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Alexandria, VA .. An Elegy...

Simul Parikh

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Interesting article.

National Harbor and The Wharf are eating our lunch. Old Town is tired and the restaurants are mostly lame. The schools here are poor condition and becoming more crowded ... 

'Just up the river, Southwest DC’s brand-new Wharf development offers pretty much everything people like about Old Town but with better music, better food, and a shorter walk from Metro."

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Well - I know where my 'hood falls in this continuum...

What I learned probably applies to any number of the inner suburbs around Washington. One day you realize that your little bedroom community with adequate restaurants and quirky shops has at some point in the last 20 years morphed into a full-fledged city with overpopulated schools, a housing shortage, and an arms race with the town next door over dog parks and rain gardens and Trader Joe’s.

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That quote about the waterfront restaurants losing visitors to National Harbor and the Wharf must be very true....but frankly all sorts of dining neighborhoods lose traffic to nearby areas and always have.  Way back there was "no Clarendon" and Alexandria drew all those drinkers that now descend on Wilson Blvd, Arlington (and now Clarendon loses drinkers to DC via Uber and Lyft) ....and so on. 

Further down the article a candidate who wants to run against the current mayor was speaking to how Alexandria needs to change and update its commercial focus to attract more businesses.  I sort of hate to disillusion him, but 35 -40 years ago and still true to this day:  A lot of businesses locate there because the principles live near Alexandria or are members of Belle Haven CC.  In fact I heard that exact comment a few months ago from a friend still in commercial real estate.  OMG.  It was so true decades ago and it rings true today.  

Well I hope its restaurant scene doesn't hollow out.  I've always enjoyed the neighborhood down to the waterfront.

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