I was born in Arlington, and, aside from a three-year stint in Darnestown, Maryland, on the Dark Side of the Potomac, grew up my whole childhood in the county.
I left for college in Rhode Island at age 19. After graduation I went to Amman, Jordan, for a year. I’ve been back in Arlington for a few months now.
Of the places I’ve lived in Arlington my parents' current house is my favorite. Aside from the bike- and metro-convenient location, I like that it's an older building that was once a farmhouse, and the proximity to a 7-11 and to a neighborhood park are huge advantages. The neighborhood is certainly beautiful, too, and I can just go for a stroll and enjoy my surroundings now in a way that I couldn't at the old house. I wish there were more sidewalks, though.
I like Arlington's trees and the park system a whole lot. The public library system is also wonderful. Central Library is open till 9 p.m. on weekdays, and I often stay there pretty late writing or researching. They also host a lot of good events and library staff tends to be very helpful. I think it's too easy to take that resource for granted. Some of the branch libraries—particularly Cherrydale—have some of the best civic architecture I've ever seen.
Honestly, the reason I came back to Arlington is because I can live with my parents for free and bike to downtown D.C. Before I left for college, we were out near the McLean line; now we're in Cherrydale, and if my folks still lived farther out, I'd probably have moved to another city. The bike accessibility is key for me—I can meet my friends in Dupont, arrive feeling energized and healthy, and not have to worry about driving home.
I joined the Arlington for Everyone campaign because for a community that claims to hold "progressive values" the county is still deeply racist and exclusionary, and I support any effort to change that. Arlington really is a nice place to live, and more people should be able to enjoy it.
Written by D. Taylor Reich