Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Size vs Place: A Choice

During the week, my husband and I live in DelRay, a funky little neighborhood between Crystal City and Old Towne Alexandria. Because our offices are here, we can walk to work, go home for lunch and take the dogs out during the day -- luxuries that most DC denizens do not enjoy. Since we do not commute, we have hours more time than our suburban friends to go to the gym, go out to dinner, or spend time with friends.

It was a choice to move here and to open our offices here. We could have chosen a much larger residence in numerous suburbs outside the Beltway that were, at the time, "cleaner and safer." We could have chosen to rent a faceless, spanking new office in a former Reston cornfield, rather than renovate the turn-of-the-century wreck four blocks from our tiny townhouse. DelRay was run down in 1995 and seemingly not a place to walk at night, but its leafy sidewalks, eclectic mix of people, and proximity to the metro, grocery stores, restaurants, the post office, and the library appealed to me greatly. And besides, we could see that with a little TLC and paint, the neighborhood could be amazing (apparently other creative types saw the same thing given what DelRay has become in the last ten years).

Friends thought we were nuts. "Don't you know that you could have a place three times as big out where I live?" a business associate asked me in true puzzlement. I wondered if he knew how much he was giving up for that impressive home . . .

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