Living in Washington, DC

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 09, 2012 6:22 PM GMT
    I'm following some job leads that would take me from Boston to Washington, DC. Although I'm not going there yet, it may be in the next six months or so and I'm trying to get an idea of the best places to live, for the amount I'm looking to spend on rent.

    I would like to be someplace where I can step out my door and be close to cool bars, restaurants, shops, etc. A gay-friendly area would be awesome. I'm willing to go for a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment for no more than $2500 a month. I'd rather not be too far out of the center of the city, but if I'm on a Metro line I'd consider it if the qualifications I mentioned above are met.

    Anybody live or lived there who could offer some thoughts?

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    Mar 09, 2012 7:06 PM GMT
    I highly recommend Logan Circle. I lived there for several years. You can still find some bargains there if you look diligently and it's central to everything. If you can't find anything in your price range there, Shaw (a few blocks east of Logan) is a good option, too, especially around 9th street. Dupont Circle, which was historically the gayborhood is MUCH less so these days, and has become so gentrified that most young gays can't afford it.

    The other big thing to consider is where your job is. Commuting in DC can be really tough, especially out to the suburbs, so make sure you look at your route.

    Good luck!
  • GWriter

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    Mar 09, 2012 7:17 PM GMT
    I agree about Logan Circle. The only consideration is that if you go too far east you get pretty from the nearest Metro (Dupont). Even if you have a car, it's nice to have a station nearby for times you don't want to drive. For that reason Columbia Heights is another good choice.
    I live in Cleveland Park (north of Dupont) which is considered too far from downtown by some people. I have a friend who lives near Chinatown and says that my apartment is in "the suburbs.". Heh
    Good luck!
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    Mar 09, 2012 7:50 PM GMT

    Thanks! I had heard/read that Dupont Circle was expensive but didn't realize it was declining in popularity as a gayborhood.

    I've spent several years in Boston too far away from downtown for my taste... so a central location is really important to me.

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    Mar 09, 2012 7:52 PM GMT
    Well commuting to DC is not as bad as other metropolitan cities. They're building more highways, bridges and ramps as well as the new metro. I live in Northern Virginia and I never have problems going to DC. There is traffic at certain times but believe me, it's much faster than cities like LA or NY.

    You'll find very good bargains near the Capital. One part of it is pretty ghetto but the neighborhood surrounding the building is really beautiful and affordable. The DC Eastern Market is located near the capital.

    U Street is very diverse and very affordable. It is where Howard University is located. The biggest gay club and gay sports bar is located on the street and they're both near each other.

    Adams Morgan is becoming gentrified. So many young and old professionals are moving into the area. It's VERY cheap right now because they're still in the process of eliminating the more bad parts of it. The really nice parts of the neighborhood is so beautiful, its going to be really expensive soon.

    Most expensive but the best parts of the city are Georgetown and Dupont Circle. When you're in Georgetown, you feel like you're at a village like European city. Dupont Circle is just a big gay neighborhood.
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    Mar 09, 2012 8:09 PM GMT
    Do it!!! DC > Boston!!! I assure you. I've now lived in both places.


    U Street

    Columbia Heights (The Dorchester of DC) ... you can get a lot for your money

    Adams Morgan
    (Kinda straightish but good location)

    Penn Quarter/Chinatown - Lots going on. I lived there and really enjoyed it. Accessible to EVERYWHERE from here. Not the gayborhood but its much more "Urban" than Logan the other neighborhoods, and also much closer to where most people work.

    Logan - Beautiful and lots of good places to eat. Its expensive now though and you wont get a ton for your money.

    Dupont - Gorgeous. Not what it used to be in terms of "gay" stuff but its still a great area to live in.

    Drawbacks to Logan and Dupont is that they are less accessible via Metro.
  • GWriter

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    Mar 09, 2012 8:14 PM GMT
    How is Dupont less accessible to the Metro? Lol
  • hebrewman

    Posts: 1367

    Mar 09, 2012 8:22 PM GMT
    Boris saidWell commuting to DC is not as bad as other metropolitan cities. They're building more highways, bridges and ramps as well as the new metro. I live in Northern Virginia and I never have problems going to DC. There is traffic at certain times but believe me, it's much faster than cities like LA or NY.

