News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Outrage: Another Earth-Toned Town Usurps Reston's Rightful Place on 'Best Places to Live' List

130812095006-m09-promo-cover-65x89.jpgHey, remember that time that Reston was named the 7th best place to live in the country, erasing such slights to our fee-fees as the previous inclusion of such stellar locales as cloverleaf intersection Centreville and -- still shocking after all these years -- Manassas Park?

Yeah, that was awesome. Well, this year's rankings from Money Magazine are out, and as Kasey Kasem might have said, Reston has fallen right off the charts. In its place? Our only neighbor that's even more obsessed with earth tones than Reston. That's right, Vienna, which came in #3 in this year's survey.

Unlike other cookie-cutter suburbs in Northern Virginia, Vienna offers walkability, a historic center, and unique businesses that give Vienna an identity all its own.
The only "historic" thing in the center of town we can think of is this (which ain't bad, we admit). Otherwise, the "historic center" (if you can consider a long, traffic-clogged strip of 123 a "center") is all ugly low-rise buildings, painted a uniform shade of Russet Brown that would make the DRB envious. But there's more!
A town green anchors the community and serves as a gathering spot for local events, like the Concerts on the Green summer series. A 45-mile bike path and park built on the roadbed of a former railroad cuts right through town, and downtown is dotted with one-of-a-kind stores and homegrown eateries. The small-town feel comes with access to all the D.C. metro area attractions.
Like Paris? It was also nice that they included a photo of the Reston-Vienna Expressway "former roadbed" as the town's official photo:


To be fair, Money does acknowledge that all that Russet Brown awesomeness does come at a cost:
All that comes at a cost: Real estate prices and taxes are among the highest in the county. A typical three-bedroom can sell for $600,000 -- and bidding wars are the norm. Then there's the traffic, though that's just a fact of life for anyone near the nation's capital.
We'll grudgingly admit we're a bit jealous of the creative minds of our Russet Brown neighbor to the east, who shared a bit of that Vienna "can-do" spirit in the magazine's comments:


Our neighbor to the west was also snubbed this year, although there's a good chance they'll make Soldier of Fortune's list of Best Places to (Allegedly) Plan an Armed Insurrection when that list comes out. Leesburg was the only other Virginia town to make the Money list this year, ranked at #35. Since we don't want to spend $14 on round-trip Greenway tolls, we've got nothing to say about that, the end.


  1. I've lived in Vienna and I've lived in Reston, and I would much rather be in Reston because the things they highlight in this report are being glossed over. The traffic in Vienna totally trumps any joy of living there. It used to take me 30 minutes to get from my house slightly north of 123 down to the Metro station and that was 10 years ago. Even taking the bike, the traffic on 123 and Nutley was awful. So when I looked to purchase a house, there was nothing in Vienna that interested me!

    Oh -- that Wolf Trap and Meadowlark Gardens promo?? Yes, but after you pay for your ridiculously overpriced house, who can afford to go there?

  2. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonAugust 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    I thought the only historic thing in Vienna was Foxstone Park, the dead drop site where the FBI traitor Robert Hanssen was arrested.

  3. I'm going to go on a wild limp here and claim that it is the that makes "our mauve-covered town" the best place to live, at least in the "lovers" state. (avian rear-end jokes, or not)

    Vienna and their speeding traps can eat it! :p

  4. Of course, Money magagzine writers are qualified to give financial advice only to those readers who knick one for free from their dentists' waiting rooms . No one but your dentist's office actually subscribes to this rag! So its advice regarding anywhere to live at all has to be taken with a 20 kilo grain of do they know? Not much, really.

  5. Vienna is indeed quite historic. I believe that Ayr Hill as they were formerly known may have been a Tory holdout at the end of the American Colonial era, providing shelter and sustenance to British Troops that were harassing the Continental Army on their way to Yorktown.

    I think that Viennans also may have enjoyed one of the largest open-air slave markets in the DC area. And then, when Mosby's Raiders were working this area, disrupting Union lines of communications, they were providing intelligence and comfort to Confederate troops. It's little wonder that they had to change their name from Ayr Hill to Vienna.

    And, as if that weren't enough, I think Viennans may have actually voted FOR John McCain and Mitt Romney by a slim majority.

    Of course, it's been a while since I read up on their history, so I may be mistaken about some of this.

  6. Viennese, damn it.

  7. ...and with the new County plan proposed for Reston, we've just begun to plummet from the "Top 10" list.

    We'll be lucky to stay in triple digits.


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