From the Forum – Ideas for “best of both worlds” urban/suburban/small-town feeling neighborhoods?

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Ideas for “best of both worlds” urban/suburban/small-town feeling neighborhoods?

“OK, I’m crowdsourcing this question to get ideas for DC metro-area neighborhoods to explore that offer similar features to a city neighborhood, but maybe with a quieter or more relaxed environment. Reason being, my bf and I have talked about getting a place together (renting) in the near future, and we have pretty different tastes and needs in neighborhood. I’m a fairly die-hard urbanite, currently living right at the borders of Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and Mt. Pleasant, and in a perfect world we’d stay right in that neighborhood. (Well, in a truly perfect world, we’d stay in that neighborhood AND it would be more affordable, but…alas.) I love being near Rock Creek Park, the zoo, the green line, a handful of buses that go within a few blocks of my office, a supermarket, restaurants, etc. He, on the other hand, is kind of a suburban boy, or if he really had his druthers, would probably live in the exurbs or the middle of nowhere.

For various reasons that I won’t go into detail about here (other than to say that he has way less attachment to location/neighborhood than I do), he IS willing to compromise substantially on location, and we may yet end up staying in the Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights area. However, I would also like to explore alternatives so that I don’t have to ask him to make 100% of the sacrifice while I make 0%. I recognize that this “best of both worlds” neighborhood may not exist and that we can’t both have everything on our wish lists; there will need to be compromises all around.

MY wish list is: 1) Walkable, and accessible to transit (I don’t have a car), either a bus line or Metrorail line into downtown DC/Farragut area. (And by “walkable,” I mean Columbia Heights-level walkable, not that the neighborhood needs to have as much stuff around as CH, but similar proximity to stuff. I feel like walkable has become such a buzzword that real estate listings will call a place “walkable” if the closest thing you can walk to is a strip mall 15 minutes away, with a CVS and a Subway, and that’s pretty much it. I’m exaggerating, but you get what I mean.) 2) Also, no extreme commutes or commutes involving a commuter bus/rail (been there, done that, made me want to crawl into a hole and die. Unfortunately, that rules out Baltimore, at least for the time being until my job situation changes). I’d like to keep the commute under an hour, door-to-door. I don’t mind a “quaint” instead of “edgy urban” neighborhood vibe, but…how do I put this? My other big thing is avoiding a neighborhood that feels…sterile, you might call it? (For example, I’m sure that Crystal City has its merits and there are people for whom that neighborhood meets their needs, and that’s all good. But it’s not for me.)

HIS wish list is parking that’s not a total hassle, and he also likes newer construction and apartment amenities like in-unit washer/dryer, central air (I don’t care about those things, live currently in an old building, and prefer “character”–but again, we’ll need to compromise.) He would also love to NOT feel as though he’s right in the middle of a city. (On that note, to ME, Mt. Pleasant doesn’t feel as though it’s in the middle of a city…but I think he thinks otherwise.)

And our biggest shared wish-list item is probably a pet-friendly place–or at least, pet-tolerant. (In other words, I don’t need a building to fawn over pets, just allow them, as we would like to get a small/medium dog, 25lbs or so, at some point soon. And a place, anyplace, to take the dog out to poo would be great…and rest assured I am scrupulous about cleaning up after dogs!!) Family/kid-friendly? Hm. We might want kids at some point (after the dog), and I certainly don’t mind a family-oriented neighborhood (we are mid/late-30s, and never been hugely into the party/nightlife scene), but since I’m just looking to rent, I’d say school-quality and kid-friendliness aren’t must-haves for right now.

Any thoughts?”

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113 Comment

  • Cleveland Park

  • Ideas that come to mind:
    Glover Park
    Takoma Park
    Capitol Hill/Lincoln Park
    Old Town – east of King south of Washington
    Chevy Chase

  • Takoma sounds like a good fit. Metro, restaurants, shops, new and old buildings, but small town feel and out of the hustle and bustle.

  • Brookland, without a doubt. Buy a newly renovated place or even buy a lot and build your own. Brookland is definitely the “best of both worlds” and I say that as someone living on U Street. Brookland doesn’t even feel like you’re in DC – it feels like some other smaller city or even a “township” one would find in New Jersey. Yet you’re in the middle of everything and can be downtown in 10 minutes on the Metro. It’s pretty awesome. Parking is super easy too.

