After over six years of calling the Pentagon City neighborhood of Arlington County home, I officially (as in the lease expires) end my tenure there today. I am living in our new condo in Alexandria. Although Pentagon City would never be mistaken for a classic neighborhood it has been a wonderful place to live and leaving is bittersweet.
When I started looking for a place to live in late 2000, I decided it was very important to live near a Metro station. I also wanted to be able to walk to some amenities like a grocery store and some restaurants. Since I had no interest in living in the District (voting rights, poor parking/services. etc.) I focused my search on Arlington and Alexandria. Almost as a joke, I looked at Riverhouse, a three building apartment community on several acres. My father had lived there in the late 1960s so I figured I’d check it out. When I got there and saw what the rental rates were, I was pleasantly surprised to see they were below what the Orange Line corridor. Seeing that Pentagon Row was being built, I knew I’d get the amenities I was hoping for in a location. I signed a lease and moved there in early January 2001. In April 2004, Erica and I moved in together in a larger apartment. I’ll have a more to say in a separate post about my apartment complex, Riverhouse.
Here are some of the things I loved about Pentagon City (in no particular order):
Location, location, location: 10-15 minutes from downtown D.C. by Metro. A ten minute walk to 23rd Street in Crystal City. Abutting I-395 and only five minutes from I-66. Within two or three miles of several major bike trails. National Airport is two Metro stops away.
The Washington Monument, The Capitol, The National Cathedral and now the Air Force memorial; it will be unusual not seeing those daily.
Pentagon Row — The mixed-use development meant that I had an Eckerd, Harris Teeter, Subway and several restaurants, Hudson Trail Outfitters and Bed, Bath & Beyond within a five minute walk. The plaza is fairly well designed as a public, filling it with people whenever the weather cooperates.
Eye candy — there are so many good looking women in Pentagon City, you can hardly get on an elevator without being in the presence of a hottie. Some of them are as almost pretty as Erica :). By the way, she says the guys are okay too.
Sine — On the whole, the food is pretty uninspiring across the board with one great exception — the baked potato soup. That stuff is so good. The beer selection is also strong. The wings are also pretty good.
The grassy area in front of building was made into a Grace Murray Hopper Park , providing an excellent buffer between my building and the rest of Pentagon City. On the other side of Joyce Street are softball fields and and soccer pitch.
Sabrett Hot Dog stand
I was delighted to find that Pentagon City had a hot dog stand (one of my criteria for a downtown area, the other is taxi availability — more later) at the Metro station and even more so that it was Sabrett. Sadly, it appears the stand stopped selling hot dogs last last month, coinciding with my relocation. Coincidence?
Pentagon Row Ice Rink
Sure, it is tiny, but for being a block away from my apartment, I wasn’t complaining. Erica and I had a lot of fun skating there over the years. Putting it there was a brilliant decision by Pentagon Row.
The Fashion Centre and Pentagon Centre — Malls and big box stores don’t do much for me, but a lot of that is because you have to drive to a nasty parking lot. These two facilities meant I could shop without driving.
Living there was great and I could go on and on about how much I loved it. I recommend Pentagon City to anyone looking to rent in the D.C. area. Choosing to live there was one of the three smartest things I have ever done. I’ll still show up every now and then too — Fritz still lives there.