DC firm - where to live?

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:02 pm

FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:As a 0L living in DC for 3 years, I recommend looking into Georgetown. It has a deserved reputation as being incredibly expensive, but you can find some good deals on English basements. You can find a 1br for ~$1,500 if you prowl CL every day. And getting to K St./Farragut is very easy by bus -- a 15 minute commute. Georgetown's nightlife/restaurants are very good, the neighborhood's history is incredible, and, having lived in four different neighborhoods, I think Georgetown is by far the most aesthetically pleasing and safe neighborhood in DC.


Part of why Georgetown is safe is because its a total pain the ass to get in and out of without a car. DC's bus system is terrible and very unreliable. They're probably a little better during peak hours for commuting to and from work, but you'll get frustrated quickly when you're standing a bus stop in 100 degree heat and two of the buses on the schedule fail to show up and the third one arrives late, where you're standing at the bus stop for a good hour to make your 10 minute drive. Personally, I wouldn't even consider Georgetown unless you're an undergrad there or are planning on both having a car and driving that car everywhere you need to go.

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. First, you all are amazing and I bow down in gratitude. I've been on here for years and this has been the most helpful thread by far.

Second, I'll be working right by the Farragut/McPherson area. I'm getting a great idea of what neighborhoods to focus my search on. If there are any particularly good apartments in these areas, I'd love to hear about them.


I work near where you're working and live in Dupont. It's a 15 minute walk, door to desk, for me, and I pay around 2k for a jr. 1 bedroom. It's incredibly nice to have such a chill commute, Dupont has plenty of things to keep me entertained, and I'm enjoying it a fair amount. Some random thoughts: unless you have very little in the way of student debt, you probably won't be able to have a car here - it's like 250 for parking, 150 for insurance, so 5k a year without even driving once - and not having a car is surprisingly shitty in DC; the downside of being in a trendy area is that most things are pretty expensive, every time I order out I'm blowing a hole in my wallet; and 2k is actually a pretty decent deal for a jr 1 bdroom in my area - I've seen studios with less floor space go for the same amount - that said, I've also seen jr 1 bdrooms go for as little as 1500.


+1. It's not bad for commuting to and from work, and dupont circle is great for weekends/evenings, but it really sucks when you need to go to basic places, like Walmart, on the weekend because the metro always has crazy delays on weekend, and, to make matters worse, the metro doesn't run to so many places (especially if you want to go out to the burbs for actually good quality foreign foods, Shenandoah, the beach, etc.) I found that ordering basically everything online and having it shipped or delivered helps a lot (including groceries), but was really glad I had a car when I lived in DC. There's just way too much nice stuff outside of DC that you're basically never going to do or see without a car. Zipcar is an option, but it's hella expensive to borrow a car for an entire day (typically $110 /day for a low-end car on the weekends). If you already own a car and want to bring, Pentagon city tends to be a good option. It's nearly as expensive as dupont circle, but it's a pretty chill metro ride to work, easy to get to other places outside of DC because of I-395, and it's practically on top of the airport, which is awesome if you travel a lot (like I did).

lapolicia
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby lapolicia » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:17 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:As a 0L living in DC for 3 years, I recommend looking into Georgetown. It has a deserved reputation as being incredibly expensive, but you can find some good deals on English basements. You can find a 1br for ~$1,500 if you prowl CL every day. And getting to K St./Farragut is very easy by bus -- a 15 minute commute. Georgetown's nightlife/restaurants are very good, the neighborhood's history is incredible, and, having lived in four different neighborhoods, I think Georgetown is by far the most aesthetically pleasing and safe neighborhood in DC.


Part of why Georgetown is safe is because its a total pain the ass to get in and out of without a car. DC's bus system is terrible and very unreliable. They're probably a little better during peak hours for commuting to and from work, but you'll get frustrated quickly when you're standing a bus stop in 100 degree heat and two of the buses on the schedule fail to show up and the third one arrives late, where you're standing at the bus stop for a good hour to make your 10 minute drive. Personally, I wouldn't even consider Georgetown unless you're an undergrad there or are planning on both having a car and driving that car everywhere you need to go.