    • brookland_rez

      Yup, Brookland is the best (for a reasonable price). If money is no object, Cleveland Park or any of the upper NW neighborhoods. Also Takoma Park, Shepherd Park and other parts of NW east of RC Park offer this, albeit at a higher price than Brookland, but lower than upper NW.

      • The only issue with upper NW (both east and west of the RPC) is more limited public transport options than Brookland. But I do agree that they are lovely neighborhoods with a “village-like” feel.
        Another option would be Palisades, which I personally believe is a totally awesome with a quiet, village feel. A few really good neighborhood restaurants, CVS, and grocery stores within walking distance. But again, you could only rely on buses to get you into Farragut.

        • gotryit

          Upper NW east of the park has great bus service (and hopefully getting better).
          There are express buses down 16th and Georgia Ave. If we get a bus lane on 16th, that would make it a really sweet way to get downtown.

    • Yeah, you’ve almost exactly described Brookland. Less city than you probably want at the immediate time, but once everything that’s been announced or is in the process of opening comes to fruition, you’ve described it perfectly.

    • +1 for Brookland. I lived there for the first few years after I moved to DC, because I wanted to be able to easily walk to transportation, grocery stores, restaurants (at least a few), convenience stores, dry cleaners, etc, but had just moved from a small rural town and wasn’t ready to be in the hustle and bustle. It was perfect. Also, I didn’t have a car, but I lived on 12th and there was free parking on my block, and there were always spots available.

  • Ledroit Park

  • That’s a hefty wish list you have there lady! I think the only one that really fits the bill in my mind would be Takoma Park. You could also go for downtown Bethesda, but that’s always struck me as rather plastic (and it’s basically more expensive than living downtown). Brookland is another good option on the red line, particularly with all of the new development up there.

  • You may want to check out Mt Ranier

    • +1 for Mount Rainier; also Woodridge (just on the other side of Eastern Avenue in NE DC)

      • Shitty transit options in both those neighborhoods. It would be a very long commute for the OP to get to Farragut from there. Anything along Eastern Ave is out of the running, IMHO.

        • not true. the G8 bus gets you from South Dakota to the Brookland Station in less than 10 minutes in the morning. I’m at Federal Center at my desk in 30-35. It’s a much better commute than many places in NW.

  • What’s your budget? Cleveland Park seems ideal for something like this.

  • you need to check out del ray

    • Del Ray is cool but not for someone with no car working in the city.

      • Del Ray can be done without a car but it’s not easy and you make sacrifices. Better to live somewhere else with more transit options. But things may change soon as CaBi is moving in, the Route 1 BRT should open sometime within the year or so and longer term there will be a new metro station in Potomac Yard.

      • I did Del Ray to Noma and Farragut north for different jobs. Easy peasy. 10E and AT3 are good. I have had multiple carless housemates. Its not difficult. If you want pet friendly, this place is dog fetish paradise.

      • del rey isn’t that far from the braddock road metro.

  • Takoma Park/Takoma DC
    Del Ray (Alexandria)
    Silver Spring
    Glover Park

  • I moved to Takoma from Mt Pleasant. Takoma is pretty walkable and new development will make it more walkable. I am also really high on Brookland. Both are grown up family friendly neighborhoods. Takoma is also super liberal and activist.

    One of my favorite things about Takoma is what I call the Takoma Country Club. It’s the rec center, Olympic size indoor pool, beautiful baseball field, tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, picnic area, and splash park located at Van Buren & 4th St. NW. That’s a few blocks from the Metro station and of course it’s all open DC residents.

  • Glover Park, Tenleytown, AU Park, North Cleveland Park, Palisades, Chevy Chase

  • Riverdale. They’re getting a Whole Foods!

    • Yes! Riverdale and Hyattsville would be perfect. The area around Rt. 1 in Hyattsville has plenty of stuff to do and some good restaurants, a farmers market, the PG Plaza metro is walking distance. It’s a great area.

    • Just put in an offer on a house in Riverdale! Fingers crossed.

    • PG County???? I don’t think so. DC baby. Maybe Takoma Park or Silver Spring.

  • Downtown Silver Spring for sure (but do make sure when you’re looking for listings that it is downtown SS) many listings will say Silver Spring but they are not metro accessible. There are still some super affordable places there (my neighborhood!) and it’s very walkable (as in I never use my car) and it’s got a good mix of new amenities and places that have been here forever.

