NoVA, I Want To Quit You

A few weeks ago, a friend sent a text that read, “Started my Metro journey to your place. Watch for my SOS flare.” I responded with a pithy comment about Rosslyn not being that far into the NoVA interior. An hour later, my guest arrived at Chez Apartment, demanding life-sustaining rations and declaring that true friendship is demonstrated by trips on the Orange line. To certain residents of the District (i.e. all of them), crossing the river only occurs under duress or with bribery. This particular friend made the pilgrimage because I promised everything short of sexual favors. And also, because I was in the midst of a breakup induced non-showering-slothy-mess phase and she didn’t want to be seen in public with me. Clearly, NoVA is where Washingtonians go only in extremis.

When I moved to the Metro area, I didn’t know about the Great Potomac Divide. I figured Rosslyn was the ideal compromise between square footage and paying heart-attack inducing rent. It had two Metro lines and Georgetown Cupcake was in easy walking distance. But I was geographically naive. Instead of experiencing neighborhood envy, I’ve endured zip code ostracization for over a year. And I’m tired of it. I’ve vowed to move into the District, even if I’ve got to prop up a box on the corner of 18th and U.

The Apartment Hunt has been in progress for about a month. Daily, I scour Craigslist. I rearrange lunch meetings so I can see just-listed English Basements and one bedrooms. But so far, nothing has met the Criteria List. A friend recently suggested that my real estate expectations are a wee bit unrealistic. However, I maintain that somebody somewhere has the ideal home for me and my demonic cats. My dream residence would include an in-apartment washer/dryer, at least 550 square feet, adequate shoe storage possibilities, minimal stair-climbing (or an elevator), it wouldn’t smell sketchy or be excessively fugly, and it would have access to decent Chinese delivery. It’s also gotta be in the Geographically Approved Zone. A one bedroom is preferred and bonus points will be awarded for cute, single, straight male fellow residents and/or bar proximity. Really, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for.

I will only live within the black line.

I will only live within the black line.


31 Responses to “NoVA, I Want To Quit You”

  1. Malnurtured Snay Says:

    You’ll be happy to live anywhere in DC — admit it!

    I am surprised to find that there is in-DC ostricization too … I get flak from my Bookstore colleagues for living in Woodley Park (because, I guess, I’m the only one who can afford to/or because it’s boring without many bars), and I get flak from my Office colleagues for living in Woodley Park because it’s not as “real” (read: dangerous) as living in other ‘hoods.

    Um, I don’t think I could do Woodley Park either. Ideally, I want to be able to walk to the Place of Lawyerly Things before my legs tucker out from overuse.

  2. I-66 Says:

    Quadrant snob.

    Viva NW!

  3. caffeind Says:

    I don’t know why people have so much trouble with the Orange line. It’s with both directions, too; coming out from Vienna, the terminus, they have no idea which train to board. Then they look all confused for half the ride because they don’t understand the metro map. And then they get to Metro Center, and that’s an absolute mess. But just to get to Rosslyn – that’s a STRAIGHT LINE with no transfers. How is that even remotely confusing to people?

    The place you have sectioned off is really nice, but don’t rule out other overlooked areas of the city – you might even find a better deal, especially if you’re willing to rent a room rather than an apartment. Dupont and the Mt. Pleasant area are great but a bit overpriced, IMO.

    I could maybe do an efficiency, but I am not yet willing to sacrifice by just getting a room. I don’t play nice with others.

  4. Malnurtured Snay Says:

    Obviously, I don’t know where your office is, but it’s not a bad walk from Woodley Park to the Bookstore. It’s all downhill, too. And the L2 runs right down K Street and right past my apartment — (with a quick Adam’s Morgan detour).

    Effeciency/studio apartments are awesome. I love mine. Just find an apartment with character, and it doesn’t matter how big it is. (Well, within reason … a character apartment of 50 sq feet is ‘no thanks!’)

  5. PQ Says:


    Are you considering roomies? Because I am TOTALLY looking.

    Have you read about my cats? Because they’re possessed. And possibly schizophrenic. But otherwise, yes.

