Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
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 downtown||Real downtown|
|Named after real estate developer||Named after 1850s seafarin' captain|
|Declining real estate values||Lack of access to seaport|
|Design Review Board||Minutemen|
|Five Guys||Five Guys|
|Winged Foot Ct||Alabama St|
|Thrush Ridge Ct||Alabama St|
|Hunting Horn Ln||Alabama St|
|Spyglass Cover Ln||Alabama St|
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
"Do you know the the following person: George W. Bush?"
This was really one of the first questions of a "telephone survey of likely voters" we just received at Restonian HQ. When we responded with a response other than a confused globule of spittle, the polltaker duly pressed on.
Turns out the survey was a push poll sponsored by the Republican Party of Virginia. There were scads of questions about the House of Delegates and local delegate Tom Rust, all of which centered around 1) the menace of illegal immigrants, 2) the new aggressive driver fees (which Rust helped sponsor), and 3) the importance of making English the official language.
Here's an idea: Let's make the fees apply only to illegal immigrants who speak English. Here at Restonian, we're uniters, not dividers.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
One of the things you quickly learn about Reston(tm) is that there's more than one Reston. Not in the John Edwards "Two Americas" sense (though that's certainly true as well), but in the
longstanding "my mom warned me to stay away from the bad side of town" sense.
What's funny about this is that we're not talking about a large urban area, but a tree-lined planned development that never had an industrial core, never had a neighborhood of tenements or grand houses broken up into apartments, and never had a skid row (except maybe for the old Hunters Woods shopping center, better known as the Retail Complex of the Damned). We're talking about a large real estate development, right down to the golf courses in the middle of it. Still, it's always fun to perpetuate stereotypes, so let's jump on in, with the help of the handy map at right.
1. North Reston. The newest and least Restony part of Reston. There's little of the contemporary 70s architecture, fewer darkish earth tones. If you closed your eyes in some neighborhoods, you could be in a generic Ashburn suburb, only with a few more trees. Often considered the most desirable part of Reston, with the "good" schools (the ones named after astronauts), even though it has the least in common with the rest of Reston.
2. Middle Earth. The oldest part of Reston, which was built outward from Lake Anne. Originally populated by various 60s antidisestablishmentarians who, being the first people in the country to buy townhouses that, strictly speaking, weren't even remotely near towns, must have been smoking something. It still has more of a funky vibe than the rest of Reston. The area's architectural excesses, both good and bad, are concentrated here.
3. Reston Town Center (tm). Home to both Reston's Fake Downtown (which, like Disney's Main Street USA, seems built to 7/8th scale) and a godawful succession of strip malls and condos. But hey -- there's a Macaroni Grill(tm)!
4. South Reston. For various reasons, folks in other parts of Reston find South Reston "scary." There are "projects" there, and "gangs," too. (All of which is true, but there's also crime and low-income housing elsewhere in Reston, even within a stone's throw of the aforementioned Macaroni Grill(tm) and $750,000 condos in RTC.) We're not exactly talking southside here, peeps.
5. Here there be dragons. Herndon -- or as I call it, the "anti-Reston." More on this anon.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
You may think you hate the ticky-tacky background of this blog, but imagine living it. This, folks, is the 360-degree sensa-surround view in one of the bathrooms of our ca. 1970 manse.
Metallic wallpaper may be coming back in vogue, but death-mask brown speckled with dull silver, vaguely radioactive-looking globules are timeless. Specifically, timeless in a "Nixon really sucks and Nehru jackets are so passe, but why not apply the same fashionable color palette to something immovable... like, I dunno... A WALL?" sort of way.
At least the wall can't complain.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Welcome to Restonian, a blog about all things Reston (tm). Warts and all.
But what, you may ask, is Reston (tm)? For the definitive answer, let us point you to the introduction to the seminal work, Reston: The First 20 Years.
For a long time, Reston was an idea, a plan, a dream. It would be a place, said the planners and dreamers, where people would be able to work where they lived. The countryside would co-exist with the city, with ducks and geese parading past the stores and townhouses lining the manmade lakes, and trails leading from apartments to glades of trees. Reston would not only be a new town, but a new way of living.
Shorter version, set to music:
Well, I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And adhere to cluster regulations
on the placement of recycling bins in or near carport areas.
Forgive us if we get a bit emotional.