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. First, you all are amazing and I bow down in gratitude. I've been on here for years and this has been the most helpful thread by far.

Second, I'll be working right by the Farragut/McPherson area. I'm getting a great idea of what neighborhoods to focus my search on. If there are any particularly good apartments in these areas, I'd love to hear about them.


I work near where you're working and live in Dupont. It's a 15 minute walk, door to desk, for me, and I pay around 2k for a jr. 1 bedroom. It's incredibly nice to have such a chill commute, Dupont has plenty of things to keep me entertained, and I'm enjoying it a fair amount. Some random thoughts: unless you have very little in the way of student debt, you probably won't be able to have a car here - it's like 250 for parking, 150 for insurance, so 5k a year without even driving once - and not having a car is surprisingly shitty in DC; the downside of being in a trendy area is that most things are pretty expensive, every time I order out I'm blowing a hole in my wallet; and 2k is actually a pretty decent deal for a jr 1 bdroom in my area - I've seen studios with less floor space go for the same amount - that said, I've also seen jr 1 bdrooms go for as little as 1500.


+1. It's not bad for commuting to and from work, and dupont circle is great for weekends/evenings, but it really sucks when you need to go to basic places, like Walmart, on the weekend because the metro always has crazy delays on weekend, and, to make matters worse, the metro doesn't run to so many places (especially if you want to go out to the burbs for actually good quality foreign foods, Shenandoah, the beach, etc.) I found that ordering basically everything online and having it shipped or delivered helps a lot (including groceries), but was really glad I had a car when I lived in DC. There's just way too much nice stuff outside of DC that you're basically never going to do or see without a car. Zipcar is an option, but it's hella expensive to borrow a car for an entire day (typically $110 /day for a low-end car on the weekends). If you already own a car and want to bring, Pentagon city tends to be a good option. It's nearly as expensive as dupont circle, but it's a pretty chill metro ride to work, easy to get to other places outside of DC because of I-395, and it's practically on top of the airport, which is awesome if you travel a lot (like I did).


I've never been able to figure out how people who aren't students or interns live here without a car. You are constraining yourself to such a tiny area because the public transportation here is so dysfunctional outside of work hours, and that tiny area isn't exactly Manhattan. Going to Target literally becomes a day trip, and good luck finding anything resembling decent ethnic food that's in one of the trendy areas you can walk or bike to. I think it's actually cheaper to have a car and pay for groceries and other products in the suburbs than buying everything in DC. Not to mention the inability to escape the city. Also I only pay $70 a month for insurance with GEICO so it's totally possible if you have a good driving record, and street parking is totally doable in many neighborhoods (not DuPont obviously).
Last edited by lapolicia on Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AOT
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby AOT » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:30 pm

I've lived here for two years and have never really felt constrained by not having a car. I can bike to most places, and anyone who says there's no decent ethnic (if by that you mean not-American) food in DC is lying to you. Sure there are some good places in the suburbs, but there's not a lack of options in the city. Also pretty sure there's no big price differential between e.g. the giant in DC and a giant in PG county

You can always rent a car for daytrips, but I don't think it's necessary to have one for day to day stuff.

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby dailygrind » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:54 pm

Yeah, I'm doing DC sans car right now and it's doable. I Uber a ton, but it's still cheaper than parking, insurance, maintenance, the actual cost of the car, etc.

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Worker and Parasite
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby Worker and Parasite » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:10 pm

c98b89 wrote:Does anyone have any thoughts on living in campus housing (GW, Georgetown, American or Catholic) for the summer? I'll be working by Metro Center.


GW's summer campus housing is gross.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... rrors.html

It's bad news. I mean they made some improvements but most of the dorms available to non-GW students for the summer (intern housing) are pretty bad. The buildings are pretty old too. Two of my friends from last summer lived there and they do not recommend it.