  6. deutlich Says:

    I wish you the best in this apartment hunt!


  7. Fiery Nuggets Says:

    My building is in the zone and probably has units opened. I LOVE my apartment — big one bedroom with high ceilings, hardwood floors, good sized kitchen. My neighbor has pets, so I’m pretty sure they’re allowed. I can’t account for attractive single men in the building — mostly I see young single women, cohabiting people, and old men, but whatevs. I think the only issue might be your budget (don’t know what it is, but my apartment’s market value is probably around $1,650/mo.)

    You have captured my attention. I’m emailing you…

  8. Zandria Says:

    After living in Alexandria for over two years, I’ve been giving some thought to moving into DC, too. Not sure if I’ll go through with it (my current lease isn’t up until the end of November anyway, so not anytime soon), but it’s something to think about. 🙂

    Leave the dark (VA) side behind. Join the light!

  9. flipflopsintherain Says:

    I have to Orange line it today… stop scaring me!

    It’ll be fine. I promise. It’s a nice line.

  10. LiLu Says:

    As long as you’re in stumbling distance? We’re cool.

    I thought that went without saying?

  11. H Says:

    I used to live in the Melwood, in Adams Morgan (Columbia and Biltmore). It actually fits all of your criteria except the laundry in apt, and I would bet they have open apartments.

    Plus the building manager is awesome and sweet.

    Thanks! It’s worth checking out…but the idea of saving laundry quarters again? Shudder…

  12. Topics about Pets and Life with animals » NoVA, I Want To Quit You Says:

    […] added an interesting post on NoVA, I Want To Quit YouHere’s a small excerptHowever, I maintain that somebody somewhere has the ideal home for me and my demonic Bcats/B. My dream residence would include an in-apartment… […]

  13. Stella Says:

    Seeing as how I may actually be the inspiration behind this so-called friend of yours, I feel I owe it to the Webbernets to own up to my undue influence re: this matter (not to mention I want a damn photo credit – I worked long and hard on that black line!). Geophobia is a real condition, cured only by proximity to the green/yellow lines. Looking forward to having you on my side of the Potomac soon!

    When this event occurred, you’d all ready filled your quarterly visit quota. But, you do some fine artwork.

    Webbernets: Stella made the map. It’s purty, yes?

  14. Daniel Says:

    Have fun in DC. I am an Arlington boy (born and raised) so I guess I don’t see the fascination with living in DC. But I guess everyone is wants to live different places and find the right place for you.
    I will just enjoy my time here on the more rational side of the river (better government, safer, and in the area I live, just as urban environment as pretty much anywhere in DC).

    Yeah, NoVA does have more reliable amenities. Except for that Metro thing.

  15. Laina Says:

    Now you know what it’s like to live outside 270. 😉 Serves you right.

    This in no way compares to living outside of 270. This is more like living in Toledo.

  16. Maxie Says:

    I would settle for Metro Access.

    I’m easy to please.

    Which is why you have so many people who love you.

  17. Echo Says:

    Ok. I have to put in my two cents here. I moved to Waterfront two years ago, and thought that I’d suffer a year here and move when I could afford something larger than a shoebox within a block or two of the red line. And then I loved it, so I stayed. There’s not much of a nightlife here yet, but I don’t have to pay a soul-crushing percentage of my paycheck to be a block from a grocery store, Bank of America, CVS and Metro…and they’re building a mall (hola coffeeshop – please God, let it be a Caribou instead of Starbucks). I’m within 2 stops to transfer to any line, the circulator stops behind my house, and the 70 line in front. And I have a roofdeck with an awesome view! I can’t tell you how many options you’ll have for Chinese, my favorite DC place delivers here so I never looked into it. I know it’s not in your pre-determined circle, but it wasn’t in mine either… Happy hunting!


  18. suz Says:

    Oooh…purdy map!

    I know people…

  19. ella Says:

    every now and then i think it would be nice to live in a big metro area. then i hear stories like this and it makes me quite content to be in a smaller town out in the burbs. that and the fact that i’m less than 2 hrs from disney is just icing on my cupcake.

    Yeah, but you get hurricanes. So I think it’s even.