  • Surprised not to see Bloomingdale in any of the comments yet.

    • brookland_rez

      Bloomingdale is a wonderful neighborhood no doubt, but I’m guessing it’s a little too urban for them.

      • Gosh, maybe. I don’t know. I moved to Bloomingdale from Adams Morgan last year and it feels like the countryside to me, haha. Some of the little one way streets are SO quiet!!

        But clearly my perception is really skewed, I’m more more like the OP than her boyfriend (love being in very urban areas).

        • it must be all the parks in bloomingdale.

          • Is this sarcasm? Sorry, I really can’t tell.

            I was being largely tongue in cheek, obviously Bloomingdale is not the countryside. Just, compared to where I was (Adams Morgan) it can feel very, very residential. I’m on one of the little one way streets and we hardly get any traffic at all.

    • Del Ray is cool but not for someone with no car working in the city.

      • Sorry that was meant for the one way above. I think Bloomingdale may be a bit more city than it seems like her boyfriend is looking for. I would have said Petworth but I feel like it’s sort of on the same level.

        • Bloomingdale is perfect….exactly what she wants…I lived in mt pleasant for 10 years…then moved to bloomingdale….would never go back. Good luck finding something affordable now though…

          • for her yes, not for him.
            he wants:
            – easy parking
            -newer construction
            -not feeling likes he’s in the middle if the city.

    • I’m surprised to not see Bloomingdale as well. We live on the far northern edge of Bloomingdale by the (infamous) McMillan site. It’s absolutely wonderful – we bought there because we wanted to be walking distance to Shaw/U St and it was the closest we could afford, but we’ve been so pleasantly surprised by how quiet and quaint it is. Because we border the reservoir and and McMillan site, we always have plenty of parking and we even have geese and wildlife 🙂 Plus we have all of the great new Bloomingdale amenities and the 80 which runs downtown and the H2/3/4 which runs to Col. Heights and Brookland.

      • I agree–Northern Bloomingdale is the best mix, it’s quiet, residential, lots of green space, fair parking, but you walk a few blocks and are right by All The Things, and it’s super quick to get downtown.

  • All things being equal, once you have narrowed it down, think about where you like to go on the weekends and where do your friends all live? Because it sucks to have to bash across town in either direction if you go to the mountains or the bay or the beach a lot, or if most of your friends are in the Adams Morgan/Dupont/CoHi/Petworth whirlpool, or near H Street and Capitol Hill or wherever. Eg; We liked Takoma Park but only have 2 friends who live up near Silver Spring.
    I hear your BF as far as the fresh air country thing goes. We were able to rent a cabin out near SNP for a while as a weekend getaway and I miss the lungful of fresh air we’d get every week.

  • 1. downtown Silver Spring
    2. Cleveland Park
    3. Takoma Park

  • Downtown silver spring! You’re on the red line, S and 70 buses, and it’s really walkable (I never use my car), there are a lot of pet friendly buildings and there are still affordable options.

    • I second this. Congressional Cemetery and Kingman Island are right there, and both can seem relatively rural. There are two new condo buildings being built. One at 15th and D SE (across from an elementary school, so doesn’t feel like right in the city) and one at 15th and Penn. Ave. SE (on Penn Ave., so very urban). Also the Jenkins Row condos are only a few years old. And there is a Safeway, CVS, and Harris Teeter right there, with a farmer’s Market on Wednesday evenings in the spring/summer/fall on 13th and E SE. There is some retail/restaurants/bars (dry cleaner, some kind of pet cleaning place, knitting, sandwich shops, pretzel shop, cupcakes, wine bar, dive bar, hardware, spas, beauty parlor, etc.), very small townish, but you can walk to Barrack’s Row and Eastern Market in 15 minutes tops for more night-life, vitality, etc.

      • I think down by Penn might be a little too city-esque, but closer to Lincoln Park is really neighborhoody and cute. Plus the park is great.

  • gotryit

    I recommend checking out 16th Street Heights area – you’re just a mile or two north of Columbia Heights. It’s significantly more residential, but on major bus lines and some of the southern parts are reasonable to walk to the Georgia Ave / Petworth metro. There’s a bit of development on 14th, Georgia, Upshur, and Kennedy streets. You can also be quite close to Rock Creek Park.