    You'll find very good bargains near the Capital. One part of it is pretty ghetto but the neighborhood surrounding the building is really beautiful and affordable. The DC Eastern Market is located near the capital.

    U Street is very diverse and very affordable. It is where Howard University is located. The biggest gay club and gay sports bar is located on the street and they're both near each other.

    Adams Morgan is becoming gentrified. So many young and old professionals are moving into the area. It's VERY cheap right now because they're still in the process of eliminating the more bad parts of it. The really nice parts of the neighborhood is so beautiful, its going to be really expensive soon.

    Most expensive but the best parts of the city are Georgetown and Dupont Circle. When you're in Georgetown, you feel like you're at a village like European city. Dupont Circle is just a big gay neighborhood.


    you must be skipping 66 into dc. if you can, you are lucky. i grew up in mclean and now live in baltimore, and as a native northern virginian, i've seen the pace of traffic get worse with each passing day. the road system simply has not kept up w/ the population growth. have you tried to get to tysons as of late? cluster does not even begin to describe it. 66 is a nightmare as is 395 depending on the day of the week and time frame.
    currently i live in the parkville/towson area of baltimore county, north of the tunnels---895 and 95. i am based at national airport, and i can tell you from experience, depending on the time of day, day of the week and weather conditions, it can take me anywhere from 1h5 (weekends, no snow/sleet/rain, before 0515) to 3hrs. if i get in from a trip at 1700 local, i will walk into my front door at 1945 or later. then again, it depends on where this young man chooses to live. most of my friends living/working downtown skip the car completely, and rely on METRO as their only means of getting into and out of the city.
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    Mar 09, 2012 8:31 PM GMT
    Hebrewman, hebrewman! There is way too much construction going on for new lanes, highways, ramps and the metro; that is why there's more traffic than usual. Traffic is not as bad as what it used to be and they're doing a great job with the construction process, they work real fast 24/7.

    Have you ever seen route 28 lately? That was a HUGE mess 12 years ago when I first moved here. Now, you can get to the airport without ANY traffic whatsoever. They eliminated all the traffic lights on 28 and replaced them with ramps and bridges and it only took them 2-4 years to renovate it. If they had the means to fix the traffic on 28, they can definitely do that with 267 and 66. It's a matter of time and patience.
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    Mar 09, 2012 8:41 PM GMT
    I lived in DuPont Circle when I lived in DC while working at the Israeli Embassy.

    It was a bit expensive and I enjoyed it. I found it central to gym,shopping, social activities and the like. It wasnt too bad of a commute to work: 20 minutes at rush hour. Even quicker if I rode my motorcycle.

    Like anything, what you pay for is what you get.

    Eventually I left the job and DC, but I retrain fond memories of my time there.
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    Mar 09, 2012 9:01 PM GMT
    Lived in and around DC for almost 50 years now, and it is a very pleasant place . The city itself is very easy to get around in. We live in American University Park, upper Northwest, and it is a 10 minute drive to Dupont Circle (and then 20 minutes looking for a parking space, LOL) and 20 minutes to Capitol Hill. Downtown is between them. Metro is a great way to get around but it is not an all-night service. My bar-closing days ended long ago, but I think it closes at mdnight weekdays and 1 AM on Saturdays.. Traffic in the suburbs is terrible. U Street is a nice area with a lot of gay life (e.g. Nellies Sports Bar). Dupont Circle is more upscale, with fewer gay places, though there are still some on 17th St (Cobalt and JR's among others) and on P Street, west of Dupont Circle. Georgetown, Dupont Circle and U Street all have lots of clubs, restaurants, shops and active street life.
    Lot of gays also live in the Connecticut Avenue Corridor. Woodley Park is fairly close to Dupont Circle and to Adams Morgan. Cleveland Park is a bit farther up, but still an easy commute to anywhere. You will find Metro stops and good bus service on Connecticut. Arlington County is pretty urban too, especially around the Ballston, Clarendon and Crystal City stops. Crystal City is in South Arlington, close to National Airport and just acropss the bridge from downtown.
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    Mar 09, 2012 9:03 PM GMT
    I'm moving to DC in May, so we're looking for a place right now... funny thing, none of the neighborhoods we're looking in have been mentioned in this thread!

