I'm joining pals Sarah and Elizabeth to write every day in the month of December, feel free to join in any time! Today's prompt: Home Town. Talk about where you lived this year. Why did you choose this area? Did you discover a new place in town you love? Tell us about it.
This year, and for the last three years, I've lived in a little town called Vienna. So cute, no? It's a little 4.4 square mile area nestled inside the larger 8,250 square miles of Northern Virginia proper. And it feels like it's isolated from the aggravating hustle and bustle of the rest of NoVA except for Maple Avenue (main street) between the hours of 5-6pm during the week, our "rush hour". Easy enough to avoid. There are also hundreds of four way stops at every other intersection all over the neighborhood streets which successfully makes it inconvenient enough to keep passers-through from congesting it.
I just opened this post with a thrilling take on the traffic situation in my hood. This is sad. But, if you live anywhere in NoVA, you know that the traffic situation can either liberate you or waste all your time and steal all your joy. And for that reason alone, I knew that I could not live anywhere out on the 66 corridor. Or 50. Or 495. Or 395. Or the toll road. Anywhere there is a road wider than two lanes each way. I like my back roads and alternate routes. "Recalculating" as the GPS so lovingly calls it.
Other than what I would consider to be a fortunate traffic situation, I love my neighborhood because Levi and G and I can walk amongst the winding streets that all connect in different ways almost entirely on sidewalks and admire how some of the smaller older homes have been kept up so nicely, how this neighbor's grass is so enviously green, how that neighbor's house has been torn down to make way for a bigger newer craftsman-style home.
There is a lot of house turnover in the neighborhood and we love watching it happen. Not because it makes our own home value go up, which is a nice side effect, but we take an interest in design choices and floorplans. And we love going to open houses once a spec home is finished. We get so disappointed if the house is being built for a specific family who owns the property already because we'll never get to see the inside of the home once it's finished that we so patiently watched being built. We watched Sarah's house being built. But, fortunately, got the full top to bottom nosey-people tour. Whew.
We love to walk up Cottage or Center Street to Maple Avenue to get coffee, have breakfast, or pick up a forgotten item at Whole Foods. I walk Levi to his "Spaw" appointments and get coffee while he's getting his bath and mani/pedi, listening to one of the many podcasts I am behind on. I can walk to my dentist, and my dermatologist, and my hair stylist. I don't always, but I like that I can. We also live within riding distance of the W&OD trail, which we like to hop on for a convenient ride out to Ashburn or further and back on a nice day. Sometimes it's nice to not have to strap the bikes on the car to schlep out to a starting point before the ride even begins.
Our newest favorite place in town is South Block Juicery which just opened inside the front part of Jammin Java. There are locations in Clarendon and Falls Church already, but now we have one within walking distance. It just opened a few weeks ago. And since it's been 70+ degrees outside in this tropical December, we've walked there too! They make delicious protein smoothies and acai bowls. And my absolute favorite is their homemade "cashew mylk" which tastes great on its own, but absolutely divine in a latte.
I love my home town. I'm so happy that my family decided to live here, that we could afford to. I get giddy anytime one of our friends decides to buy or build a house in our hood -- more places to walk to.