    I’m not sure what your budget is, but it’s probably a bit less affordable than Brookland or Petworth.

  • Check out the “2800 Woodley” apartments in Woodley Park. Two blocks off the metro station but the neighborhood has a definite suburbs feels to it.

  • I agree with the Brookland/Takoma comments – it seems like either of those is exactly what you’re looking for. I also second the Upper NW – stay near Connecticut Ave. My friend used to live on McKinley and Connecticut and the L busses zip you right downtown and there are little pockets of neighborhoods up there with stores (Safeway, CVS) and bars/restaurants. Somewhere around AU/Tenleytown might not be bad either. There are busses down Mass Ave or of course the Metro/busses in Tenleytown.

  • Check out H St, the neighborhoods east of H st (Kingman Park), and Hill East(near Stadium/Armory). Lots of amenities within walking distance and parking isn’t as bad as in other parts of the city.

  • I’m guessing many of these suggestions are going to feel off the mark for the OP, based on the fact that MtP is “too urban” for the BF. With the exception of about 5 blocks on one single street, MtP is exclusively residential. If that’s too bustling and urban for your man, I fear you’re headed out of a really urban setting and into something more like Takoma, SS, etc. Given your comment about affordability, I’m assuming that much of the stuff west of the park is off limits (Cleveland Pk, parts of Woodley, etc).

  • Mt. Ranier is a good suggestion, though I think Hyattsville is a little better for Metro access. Some very lovely homes within walking distance of Prince George’s Plaza metro, and also to the Hyattsville Arts district with restaurant options (Busboys & Poets, Franklins, etc.) Once the Caffritz development comes in (Whole Foods, townhouses, etc.) I think there will be even more growth in that area, and prices will go up.

  • If you want to stay in DC:
    – Glover Park
    – Petworth
    – H Street

    Close in:
    -Courth House/Clarendon

    • She said not sterile. Most of Bethesda (Woodmont Triangle has some nice, older buildings left, but most are being bulldozed for “luxury” highrises), Courthouse/Clarendon need not apply.

      • The commercial strip of Courthouse/Clarnedon down Wilson and Clarendon Blvd. are really sterile but a block or two off and it’s full of charming houses.

  • Why not just figure out a way to stay in Mount Pleasant? Won’t the move increase your commuting expenses, thereby offsetting savings?

    I know freinds who live in the outlying areas and complain about rents downtown, but they spend a lot of time and money commuting that I don’t have to worry about. Maybe if you are creative you can make it work.

    • I’m totally with you on that! But in this case, it’s more about lifestyle and environment than finances (not that we are rolling in cash, but with our combined income, we could make it work on a mid-market apartment in the Mt.P/CH area). I am a HUGE proponent of the short commute, but my boyfriend has had a long, hairy commute for most if not all of his adult working life, so he thinks it’s normal and doesn’t necessarily see shortening the commute as a worthwhile trade-off for other things (like quiet, abundant parking, more spacious homes/apartments). We’ll see…getting “creative” may mean me establishing a couple of non-negotiables and hoping that he’ll be willing to meet me where I am on those.

      • Mount Pleasant borders on Rock Creek Park, one of the largest woodlands in any city on earth. And if you want to go to another park, get in the car and go there in your free time. You don’t have to live there to enjoy it.

  • OP here…wow, thanks for all the great ideas! A few of these have been on my radar screen already (Cleveland Park, Old Town, 16th St. Heights), and a few like Brookland and Del Ray I’d heard about vaguely but don’t know too much about, so it’s good to hear feedback. Price-wise we are still thinking that through, but I think we could probably afford rent a modest 1 or 2-BR in Cleveland Park with our combined budgets. (For various reasons, buying isn’t right for us at this point in time, although maybe someday.) And I admit, it’s a big wish list! 😉 Although I feel as though I’ve got most of that where I am now, but I will likely have to give up some of those when we compromise on a shared place. It’s especially helpful to hear that a couple of those neighborhoods on the list are more inconvenient for the car-free. Probably my #1 wish list item is a neighborhood where it’s NOT going to feel at all cumbersome to get around without a car (and I know that threshold is different for each person but for me, I’ve never owned a car so I’m used to it, and I’ve never felt that I needed a car for anything in Adams Morgan/CH/Mt. P).