American's summer housing is better but not on any metro line. They have a bus that runs to the metro line though, but that's added time. Plus American summer housing is pretty pricey.

It sucks but for a summer sublet; it's best to go through craigslist.

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby dood » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:53 pm

Image

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dood
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby dood » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:58 pm

also, if you plan to stay in DC for at least 4-5 years, there is no question - you would be stupid not to buy. there are a variety of reasons you can research yourself. but I don't know anyone (including myself) who has regretted buying. But I do know plenty, plenty of people who regret not buying earlier.

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dood
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby dood » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:04 pm

dailygrind wrote:Yeah, I'm doing DC sans car right now and it's doable. I Uber a ton, but it's still cheaper than parking, insurance, maintenance, the actual cost of the car, etc.


totally doable, ive lived in DC for 5 years without a car. same as above, uber, bike, zipcar are still much much cheaper.

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:42 pm

I mean living in LA is technically doable without a car. It's just not ideal b/c public transportation in DC outside of working hours is far from great and you're missing out on quite a bit by not having a car (or paying an absurd amount for zipcar at $110 /day on weekends). Having a car while living in DC is no doubt expensive, but well worthwhile IMO. I think anyone who says otherwise has never had a car in DC and doesn't realize just how much better life is with one. DC is def not NY w/ respect to being able to get around via public transporation.

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby lapolicia » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:03 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:I mean living in LA is technically doable without a car. It's just not ideal b/c public transportation in DC outside of working hours is far from great and you're missing out on quite a bit by not having a car (or paying an absurd amount for zipcar at $110 /day on weekends). Having a car while living in DC is no doubt expensive, but well worthwhile IMO. I think anyone who says otherwise has never had a car in DC and doesn't realize just how much better life is with one. DC is def not NY w/ respect to being able to get around via public transporation.


I wouldn't say DC is even remotely close to LA in terms of a need for a car, but having one is a huge boost. My quality of life has increased significantly since I got one and stopped doing the uber/bike/metro/bus/snowshoe combination thing except to get to and from work. Also, all my friends without cars and who talk about how they don't need them because they bike everywhere mysteriously need rides from me all the time now. I lived in NYC for years and never felt like I needed a car and in fact it would have been a hindrance. DC is not NYC.

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby jessuf » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:24 pm

I had a car and had to dump it because of the parking situation. I could never find parking and was getting an insane number of parking tickets. I also had dents and scratches from people who suck at parallel parking. My work gives me a Smartrip card and monthly stipend, and that covers my commute for work and travel for social activities. I actually enjoy saving some money and also like walking more. However I do miss my car when I want to go somewhere in VA or need an emergency thing from a store where I can't wait for Amazon prime delivery. If you have a car now, you could always do what I did - move to DC with it and sell it if it becomes a hassle. You might end up in a neighborhood with way better parking options than I'm in.

I'm about to get another car because I need one for when I move, so I am getting a bumper bully this time.

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:49 am

DC area resident of 11 years here - I've lived in VA, DC, and MD, and STRONGLY recommend VA or MD over DC. Taxes, jury duty, corrupt/incompetent local government, no parking, and the fact that everything is over-priced (especially the real estate) mean that DC gives you one advantage: proximity to work/nightlife. Adding in a little commute is really not that bad.

If you don't plan on buying property or having kids/settling down, and persist in the idea that you'll have time/energy for a nightlife, then there are places close by DC in VA and MD that give you bigger and more affordable housing while maintaining proximity to metro and bars/clubs/restaurants. I'll add a couple ideas to those already mentioned previously:

MD - Silver Spring/Takoma Park - 20-ish minute door to door commute to Metro Center. Silver Spring has some decent bars/restaurants, Takoma Park less so. However, Takoma Park is a lot prettier - very green, nice suburban family environment. Largely populated by hippies with money and self-respect.

VA - Falls Church - a little farther out on the orange line, but housing prices are better than you'll find in Crystal City/Arlington.

