Friday, July 9, 2010

The Green Miles Leaves Arlington

OK, so I'm only going two blocks outside Arlington into Falls Church. And I hope to put the savings that come from the move towards a condo in Arlington someday soon. But I couldn't pass up the vastly better deal that comes from moving literally 500 feet away from Arlington:
  • In Arlington, I could've had a good quality apartment with a balcony in a high-rise with a pool & gym that was a 10 minute walk from Metro but not right next to anything for about $1600.
  • In East Falls Church, I'm getting a good quality apartment with a patio area in a high-rise with a pool & gym that's a 15 minute walk from Metro but not right next to anything for about $1100.
I priced apartments in different areas, but to get to my target price range in Arlington, I'd have had to leave the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, give up proximity to Metro, or lose quality of apartment. Basically, an older apartment off the Pike with a longer commute would've been the same price as the nice place a short walk from Metro in EFC. And my new places is walking distance from some places I love in Arlington, like Upton Hill Regional Park & Westover.

And, much as I hate to admit it as a shameless Arlington homer ... my time in East Falls Church so far has been pretty nice. My apartment features this view of big old trees & I'm becoming reacquainted with how loud blue jays can be when they put their minds to it. My walk to Metro crosses Four Mile Run & I've now seen rabbits hopping past twice, making the 15 minute walk seem almost shorter than my previous 10 minute walk through the generic concrete office canyons of Ballston. And my building is much more pleasantly diverse than the filing cabinet for young professionals I'd been living in.

My friends have been reacting with mock horror when I tell them I'm leaving Arlington, especially after having run for Virginia House of Delegates here. To which I say, I don't know how to break this to you, but ... I lost. About the only fringe benefit of that is that I get to be a normal person & not be constrained by political boundaries. But it's also a statement about the guy who won -- Patrick Hope has been a great delegate in the 47th & I hope he continues to be for years to come.

So yes, I'd like to have stayed in Arlington, but I wasn't willing to spend an extra $6,000 annually just to keep "Arlington" in my mailing address for the next couple of years. I'll still be active in Arlington issues & politics (I'll be volunteering with Arlington Young Democrats this weekend), and am eager to learn where a mouthy treehugger might be able to help out on progressive issues in Falls Church. And maybe by the time I'm ready to move again, the bright line dividing affordable apartments in Falls Church from single-family homes on the Arlington side of the line will have been softened by the long-overdue EFC redevelopment plan.
 
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