@Birdie- Justin's is great. There are newer and nicer things in the area now, but I'll always respect that he had the stones to open up there a full two years before anyone else did.

by JES on Jan 30, 2014 10:41 am • linkreport

Glad this was posted after the celebration of 14th and P a few weeks ago. At the time I commented (a little) tongue-in-cheek that 34th and Bunker Hill in Mount Rainier was the best intersection in the D.C. area. Brent is spot on about what makes the city great. I hope it can retain its eclectic mix of residents and its affordability even with the development in the pipeline--which I think it will, given how much Prince George's County and its public services are derided regardless of reality.

It cannot be emphasized enough that Glut is an incredible asset to Mount Rainier and surrounding neighborhoods. So many areas desperately seeking grocery stores, and for good reason--folks need to eat. For nearly 40 years, Mount Rainier has had its own local, community-oriented store, which is easily accessible by foot, bike, and transit. There's ample car parking despite some complaints. And Glut is designed on a human scale, unlike the big chains, so it's never a stressful undertaking to shop there, even in a snowstorm.

by 20712 on Jan 30, 2014 11:20 am • linkreport

I don't live in the area any more but when I did, I lived in...

Foggy Bottom, 20th and F (2005-06): only a block from work. Need I say more?

Downtown Bethesda (1994-96): 4 blocks from Bethesda Metro, within walking distance of groceries and restaurants, lower taxes than in DC. Plus my job was closer to the Red Line than the Blue Line and my boss's wife was the agent who showed it to me, which is why I chose it over Arlington.

Arlington near Ballston(1986-87): My job was closer to Blue Line than Red Line, and the rent was only $350.

by Michael Lewyn on Jan 30, 2014 2:55 pm • linkreport

What GGW no Capitol Hill? Back in 1994 I was pursuing a graduate degree in Urban Planning when my husband and I started looking to buy a house in DC. We had lived in one of the first apartments at the Lansburg as newlyweds and loved being in the city, even though Chinatown was much more rough back then and Penn Quarter wasn't even really a name yet. We almost bought an SRO townhouse on 6th street across from what is now Verizon Center, but the entire place would need to be gutted. (Now I kick myself for not buying it for $145k -it was HUGE!) Back then our budget was around $170k We came up with a checklist of what we wanted: a house (not a condo-the condo fees seemed too unpredictable) that was within walking distance to the Metro, a commercial strip with bank, post office and at least a couple of restaurants; where we felt relatively safe walking around during the day, and one we could afford on one salary if needed. We bought a 2 br rowhouse on Capitol Hill/Lincoln Park in June 1994. Loved the block so much that we bought a bigger house across the street from our first in 2002. Capitol Hill is still the best. We love it and can't think of ever moving-

by Gina A on Feb 6, 2014 2:46 pm • linkreport

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