Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"Arlington is a World Class...Dump"


Hello,

I recently visited Arlington from where I live in the Seattle area to interview for a position with a tech firm located in the Ballston area. First time I've been in the D.C. metro area in about 10 years.

Whatever the promoters of Arlington County may say about Arlington being 'world class' the reality is that the corridor between Ballston and Rosslyn is a dump.

I caught a Metro train from the airport to the Westin in Ballston, where I stayed 3 days. The Metro is incredibly dirty and run-down and the train I was on was filthy. I exited the Ballston Metro station, also appeared to not have been cleaned since being constructed, and immediately encountered broken brick paving, so I took a cab to the Westin only a couple blocks away. That was Saturday afternoon.

Saturday evening I went for a walk around the Ballston neighborhood, more broken sidewalks. I didn't want to eat in the hotel restaurant so I entered Ballston Mall looking for decent food..Finding only squalor, I left and found World of Beer, which was packed with screaming and yelling urban hipsters. Finally had supper at Ted's Montana Grill.

Sunday, I took a long walk from Ballston to the Courthouse area and found all the brick sidewalks in Arlington are crumbling. It also seems that used car lots are a major, but unreported, business activity in Arlington. Oh, I was forced to repeatedly dodge urban hipsters on rental bicycles who believe they own the sidewalk. Took another filthy Metro train from the filthy Courthouse Metro station back to the beautiful Ballston Metro station.

Monday I had my interview with the tech firm's vice-president, who was effusive in his praise for Arlington and especially the Ballston-to-Rosslyn corridor. Afterwards I decided I had enough of Metro and started taking taxicabs. Took a cab to Mt. Vernon Monday afternoon, a place I had never visited.

Decided to not walk the broken sidewalks and had supper and breakfast at the Westin. Took a cab to the airport. Never received an offer from the tech firm. Doubt I would have accepted an offer if I had.

Thanks for your blog.

Mark, Seattle area

36 Comments:

At 01 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, you missed the pub crawls in Clarendon, too bad you didn't visit 6 months sooner.

 
At 01 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, we are a world class dump...thanks to 30 years of 1-party Democratic rule which spends massive amounts on streetcars rather than on repairing streets and sidewalks.

 
At 01 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, sounds like you were lonely. You should have hooked up with one of Ballston's World Class escorts. Drugs and prostitution are two more Arlington growth industries.

 
At 01 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had an appointment in the building next to Ballston Metro last week. The metro entrance smelled like vomit. The place was filthy. The metal grates are full of cigarette butts. There are a lot of scary people hanging around. There is so much hype about living close to Ballston Metro. No thanks. 30 year resident.

 
At 01 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the County's new and expensive homeless facility on 14th Street opens next year I better not see dozens of homeless people hanging around Ballston.

 
At 01 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, why does Arlington Camber of Commerce Board Member Scott McCaffrey constantly blame the 'loopy lefties' for the Arlington Chamber's failures?

 
At 01 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Community Policing'? What's that? Arlington Cops are too busy chasing the homeless and larceny suspects from around Metro stations.

 
At 02 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of people with lengthy criminal records are hanging around Arlington's Metro stations.

 
At 02 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arlington County does not know how to do basic maintenance whether it is parks, cross walks, sidewalk repair, curbs, litter, etc.

New projects pile on dollars and dollars and dollars without regard to any plans to ever maintain the projects.

We have very strange elected officials who are oblivious to basic government functioning.

 
At 02 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you had that experience Mark. I do agree with you, sadly. I avoid Ballston like the plaque.

 
At 03 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark,

Arlington Economic Development is located just up Glebe Road from Ballston. AED has an $11 million annual budget and 62 employees.

Ballston is also in a Business Improvement District.

I am not voting for any more Democrats. They've made Arlington into an expensive mess.

The Independents on the ballot get my vote on November 4th.

K.D.

 
At 03 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want to know the person responsible? Mary Hynes who is on both the County Board and Metro Board...call her at 703-228-3130.

 
At 03 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fastest growing businesses in the B-R Corridor are not bars and restaurants, they're boutique drug dealing and escort services.

 
At 03 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it about Bikeshare riders scaring the hell out of pedestrians and motorists with their reckless behavior?

 
At 03 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree...Dump the Democrats. The Independents running for County Board and School Board care about us, not about their corporate and special interest cronies.

 
At 03 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you look at Ballston you will see the future of Clarendon, Virginia Square, Courthouse, and Rosslyn...buildings and public infrastructure allowed to become run down with little or no maintenance.

 
At 03 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arlington Police are constantly encountering people in the B-R corridor with multiple arrests for assault and larceny in other cities and states.

 
At 03 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary Hynes is largely responsible. She's been on the County Board for 7 years and Metro Board for 4 years. She lives in the B-R corridor and thinks the pub crawl culture is cool.

 
At 03 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next on the New Urbanist agenda is Lee Highway.

 
At 04 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The $26 million being spent on Pike streetcar design could replace miles of crumbling brick sidewalks.

 
At 04 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or. add new ART Bus routes.

 
At 04 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why haven't METRO trains been cleaned and METRO stations pressure washed?

 
At 04 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same filthy Metro trains are now serving Reston on the Silver Line.

 
At 04 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary Hynes...Mary Hynes...Mary Hynes...

 
At 04 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No-Brainer as to why 'For Lease' signs are all over 25 year old buildings in the B-R Corridor.

 
At 06 October, 2014 , Anonymous Erin said...

I find it ridiculous to spend $26 MILLION dollars on just the DESIGN of what a possible streetcar might look like instead of fixing up our streets, sidewalks and cleaning stations. WTF is wrong with this county? Citizens, we're being hosed here. It should not cost THAT much for just a "design".

 
At 06 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ Jay Fisette is too busy reaping the benefits of new office building construction than actually doing something about the existing buildings. What's the vacancy rate now in Arlington... 30%?

 
At 06 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

New buildings deteriorate just like the older buildings. Some 10-year old buildings in Ballston are shabby already.

 
At 06 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So guess where the streetcar planning and design firms are located? Not in Arlington!

 
At 07 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Click on the photo to expand so you can read the "For Lease" sign on the building above the filthy Metro station.

 
At 07 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the billions spent on Metro you would think there would be a few hundred thousand available to pressure wash Metro stations.

 
At 07 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Continental condos next to the Westin has had some serious building infrastructure problems and the building is only about 10 years old.

 
At 07 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buildings are never pressure washed either, so badly-designed buildings look even worse when they get dirty, after about 5 years.

 
At 07 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about washing the floors, signs, gates, fare card machines, metal trim, escalators, elevators, etc. at Orange Line Metro stations with soap and water...for the first time in 40 years?

 
At 07 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took a good look at the Ballston Metro station as I was leaving tonight. My God, it IS filthy !

 
At 08 October, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dems want to build extra tall buildings in Rosslyn? How about finding a new owner for NSF's building in Ballston first?

 

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