News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Reston Explained: Herndon, AKA the Anti-Reston (tm)

In the second of our installments explaining the wonders of Reston, we look to our friendly neighbor to the west, Herndon. An honest-to-goodness town with its own mayor and police and stuff that are apparently the envy of our Pinocchios who want to be real boys, it's clearly different. Drive under the Fairfax County Parkway, and Baron Cameron road becomes Elden Street. And there's more! Mauve earth tones give way to regular strip malls and subdivisions! They have 7-11s! And a non-fake downtown! And an interesting political climate!

Clearly, Herndon is the anti-Reston(tm), though in truth you're more likely to see Evil Spock-style goatees in Reston(tm). But in case you're confused, this handy chart should help:

Fake downtownReal downtown
Named after real estate developerNamed after 1850s seafarin' captain
Declining real estate valuesLack of access to seaport
Design Review BoardMinutemen
Five GuysFive Guys
Winged Foot CtAlabama St
Thrush Ridge CtAlabama St
Hunting Horn LnAlabama St
Spyglass Cover LnAlabama St


  1. The truly dumbest thing about Reston are teh road names: Temporary, Sunvalley Rise, Sunset Hills, whatever. What possesed whom to do that?!

  2. I agree with the dumb names. I mean, I've lived here for 20+ years. I drive from one end of Hunter Mill Rd. to the other end almost daily. And I *still* can't remember if Hunter Mill Road turns into Sunrise Valley or Sunset Hills. And Alabama St (Rd?) in Herndon - come on, it's not THAT big! We also have Grant Rd., Dranesville Rd., Grace St., Station St., Kingstream, Kingsvale, Parkstream Terr, Spring St....

  3. I like the street names in Reston. They remind me of the names on cheap merlot bottles.

  4. Jeez Lu-eez. If you're going to rag on the place, get it right. It's not "Alabama St." It's "Alabama Dr."

    The restaurant shouldn't be "Five Guys". It should be "Pollo Campero".

    And the indigenous population of Herndon is "Illegalitos". "Rednecks" is so 1980's.

  5. Not to burst your bubble, but most of Herndon's "real" downtown was a tire yard and a cement factory when I was growing up.

  6. I miss your parenthetical after "rednecks" under the Herndon was clever. Please put it back in.

  7. Not sure when Anonymous (4/26/09) grew up, but down town Herndon was originally an important train stop surrounded by businesses and wealthy Herndonite homes, while Reston was still a giant cow pasture. (OK, so was everything else outside of the town was farm land or cow pastures too, but so what?) P.S. Cpt. Herndon died making sure everyone was safely off his sinking ship. Please be gentle with his name.

  8. I would love love to read and learn more about Cpt. Herndon. Wow - what a story! Thank you for sharing that, Mike!

  9. Except Capt. Herndon had nothing at all to do with the town of Herndon. No connection whatsoever. But it was nice of them to want to honor his name.

  10. Kelly from SpringwoodFebruary 16, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Reston has at least two 7-11s that I know of, but they're really, really small, so maybe they don't count . . . :)

  11. The tale of Captain Herndon:

  12. For more on Capt. Herndon, read Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea -- covers the sinking of the Central America and its recovery of VA coast.

  13. You people should all get jobs.

  14. As a guy who grew up in Reston and lives in Herndon these two cities compliment each other well. If you're hungry you can dine in Reston with it's fine dining options and super franchises that offer variations of burgers and pizza or you can go to Herndon and eat the ethnic food that is largely banned in Reston. You can live in Herndon where many a redneck can do whatever they want to their homes for better or worse (usually worse) or you can live in Reston where you have to ask permission to put up a basketball hoop and most likely paint it to match your house (hopefully you dont have a brown house). So while Reston can be a bit uptight it's not without it's merit and while Herndon is more "wild west" there is some benefit to it.

  15. If y'all think Herndon is redneck, you have never met a redneck. Try traveling out of the DC Metro area into the South, and, there you will meet many rednecks, and, want to come back and edit this cutesie post...

  16. I agree with the comment above. I am a resident in Herndon but used to live in the Southern State. You have to go there and see what rednecks really are....


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