    • I think there is real tension in what you two are trying to compromise on. Best bet seems to find a place with more trees, detached homes, and other markers of a more residential feel – but that is quickly (within 3 blocks) of a developed commercial street. Throw us a budget figure here – my guess is that Glover, Cleveland Pk, parts of SS and Takoma, may fit the bill.
      Also, your poor BF needs to experience the joy of not having a long commute. You said your limit was an hour, so let’s assume his is higher. Let’s say, for the sake of it, that he is willing to travel 150 minutes round trip each day (1:10 min commute). If he works a reasonably taxing job (let’s say 9 hours/day), that’s 540 minutes at work. Plus 8 hours (480 mins) sleeping, and at least an hour doing non-discretionary tasks (dishes, cleaning, etc).
      That leaves him with 210 minutes of free time. His commuting time is 71% of that time. If he had a 15 minute bike commute (MtP to almost anywhere downtown), he could increase his daily free time by over 50%.

      • From your keyboard to his ears!! I couldn’t agree more. (Although I know for certain that he doesn’t read PoP, so…I’ll have to keep trying to convince him!) My own experience with extreme-commuting DEFINITELY taught me the value of free time over home square-footage, yard space, etc. Even though I’ve always lived in small places, so I never really cared about those things to begin with (and my semi-temporary extreme commute was related to a family circumstance, not a desire for a McMansion in the ‘burbs.)

        • The only thing in life we really can’t make more of is time. Tell him that. It’s our scarcest resource by far.

  • We have a rowhouse in Petworth near Sherman circle, and often comment that it feels like a nice mix of suburban and urban. It’s quiet and neighborhoody, but we can still walk to Upshur St., or for a longer walk (little over a mile), to Looking Glass or the 11th St. corridor. There are good bus lines, you can walk to the GA Ave/Petworth Metro, etc. You might want to walk up to the Grant Circle/Sherman Circle area sometime and check out how it feels. Not sure about the rental market, but I know there are some newer buildings, and maybe basements in rowhouses available.

    • I lived in Petworth for 5 years and I’m now in Brookland. The OP’s compromise would definitely lean more Brookland. Petworth is more urban and there just isn’t the open space and greenery to qualify it as suburban. Brookland’s 12th Street, residential streets, and location unto itself make it feel like a small town.

  • SW Waterfront has a lot of the things on both of your wish lists. It has a very residential feel, but is walkable and has great transit options. Lots of green open space, dog friendly, and not too tough to find parking (and most buildings have dedicated parking). There is a mix of new and old buildings, so you would probably find something you’d like. It may still be too urban for your bf, but like you, we moved from a more urban part of town and find SW to be more like a neighborhood. It will be changing, but there will still be some areas in SW that will retain the neighborhood feel notwithstanding the Wharf development.

    • +1

      I moved to Adams Morgan after living in SW for 4 years. As much as I love my current place and the neighborhood, I’ll always have a soft place in my heart for SW. At first glance it might seem a bit urban, but it’s very quiet and definitely has a small community feel to it. It’s also convenient to get to most places of the city (and ‘burbs) by metro, bus, car, taxi, or even walking (Penn Quarter/Chinatown and Capitol Hill aren’t far). For what it’s worth, my boyfriend is a complete suburban boy and loves living there…and I get to visit!

    • Can you be very specific as to the areas you are recommending down there? I’ve had several people mention its merits, but my impression is one that is anything but “neighborhoody”. I intend to go take myself on a tour soon, but I would love some recs for the areas you think are best.

      • +1! So glad someone mentioned SW. Head away from the stadium and closer to the water and just south of 395. There’s a fairly new townhouse development that was really well done to fit in with DC, have character, etc. There are also a lot of older homes in the area, and the older apartment buildings have pretty established communities. With the new Safeway, opening up of 4th Street, and the surrounding development, it’s not as shady as it was 6-7 years ago. My cousin lives down there, and I’m amazed at how many people say hello when you walk by.

    • yes I was going to suggest this! It is fairly pet friendly (a dog park is opening soon, the Yards Park one is available, and it’s pleasant to walk around the neighborhood) and I think it has the rest of what you want.

      Walkable: yes–there is a strip with a CVS and a Subway (and some restaurants and a Safeway too) but there’s also a library, Arena Stage, Nats Park, etc. 15-20 minutes could get you to the Mall or Barracks Row.