If you're looking to buy or planning long-term: Twinbrook, Rockville, Shady Grove (areas farther out on the Red Line) are pretty good. For a little under 2K/month, I had a 2-bedroom townhouse (~1200 Sq/ft) with a garage, about 2 blocks walk from the metro. 45-50 minute commute straight-shot to metro center.

Now that I own a home, I'm even farther out now in Maryland on the MARC train line - it goes right to Union Station in an hour, or I can drive 15 minutes to the metro and take the same 50 minute ride in as mentioned above. 2000 sq/ft townhouse with a fenced in backyard for 300K.

Again, if you're K-JD, unmarried, and not planning on a long-term stay in DC with kids, then living in the city is fine (but nearby in MD/VA is a bit more sensible in my opinion). But if you eventually want a mortgage you can afford, with a bit of property and room to grow, look well beyond DC's cramped offerings.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:01 pm

Jessuf wrote:I had a car and had to dump it because of the parking situation. I could never find parking and was getting an insane number of parking tickets. I also had dents and scratches from people who suck at parallel parking. My work gives me a Smartrip card and monthly stipend, and that covers my commute for work and travel for social activities. I actually enjoy saving some money and also like walking more. However I do miss my car when I want to go somewhere in VA or need an emergency thing from a store where I can't wait for Amazon prime delivery. If you have a car now, you could always do what I did - move to DC with it and sell it if it becomes a hassle. You might end up in a neighborhood with way better parking options than I'm in.


Parking really isn't all that bad if you don't live super close to downtown DC (e.g. if you live in Cleveland Park, rather than Dupont circle). With that said, if you're going to deal with street parking, you pretty much need to drive a beater that you're okay with getting fucked up because everyone bumps bumpers in DC when parking. I think places like Arlington are a way better deal, though, if you're going to have a car since the parking situation is typically a lot better (a lot of places will include a free parking spot) and it's a million times easier to get to places that aren't in DC (it seriously takes a good 25 minutes just to get out of DC if you live in Dupont circle via a car, whereas you can get anywhere in NOVA quickly if you live somewhere like Pentagon City).

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:19 pm

zacharus85 wrote:MD - Silver Spring/Takoma Park - 20-ish minute door to door commute to Metro Center. Silver Spring has some decent bars/restaurants, Takoma Park less so. However, Takoma Park is a lot prettier - very green, nice suburban family environment. Largely populated by hippies with money and self-respect.


I am trying to compare Silver Spring MD versus Arlington VA. Could anyone chip in the differences between the two? I've never been there so any tips would be helpful. So far, I only see the differences being:
- Silver Spring: (a) $1200 lower in taxes, (b) $300/month lower in rent.
- Arlington: (a) 5 minutes closer to where I will work in DC [whitehouse area], (b) possibly more young people around?

Any thoughts as to difference in terms of culture?

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby FSK » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:21 pm

I've lived/been to both extensively, and Arlington kicks the shit out of silver spring. Plus, Orange line is MUCH more reliable than redline.

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:41 pm

flawschoolkid wrote:I've lived/been to both extensively, and Arlington kicks the shit out of silver spring. Plus, Orange line is MUCH more reliable than redline.


Orange line used to be a nightmare with how jammed it was all the time. (I'm not sure if it's gotten better now that they have the silver line running parallel to the orange line.) Also, Arlington doesn't necessarily mean orange line. You could be on the yellow line or blue line.

Arlington's a large city, and your experience will largely vary based on where exactly you live in Arlington (e.g. you could live all the way out my Shirlington Circle, while still being in Arlington, and that area kind of sucks). I like Pentagon City, since it's a really short commute, you have the option of driving from there (if you're not commuting during peak hours, it is a really quick drive in), you're close to the airport, and pretty close to Union Station. It's also really easy to get to most places in VA from Pentagon City, since you're right on I-395. But I thought DC kind of sucked, so I valued ease of access out of DC a lot more than other people might.

