From the Forum – Where would you want to live if you worked late on the Hill?

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Where would you want to live if you worked late on the Hill?:

“I currently live and work on the Hill (by Capitol South) and am thinking about moving. Problem is, I rarely work 9-6 or 7, and I don’t want to have to deal with changing metro lines or buses late at night or walking through emptyish streets late. That said, I’d still like to be in an interesting, even bustling part of town and not spend a butt-load of money. I wouldn’t even mind a longish commute if it meant the actual walking late at night part was minimal. I’m looking around close-in parts of the Hill and Eastern Market (even if the walk is longer than my current 15 mins, I can hop on a bus when it’s really late). Also considering Glover Park on Wisconsin (30s buses) – after years on the Hill, convenient grocery stores are way more exciting than they should be – and U Street (96 stops in front of the Capitol when I don’t feel like waiting at L’Enfant for a change). I’m also restricted by affordability, as I’m looking for a studio for around $1300. So I’m curious, if you had to commute late at night from this part of town and didn’t have a car, where would you want to live? Or if you do work on the Hill and live in another neighborhood, how do you feel about your commute?”

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35 Comment

  • Good ?–a lot of Hill staffers seem to live in Logan (near the actual circle).

  • I used to work on the hill (same awful hours) and lived in north dupont, a 3-minute walk from the metro, and thought it was perfect. I found that it rarely took more than 20 minutes to get home, even late at night. And I always felt safer waiting in a metro station than at a bus stop, especially when it was really late. I also knew a lot of people who lived in chinatown or Eastern market and worked on the hill because as a last resort a cab was fairly cheap (though this was several years ago…).

    I would not recommend living in Glover Park and relying on the 30 buses, though. They’re a nightmare in the morning rush hour, and are infrequent on weekends when you actually want to go places.

  • For grocery stores and a fun place to live, you could live near the O Street Giant and take the 96 bus. That also wouldn’t be a terrible cab if it came down to it.

    But, man: I see working 9-7 as awful hours. In this post, 7 PM is used as an example of a “not late” time to get off work. #thistown

  • leaving the hill after rush hour is the best. Just park in the tax payer funded free parking and drive. You can get to all parts of dc after rush hour in less than 20 minutes. It’s the only part of the city that you can move both north/south and east/west without it being a complete cluster. Usually you get one or the other….

    • I don’t see any indication in the original post that the OP either has a car or is commuting by car — he/she mentions Metro and buses.
      OP, my thinking is that your best bet is to find a studio close to a Metro station, so that your late-at-night walking would be kept to a minimum. That might be a little tricky to find for $1300, but perhaps a basement apartment or a studio in an older building might be in that range.

  • Of the places you mentioned, I would go for Eastern Market. As deservedly maligned as Metro is, it’s way faster than the bus and very convenient from Eastern Market to Cap South since there are no transfers. Since you can take either the Orange or Blue, the trains are pretty frequent even at night. I make a similar commute and I really love the convenience. When the weather’s nice, biking is easy because you can use the bike lane down East Capitol Street all the way to the Capitol.

  • justinbc

    I have no idea what small studio (redundant) prices are like now, but in general terms my answer would be: Capitol Hill, Waterfront, H Street, Hill East, Historic Anacostia, anywhere else.

  • Best location (for you), bang-for-the-buck and grocery store convenience you’ll find at that price will be Hill East. You’ll be walkable to either Stadium/Armory or Potomac ave metros and it’s not unheard of to get an English Basement around there in your price range.

    • Ally

      I second Hill East. Bought a house there about 4 years ago. You’re walking distance to a safeway and have Harris Teeter at Potomac Ave metro and the organic grocer at Eastern Market. That being said, I still don’t walk home late by myself, but I’m pregnant and overly-cautious lately. The neighborhood’s gotten a ton better, though, and it’s much cheaper than Eastern Market while still walking distance to all the amenities. And, in theory, the development at Stadium Armory metro will eventually happen (supposed to happen in the next 1-2 years).