    We have no desire (and probably not a big enough budget) to live in Dupont, Adams Morgan, and especially not Georgetown. I guess if I was single and didn't mind a small space, I'd be more interested in those areas.

    The main place we're looking is Capitol Hill... it's very dog friendly, lots of parks and green space, which is important to us because we have 2 big labs. Unfortunately, most of the places we like are too expensive, and the places we can afford are still too sketchy.
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    Mar 09, 2012 9:04 PM GMT
    You can find a 1BDM for $2,500 or less just about anywhere in the city. It may not be huge but everywhere is technically in your price range. It'll just be a question of how much you get. If you're looking to live in a gay neighborhood, you're pretty much looking to live in a pretty large box of the city. I'd say the boundaries are:

    East of 18th Street NW
    West of 9th Street NW
    South of V Street NW
    North of O Street NW

    Most of the gay bars, clubs, gyms and restaurants are within that area, which encompasses a few neighborhoods.

    If you're willing to live in a gay friendly neighborhood, your area increases a great deal and you can get a whole house for $2,500/month. You can head over to Ledroit, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, Chinatown, Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Atlas District, Foggy Bottom, Barracks Row......a huge area of the city is gay friendly with a gay bar or restaurant here and there but gay people everywhere, even in NOVA. The city is packed with the gays. I think there's a rule that one has to leave before another one is allowed to move here.
  • hebrewman

    Posts: 1367

    Mar 09, 2012 9:35 PM GMT
    Boris saidHebrewman, hebrewman! There is way too much construction going on for new lanes, highways, ramps and the metro; that is why there's more traffic than usual. Traffic is not as bad as what it used to be and they're doing a great job with the construction process, they work real fast 24/7.

    Have you ever seen route 28 lately? That was a HUGE mess 12 years ago when I first moved here. Now, you can get to the airport without ANY traffic whatsoever. They eliminated all the traffic lights on 28 and replaced them with ramps and bridges and it only took them 2-4 years to renovate it. If they had the means to fix the traffic on 28, they can definitely do that with 267 and 66. It's a matter of time and patience.


    my mistake. i was talking about DCA, not IAD. either way, try the commute from my side.... not a pretty picture. same holds for my coworkers that have to take 66 into the vacinity of DCA. when one is on 'reserve' such as myself, and there are often times when i cannot 'plan' on leaving for work at a specified time, then the pucker factor is tremendious. once the crew desk contacts you, there is only a 90 minute window of opportunity. much better commuting, i guess, if one is not under such time constraints. either way, from my end, baltimore to dc, it sucks, and not in a good way during the weekday rush, to or from and during ANY weather event.
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    Mar 09, 2012 11:25 PM GMT
    Check out the Chinatown/Convention Area also, you'll have access to the red and green lines just a short walk away to take you to DC and the U Street area. Welcome to DC!
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    Mar 09, 2012 11:28 PM GMT
    NOVA, holler!
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    Mar 09, 2012 11:34 PM GMT
    pocketnico saidNOVA, holler!



    So does that mean you're not in the district? Is that better?
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    Mar 10, 2012 2:11 AM GMT
    DJBoston said
    pocketnico saidNOVA, holler!



    So does that mean you're not in the district? Is that better?


    I've never lived in the district. I grew up in a small town just outside the area, but I've hung around in the DC area most of my life. I've lived in Fairfax almost two years now and love it here. It works for me.

    If I were to move to any other place, it'd probably be Rockville or Bethesda (both in Maryland). Considering how shitty Virginia politics has been lately, I might want to think about that, haha.
  • GWriter

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    Mar 10, 2012 2:55 AM GMT
    Bethesda has some decent restaurants and shopping, but is pretty far from downtown. Rockville even more so. I don't think that's what OP is looking for.
  • UVaRob9

    Posts: 282

    Mar 10, 2012 3:03 AM GMT
    pocketnico saidI've never lived in the district. I grew up in a small town just outside the area, but I've hung around in the DC area most of my life. I've lived in Fairfax almost two years now and love it here. It works for me.

