Current Assignment: Old Town Alexandria
Last summer, when my husband moved back to the DC area after Nicaragua, we had to decide where to live. The studio apartment in Woodley Park was perfect for me, but for a couple? No way. For the sake of our marriage, we needed at least one door to close that wasn’t the bathroom. We’ve always lived in the District, but this time we thought we would try something new: Old Town Alexandria. At first it felt like we were selling out, moving to the ‘burbs. But as I think back on our year in this neighborhood, I’m happy with our choice.
We rented a small house built in the 1880’s! It definitely has some “charm.” One such bit of charm is that the whole house is tilted. No really, the floors are not level. If you dropped a marble on our living room floor, it would quickly roll to the right side of the house. I absolutely love the hard wood floors, the retro chandelier in the dining room, the teeny tiny staircase to the second floor, the working fireplace, and the claw-foot tub in the bathroom. I do not, however, love the enormous electric bill that we racked up because this house has no insulation and is impossible to heat or cool. Oh yeah, and rent isn’t cheap in this ‘hood.
That said, we’ve grown quite fond of Old Town. It’s very touristy, but there are several places that seem like they’ve catered to locals forever. We found a gym we like, a few favorite restaurants, and the Trader Joe’s that we know by heart. But the best part of the place is just getting out and walking. Often after work or on the weekends, we just put on comfortable shoes and walk around looking at houses, going down to the river, or running errands that are much more relaxing to do on foot than finding parking. I think that’s what I’ll miss most about Old Town when I’m in Haiti – just walking around.
Here are a few photos of our neighborhood – at least for a few more weeks.