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:52 pm

Thanks for the responses. Any thoughts on the cultural differences between Silver Spring and Arlington (e.g. Clarendon, Court House, VA Square stations).

Also, do I need a car for either SS or Arlington?

Finally, is the airplane traffick loud in Pentagon City?

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the responses. Any thoughts on the cultural differences between Silver Spring and Arlington (e.g. Clarendon, Court House, VA Square stations).

Also, do I need a car for either SS or Arlington?

Finally, is the airplane traffick loud in Pentagon City?


I think the parts of Arlington you put in parenthesis are better, personally (there's a lot more there). I lot of people also like SS. There's a pretty large cost savings by living in SS, so there's also that. You don't "need" a car in either location, but it doesn't hurt to have one. (Frankly, I think DC without a car is rough generally, since you can't practically get to so many places without a car, but it's manageable if need be.) Think those parts of Arlington are easier without a car than SS, though. There are planes flying directly over head in Arlington (since the airport is right there), but the noise isn't too crazy unless you decide to live next door to the airport (at least I never thought much of it).
Last edited by XxSpyKEx on Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:59 pm

It's been a while (read: 5+ years) since I've lived in either area, but here are the overall benefits I've noted of each:

Silver Spring:
- Commute to center-city DC is better in terms of crowding (you're more likely to get a seat and have some breathing room).
- housing prices are better. MUCH better
- Much easier parking

Arlington
- less crime. Silver Spring isn't as bad as it was even 10 years ago, but Arlington is still miles ahead.
- more commutable - Silver Spring is huge and has more hard-to-reach places than Arlington, I feel.
- More nightlife/restaurants/things to do. Silver Spring has some decent stuff locally but nowhere NEAR what Arlington's rocking

If you value pricing and apartment size, Silver Spring isn't a bad choice. But Arlington's got a LOT of other perks going for it that might outweigh,

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby BizBro » Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:22 pm

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Last edited by BizBro on Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Internetdan
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby Internetdan » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:55 pm

BizBro wrote:Hows M and 12th? Looks like it's close to Logan circle.


Bruh in DC you always gotta put the street directions, but I know you mean NW from logan. That areas fine but literally all residential and you'll have to walk 10 minutes south to H/G or 10 minutes NW to dupont if you want to even get a coffee or find a convenience store.

I'm partial to H NE Atlas district where you can still find Pre-Obama Boomtown liquor stores and see streetcars on fire in front of your apartment. It's like the treasure cove show in las vegas but people die. But they also die on the regular metro, and get stabbed to death in hotel rooms.... You pretty much will die anywhere if you live in the district.

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby BizBro » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:59 pm

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Last edited by BizBro on Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FSK
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby FSK » Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:35 pm

BizBro wrote:
Internetdan wrote:
BizBro wrote:Hows M and 12th? Looks like it's close to Logan circle.


Bruh in DC you always gotta put the street directions, but I know you mean NW from logan. That areas fine but literally all residential and you'll have to walk 10 minutes south to H/G or 10 minutes NW to dupont if you want to even get a coffee or find a convenience store.

I'm partial to H NE Atlas district where you can still find Pre-Obama Boomtown liquor stores and see streetcars on fire in front of your apartment. It's like the treasure cove show in las vegas but people die. But they also die on the regular metro, and get stabbed to death in hotel rooms.... You pretty much will die anywhere if you live in the district.


Lol thanks, yea I meant NW. Wow that blows. Walking in dat DC heat.


This is an exaggeration. however, the streetcar truly is a disaster.

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chuckbass
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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby chuckbass » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:05 pm

Ehh if you sweat a lot, walking more than a few blocks in the middle of summer generally isn't a fun time

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Re: DC firm - where to live?

Postby CaptainLeela » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:08 pm

zacharus85 wrote:Silver Spring:
- Commute to center-city DC is better in terms of crowding (you're more likely to get a seat and have some breathing room).

The red line though. Honestly, this cannot be overstated.




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