Last night, I met one of the photographers for the Washingtonian at one of my favorite spots in Arlington, Lyon Hall. We had the usual networking conversation: introduction, basic details, exchanging of business cards. I asked where he lived and he mentioned a neighborhood in NW. When I told him that I live in Arlington, he gave me The Look. Those that live in Arlington know exactly what look I’m talking about. It is something along the lines of this:
and sometimes this…
The thing is, I work in Arlington. As we all know, the metro is an unreliable pile of shit full of people with zero spatial awareness and strange body odors. Commuting via metro is enough to activate my inner serial killer and endanger all of those within a mile radius. Don’t even get me started on commuting via buses, I do not know how they work, but I imagine they’re even worse than the metro. Thus, I choose to live close to my work. In Arlington. And yes, I’ve learned to love it.
It’s clean and safe. Due to the sheer amount of yuppies that choose to live in overpriced McMansions in the neighborhoods surrounding Clarendon, Arlington is spotless. The vomit, used condoms and broken beer bottles that exist outside of Spider Kelly’s on a Saturday night are always gone by the morning. Not to mention the lack of crime, I never worry about going two streets in the wrong direction and ending up in a shady neighborhood. The worst thing I’ll find is a new FroZenYo location that I didn’t know about.
The apartments are phenomenal. My apartment in Courthouse has floor to ceiling windows, a rooftop patio with an amazing view that I harp on and on about after two beers, 24 hour security which as a 25 year old girl is important to me, a putting green that I will never use, a pool for swimming/tanning/man-hunting and a plethora of single, fun twenty-somethings. To be able to afford the same in DC, I’d have to sell my soul and/or body.
Everything I could possibly want or need is readily available. I’m a major fan of convenience. Arlington has everything that I need. Organic overpriced groceries? We have Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Wine bar? Screwtop and Northside Social. Coffee? Java Shack, Bayou Bakery or one of the dozen Starbucks locations. Rooftop bar? Whitlows, Eventide, Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill. We are spoiled with the number of restaurants, bars and shops within walking distance.
We have a sense of humor. Yes, it is easy to make fun of Arlington. We make fun of ourselves. Most of us are living in Arlington for a couple years before we grow balls and move into DC. Until then, we are brunching at alfresco at Liberty Tavern, sipping mimosas and wearing brown flip flops. If you need more proof of our ability to laugh at ourselves, watch this: Arlington: The Rap.
All of that being said, I understand why DC Snobs hate Arlington. I totally get it when my friends refuse brunch/happy hour/party invitations in my ‘hood. There have been a number of times when I’ve had to endure an 18 minute wait for an Orange line train back to Clarendon. Cabbies refuse to cross the river. If you drive into Arlington, it takes 40 minutes to find parking and when you do, you end up with a parking ticket every fucking time. There isn’t much in Arlington that you can’t find in DC. If I worked and lived in the city, I would probably never cross the river. However, as I sign my lease for what will most likely be my last year in Virginia, I can say that I truly love my neighborhood. And my reaction from now on when DC Snobs give me shit, will be this:
or possibly this…
- Suzie Robb