      Accessible to transit: all but the red line metro and several buses.

      Avoiding a neighborhood that feels…sterile, you might call it? It does have a lot of high rises but there are other things too. I think you’d have to come and see how you fee.

      Parking that’s not a total hassle: Some buildings have garages. Street parking is better than Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle, etc. But that’s not really saying much, is it?

      Newer construction and apartment amenities like in-unit washer/dryer, central air: Very little in SW is over 50 years old. There is newer construction at Potomac Place Condos (you could rent one from an owner) or Skyhouse and several buildings have been renovated.

      NOT feel as though he’s right in the middle of a city: again, you’d have to see what he thinks. But there is a good amount of green space and a lot of buildings have swimming pools, if that helps. You could also look for a townhouse in Capitol Park II or IV (they’re condos but there are some for rent… and for example…I think the first one has been listed for a while and the second one seems high, so you might be able to bargain).

  • One of the comments above mentioned the mountains and the beach, which got me thinking…CLEARLY the solution is for us to have a city apartment in a bustling, vibrant neighborhood AND a weekend home away from it all! Right??? 😉 Well, a girl can dream, at least….

    • I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while! Sometimes after two/three months without leaving the city, I find I’m craving some time in nature. I would love a weekend lake house somewhere….

    • We actually have that and its not as far out of reach as one might expect. We don’t have the biggest/fanciest place in DC but it is so worth it to be able to get out to our (bigger) place in the mountains with fresh air, trees and lots of land. Housing prices go way down once you get past the exurbs in VA and MD where you can buy a large place on a big piece of land for less than a studio in a really crappy part of DC.

    • We actually have that and its not as far out of reach as one might expect. We don’t have the biggest/fanciest place in DC but it is so worth it to be able to get out to our (bigger/nicer) place in the mountains with fresh air, trees and lots of land. Housing prices go way down once you get past the exurbs in VA and MD where you can buy a large place on a big piece of land for less than a studio in a really crappy part of DC.

      I t might sound bougie to have two homes but the combined value of our two houses is probably about the same as the one house many of our friends have. So, depending on your circumstances, it might not be as crazy of a dream as you think.

      • Yeah, I think financially I could do it (I’ve owned my place in Adams Morgan for 18 years, so my primary housing costs aren’t a stretch), there would just be logistics to deal with. I don’t own a car, so I would either have to buy (and park – eek!) a car, or rent one every time I wanted to go to the second place, so…

  • The question you should be asking as a city girl is why you are dating a suburban boy.

  • Eckington!

  • I would just get a new boyfriend.

    • hahaha.

    • Not after everything I’ve read on various Rant/Revel threads and last week’s Friday question!!! (Kidding…I would brave the waters of DC dating if I end up single again, but hopefully neither neighborhood nor other issues will make that necessary.)

  • Van Ness – we’re a few blocks north of the metro, right on Connecticut, and have been doing just fine without a car for years! Parking is ample once you’re a block west of CT, and rents aren’t bad at all. While I don’t think we could ever afford a stand-alone house in this neighborhood, there seem to be plenty of affordable, gorgeous apartments. (I speak for our current apartment. Our last apartment was more generic and sterile than I liked, but it was still good for the price.) More and more buildings seem to be accepting dogs as of late, too. And while there aren’t a TON of places here yet, more restaurants keep opening and both the L2 and H2 can get you where you want to be fairly quickly.

    • I agree – Van Ness is the perfect mix of city and suburban. If you’re looking for the relative safety of the suburbs – it’s here. Check out our crime stats -much, much lower than Bloomingdale, Takoma, or even Georgetown. Plus, the rents are cheaper than most of NW, it’s right next to Rock Creek Park, and the Zoo is an easy walk too. You don’t need a car because in addition to Metro and busses, there are always Car2gos and ZipCars around. It’s an easy walk to Whole Foods, Giant, the salon/barber, the Tenley library, Politics and Prose, a ton of parks, dentists, doctors, Comet ping pong, and a few decent restaurants. And if you need the nightlife, the H2 goes directly from Adams Morgan here – and you can get a cab anytime on Connecticut.