    If I were to move to any other place, it'd probably be Rockville or Bethesda (both in Maryland). Considering how shitty Virginia politics has been lately, I might want to think about that, haha.


    I've lived in the area for almost 9 years and I've never lived in the District either. I have to say that where I am now, Ballston, is actually close enough to just about everything I need and still very Metro accessible. Now, the Virginia politics thing...ugh, don't get me started on our monster of an Attorney General. If he does run for Governor and win, that ends my long run in VA.
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    Mar 10, 2012 3:09 AM GMT
    GWriter saidBethesda has some decent restaurants and shopping, but is pretty far from downtown. Rockville even more so. I don't think that's what OP is looking for.


    I wasn't recommending either of those Maryland cities for the OP. I was simply typing out my own thoughts of possible relocation for myself in the near future icon_razz.gif
  • nvaguy69

    Posts: 54

    Mar 10, 2012 5:30 AM GMT
    DJBoston saidI'm following some job leads that would take me from Boston to Washington, DC. Although I'm not going there yet, it may be in the next six months or so and I'm trying to get an idea of the best places to live, for the amount I'm looking to spend on rent.

    I would like to be someplace where I can step out my door and be close to cool bars, restaurants, shops, etc. A gay-friendly area would be awesome. I'm willing to go for a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment for no more than $2500 a month. I'd rather not be too far out of the center of the city, but if I'm on a Metro line I'd consider it if the qualifications I mentioned above are met.

    Anybody live or lived there who could offer some thoughts?



    Hit me up directly and I can give you some info. I've lived in the metro area for about 12 years (in VA).

  • ineedausernam...

    Posts: 118

    Mar 10, 2012 7:18 AM GMT
    LIVE ON U ST BECAUSE IT'S THE BEST PLACE EVER.

    Columbia Heights and Capitol Hill are both cool too.

    But honestly, based on your criteria, I would say Dupont's your best option. It's close to U St and I believe there's still a few gay hotspots there (Isn't JR's on 17th?).
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Mar 11, 2012 12:44 AM GMT
    Can't get you to come to Florida, huh???

    Best of luck, buddy! I'm your cheerleader here.
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    Mar 11, 2012 1:13 AM GMT
    imasrxd saidYou can find a 1BDM for $2,500 or less just about anywhere in the city. It may not be huge but everywhere is technically in your price range. It'll just be a question of how much you get. If you're looking to live in a gay neighborhood, you're pretty much looking to live in a pretty large box of the city. I'd say the boundaries are:

    East of 18th Street NW
    West of 9th Street NW
    South of V Street NW
    North of O Street NW

    Most of the gay bars, clubs, gyms and restaurants are within that area, which encompasses a few neighborhoods.

    If you're willing to live in a gay friendly neighborhood, your area increases a great deal and you can get a whole house for $2,500/month. You can head over to Ledroit, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, Chinatown, Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Atlas District, Foggy Bottom, Barracks Row......a huge area of the city is gay friendly with a gay bar or restaurant here and there but gay people everywhere, even in NOVA. The city is packed with the gays. I think there's a rule that one has to leave before another one is allowed to move here.



    This is spot-on. You can live anywhere you want for $2500. It may be a small studio or a huge 2BR - depending on the neighborhood you choose. The geographic area outlined above has tons of bars, restaurants and nice places to live. Stay away from Georgetown and Adams Morgan. They're nice and look like fun, but they're really places that straight people from the suburbs come to to get get loud, drunk and obnoxious.

    Dupont is the old gayborhood. Emphasis on old. There are more strollers than gay people there these days. A beautiful neighborhood, but kind of tired. Although whoever said Dupont isn't Metro-friendly is way-off. There's a Metro station smack in the middle of it.

    I'd go with U Street/Columbia Heights/Logan Circle. Tons of stuff to keep you busy - both gay and not. Not outrageously expensive. Logan's a short cab ride from everything that's not quite walkable. The other two have Metro stops. Metro runs until 3am on weekends - midnight during the week. The gays are everywhere in these parts of town.

    Don't even consider the suburbs without a car.