    • Hill East is far from a “bustling” area, which was one of the criteria mentioned by the OP. While conveniently located for work purposes, there is zero nightlife and little dining in Hill East.

      • Bustling, cheap, and convenient to public transit is going to be difficult if not impossible to find. I think they’ll need to relax one of those requirements, and the first one is probably the least important.

      • I mean, while the nightlife isn’t the same as living in Penn Quarter, Logan, Dupont, etc there is still plenty to do. Barracks row is walkable and has more than a few bars, Cap South is a couple metro stops away and H St is a $7 Uber ride. Sure, you’re not right on top of it but it’s not like you relocated to Silver Springs.

    • i third hill east. i live in the neighborhood and love it. i’ve never had any issues commuting home by myself late at night in 2+ years (though I do live less than a block from potomac ave metro). You’ll be able to find something affordable, near at least 2 groceries, and hopefully a minimal walking distance from the metro. There are also buses that come right down Pennsylvania Ave. This neighborhood is one of the fastest selling spots in 2014 and is quickly changing.

  • How about Navy Yard? Short walk or bike ride down NJ Ave

    • That’s what I was thinking, but I just looked. You really can’t find a place for less than $1700 and most are $1800 or more! Most of the buildings in Navy Yard are newer or brand new with really nice amenities. I lived there for a year and loved it though!

      • The residential blocks south and east of the baseball stadium are still cheap. When I lived there a few years ago we paid $1600 for an entire rowhouse. You do have to be careful which block though, because some are known for drug activity and general sketchiness.

  • This is not helpful but I would live exactly where you live now. I love that part of the Hill (Capitol South area), it’s pretty safe to walk around at night to and from the House/Senate/Capitol buildings because of all the Capitol Police posts.
    But you might like Hill East, it’s an easy bus or Circulator ride further down Pennsylvania Ave.

  • Andie302

    I have a basement in a group house coming available around 4/1 with a full bathroom to yourself for $1100/month. The other two bedrooms are upstairs. It’s a half block from the Southern Stadium Armory exit, with Harris Teeter and Safeway both close by. If you’re interested then send Dan an email and I can provide more information/pictures. I haven’t advertised yet because it’s a little on the early side.

  • Not glover park. Those 30 buses are frequent during rush hour, but not so much during non-rush times. I did that commute for a little while back in the day and it sucked.

    • Yeah, I live near Eastern Market and I’ll do anything to avoid having to go to that part of town. However you do it, it takes an eternity from here.

  • southwest waterfront, the north side of the neighborhood so you could walk easily from federal center SW or L’Enfant–or just from cap south if you wanted. a lot of the townhouses have rentable basement studios, and you might be able to get something in one of the apartment buildings too. I didn’t see under $1300, but these were close:

    • I would also recommend Waterfront. If it’s nice out, it’s an easy walk to both the House and Senate and you can walk a few blocks from Federal Center or switch one stop over and get off at Waterfront. Not sure it’s the most bustling part of town but it’s easy for me to go up to Chinatown/U Street/Dupont or hop over to Navy Yard.

  • Not sure where you work on the Hill, but NoMa, Eckington, and Bloomingdale are an easy commute from the Senate side. I live in Eckington a block off of North Capitol and can take an 80 bus from North Cap and Mass up to a stop that is a very short walk home. If you’re not working late, you can walk all the way in about 35 minutes. It sounds like you might be uncomfortable in such situations, but I’ve lived here 5+ years and never had the slightest problem. The Harris Teeter is nearby, and new restaurants and bars are opening frequently.

  • I’d advise against relying on the 30 buses– they’re infrequent and slow. The 90s are great, though!

  • If you’re on the senate side, Bloomingdale is great. Hop on the 80 bus down north capitol.

  • Park 7 at Minnesota ave station is a good idea.

  • maybe Foggy Bottom? Straight shot on the metro, and with GW there I bet there’s folks walking around even later at night. May not be in your price range though.

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