  • (insert my perfect neighborhood)

  • based on both of your feelings, i’d say look for a place in:
    van ness
    glover park
    pinehurst or barnaby woods
    upper connecticut avenue.. like near Comet.
    takoma or takoma park
    upper 16th street.

    anyway, good luck reconciling this!

  • I grew up right by where you are renting, then lived in Takoma Park for 7 years, downtown Silver Spring for 3 and now Petworth for 2.5.

    Any of those neighborhoods sound pretty good for you. Downtown Silver Spring is totally lacking in DC character, but outside of the area of DC you are already living it is one of the most diverse areas with a lot of good ethnic food which you probably enjoy if you like your current hood.

    Takoma was too sleepy for me by the end but it got a lot of development right as I was leaving so it is better now, I’m actually planning to go there for the first time in years to check out Republic.

    No complaints about Petworth I’m glad to be back in the city, though the suburbs did change me now that I’m back, could be age and having a kid but I’d rather blame the burbs.

  • I think that Glover Park has what you’re looking for. It’s not close to any metro stations, but is walking distance from a Circulator that goes downtown, a bus that goes up and down Wisconsin, and a bus that goes to Dupont. Actually I think one of the buses might go to Farragut as well. It’s a nice neighborhood and close enough to things but tucked away on its own. There are enough bars/restaurants in walking distance and it’s also got a Safeway and Whole Foods. My apartment backs to Glover Archbold Park which is amazing to walk my two dogs in. It’s kid friendly and pet friendly. It’s close enough to both Maryland and Virginia if you ever need to get out there.

    Also as someone who’s lived in Kingman Park, Hill East, and Bloomingdale, I loved the neighborhoods, but if I had people from out of town visit who weren’t city-friendly (aka, terrified of anyone looking the slightest bit homeless) they did not do well. It sounds like your boyfriend is looking for a more settled area (not a neighborhood undergoing gentrification/some other sort of transformation ala Shaw/H Street NE). Make sure whatever you choose is something you are both happy with and agree on. It helps to make a lists of your must haves and must not haves. If my boyfriend and I had done that we would have been a lot happier in several of our apartments.

  • Given the sense I’m getting of your price range, you will likely have to compromise on some things. Brookland may be the only place whet you’re likely to find most of what you’re looking for INCLUDING new construction (Monroe Street Market). But there would still be some downsides to that – other construction still going on nearby, no major grocery store besides RIA Giant nearby (at least for now) etc. Most of the upper NW neighborhoods people mentioned are going to be just as expensive as where you are now if you want proximity to transit.

  • One more area to check out may be the part of South Arlington on the rivitalized area of Columbia Pike.

    For you:
    – Direct bus access to work (16Y will take you to Farragut for regular fare), and access to major bus thoroughfares and blue, yellow and orange line Metro (via bus, all within about a 10 min ride)
    – Grocery store, movie theater, cute wine bar, library, lots of restaurants all within a few-block radius

    For him:
    – Easy parking
    – Settled neighborhood feel, with green spaces and a mix of single family, row homes and apts/condos

    For you both:
    – Dog friendly
    – Affordable
    – Many older homes (20s – 40s) with both character AND amenities

    • I wholeheartedly second this recommendation, having just moved in December from south ARL off Columbia Pike after 7 years … to the same Adams Morgan/CH/Mt P intersection area you describe living in (which was EXACTLY what I was looking for and I love it!). But I did really enjoy my stint in ARL and my gosh, it’s definitely suburbs but the development is relatively booming! And so there are lots of walkable amenities, and Columbia Pike is the most frequent running bus corridor in VA, I believe … straight to the blue/yellow metro lines or into DC. Worth checking out! I was right off South Scott St. renting from a two-story, 2-BR, 2-BA condo owner for $1,600/month (which was a great price and relic of the pre-development boom, but I’m sure rent prices for individually-owned condo units/homes haven’t really skyrocketed compared to DC rental price dynamics). Good luck!

  • Eastern Market all the way. Easy commute, super walkable, and parking is never an issue. Newer buildings might be harder to come by, but doable!

  • I moved to Hill East and it sounds a lot like what you are looking for. I’m a few blocks from metro and across the street from a bus stop. The neighborhood has yards and parks but is also not far from Barracks Row. The neighbors are sweet, parking is easy (I have a space behind my house but never need to use it), and it is super dog-friendly. I strongly recommend looking for a place near Lincoln park or even further East.

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