Archive for December, 2012

Washington and Old Dominion Trail

Washington and Old Dominion Trail

The Washington and Old Dominion Trail runs from downtown Alexandria to way out past Leesburg.
This runs through the heart of suburban sprawl; a delightful converted rail line, full paved, going through all the Northern Virginia suburbs that I have always heard about and (thankfully) never even really visited.   Arlington.  Falls Church.  Vienna.  Reston.  Herndon.  Dulles Airport.  Sterling.  Ashburn.  Leesburg.   There were lots of fifty somethings jogging.

I parked the car in Leesburg, rode fifty miles to downtown Alexandria, spent the night in a delightful Hampton Inn downtown, had a great dinner, then rode back the next day.    Restaurants in downtown Alexandria remind you of the prosperous DC economy.   Every place was packed; people were fighting each other to order $ 31.00 entrees.

In places like Herndon, Leesburg, and Sterling, new townhouses are sprouting like weeds,  even though it is sometimes as much as forty miles to downtown DC.   Everything points to a very tight housing supply in NOVA.

Townhouses, Herndon VA

Townhouses, Herndon VA

It interests me because of my recent trips to Baltimore, which is thirty miles the OTHER side of downtown DC, and townhouses are being abandoned there by the score.  By the block load.   But you would have to live next to black people.

Baltimore townhouses. I did not take this picture

Baltimore townhouses. I did not take this picture

This is the front lines of the American obsession with slash and burn urbanism;  abandon the old neighborhood and go in with the new.