  20. pithycomments Says:

    heee, you said pithy comment.

    I love that phrase. Now that I associate it with you, it just got better.

  21. Jennifer Says:

    Every time I think of even visiting a big city with metros and the like, I imagine transporting 2 kids, a diaper bag filled with 2 days of emergency rations, and a stroller, and I have to wait for my hubby to come revive me from the fetal position I shuddered in to.

    I have the same reaction to driving in Ohio…

  22. Patrick Says:

    I do thought that it wouldn’t be so bad living in Clarendon- close to work and close to DC… now all my DC and MD friends don’t want to go anywhere near the Orange line!


  23. DCBlogs » DC Blogs Noted Says:

    […] You can live in Arlington and say you live in DC but there’s no getting around the naked truth of the Great Potomac Divide. Who Invented Roses is moving to DC in the post, NOVA I Want to Quit You. […]

    Big puffy heart love! Thanks for linking me!

  24. Kat Says:

    I feel your pain – I’m apartment-hunting too. I refuse to live any further out than I already do (Friendship Heights) and would vastly prefer to move back into the city – I really miss Adams Morgan. And if I started hooking, I could actually afford it! Maybe.

    This is me, volunteering to be your pimp.

  25. Skywalker Says:

    Being NOVA resident has its upsides – mocking DC residents who think they are the shiz but then still manage to “find” their way over here for shopping and other necessities.

    There is nothing wrong with living in Rosslyn but whatever Baron Munchausen.

    I like Rosslyn. But I like DC more.

  26. laloca Says:


    i’ve lived in silver spring, chevy chase, the district, and arlington. i’ve worked almost exclusively in the district, except for a brief stint in falls church.

    i vastly prefer virginia, a fact that makes my mother’s maryland-bred heart and district-dwelling body convulse in paroxysms of unassuageable despair. “what creature is this i have birthed?” she wonders, as she ventures across The River and into the wilds of the old dominion on her occasional visits to see her granddog.

    good luck on your quest to live within our nation’s capital. may your feet avoid potholes and your politics never require representation, may your lips be untouched by leaded water, and your neighborhood untrammeled by police stops of questionable constitutionality.

    You forgot water main breaks and random power outages.

  27. IMGoph Says:

    i really think you’re limiting yourself with that tiny geographic area you’re looking at—not to mention that you could get so much more for your money if you’d stretch things out a bit.

    have you even thought of anything in the greater capitol hill area?

    I’ve thought about it and rejected it. First, too far from my friends. Second, too much exCrush’s territory. Third, not as easily walkable to the Place Of Lawyerly Things.

  28. Scarlett Says:

    “I maintain that somebody somewhere has the ideal home for me and my demonic cats. My dream residence would include an in-apartment washer/dryer, at least 550 square feet, adequate shoe storage possibilities, minimal stair-climbing (or an elevator), it wouldn’t smell sketchy or be excessively fugly, and it would have access to decent Chinese delivery”

    You can find all of that SO EASILY! For $2100 a month! Less than that….dare to dream my friend!

    Don’t bring me down from LaLa Land.

  29. RW Says:

    I’d recommend checking to see if The Shawmut on 19th and Columbia has any openings. It meets all your criteria, and is filled with really nice tenants (lots of pets too.)

    Ooooh, thanks!

  30. Vittoria Says:

    I want to quit NoVA too. But I don’t get to escape Rosslyn until July 31. I cannot. Fucking. Wait.

    Commence moving countdown!

  31. Alex Says:

    Going back to your original post, I can’t believe someone would make an issue out of coming to Rosslyn. You can get there on a bike within less than 15 minutes from most of DC. Metro is easy too. It would take me a bit of convincing to go somewhere like Falls Church, but Rosslyn is a cinch.

    And I can’t believe people make issues out of where their friends live in general. That’s just ill-mannered.

    I will say one thing about living in the city though — so much of what makes single life interesting is randomness and spontaneity. And that’s just something you don’t get in suburbia. So your decision to move is a wise one, I think your criteria are doable, and I wish you luck.

    Thanks! I enjoy Rosslyn but I do want to be in the city…

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