JCG

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Reviews

4/5
Sep 01, 2009

"In the Shadow of the U.S. Capitol"

Maryland Avenue NE is one of the major streets that leads away from the U.S. Capitol and is a major back road thoroughfare for cutting through the city to get to Maryland and points north and east. Because of its proximity to the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress and the House and Senate Office Buildings, the homes and apartments on this street are rather pricey and in high demand. It is a relatively safe neighborhood, although reports of crime in this Capitol Hill location have been on the increase during the past year. The architecture of most of the homes on Maryland Avenue NE resembles a lot of the architecture that you'll see in other locations of Washington, D.C. The homes are three or four stories, very narrow, attached town houses or brownstones. They can be single family or multi-family, depending on how the owners have them renovated. Stanton Square is a small park that borders the street and is a popular place for people watching. There are some small bodegas, restaurants and boutique stores nearby, but the closest large shopping area is at the intersection of Bladensburg and Benning Roads. This is a good street to live on if you want or need to be close to the U.S. Capitol or the downtown area of D.C. It's safe, upscale and very cosmopolitan. It's not a very family-friendly neighborhood -- most of the people here are working professionals. But people do seem to have lots of dogs!
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3/5
Sep 01, 2009

"T Street NW Meanders Through the City"

T Street NW is a long meandering street that wanders through the whole city, from the rather shabby and run down east end to the large hotels and more upscale apartments on the other end of Washington. If you are given an address to visit on T Street, make sure you know whether it is North East or North West and try to clarify the cross streets, since it can be confusing to follow. Most of the homes on this street are small and narrow homes that are either one or two family structures. When you get toward the central part of the city, the houses become a little more ornate, made of brick with some intricate cupolas and porches. Some of them are four stories tall, but are still quite narrow and only have one family living in them. For the most part, T Street is a safe street, even though some of the homes are a bit shabby. The owners or residents do take pride in their homes and keep them up to the best of their ability. As you get further west on T Street NW, the homes become more upscale, but regardless of where you go on this street, there isn't a high level of friendliness by the residents. Nor do you see a lot of children. There is good access to services and shopping, since T Street crosses a lot of major intersections as it meanders through the city.
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5/5
Sep 01, 2009

"Totally Upscale Homes and Apartments on Idaho Avenue NW"

Those who live on Idaho Avenue NW definitely have a prestigious address, even though not that many people would be impressed. But if you drive down parts of this street, you'll notice that there are many large, very expensive homes, as well as several newer high-rise apartment buildings which have parking lots filled with expensive cars. This is a high end neighborhood that is on the outskirts of the Georgetown area, close enough to enjoy its amenities, but far enough away so that the crowds are not a problem. This is not so much a neighborhood as it is a place to live. There is little mingling among neighbors. People pretty much stay to themselves. But it's a clean and safe neighborhood, isolated from the grittier parts of the city. If you can afford to live here, then you will find it a good place to set down roots with the family. If you're single and enjoy an active lifestyle, you would be best served in another area of town.
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5/5
Sep 01, 2009

"If You Can Afford to Live Here, Do It!"

Prospect Street NW is truly just steps away from the heart of Georgetown, one of the most vivacious areas of Washington, D.C. Georgetown is the place where everyone goes to have fun, eat great food, mingle with friends and enjoy all that the city has to offer. Prospect Street NW is just one block from the main intersection of Georgetown (Wisconsin Avenue and M Street NW) so if you are able to afford an apartment on this street, you will be right in the middle of all the activity. Obviously, there is great shopping on both M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, as well as almost any type of restaurant you'd want. You're also just footsteps away from the C & O Canal, which runs through the heart of Georgetown. If you're a student attending Georgetown University, all you'd have to do is walk west and you would end up on the campus. Many of the homes on Prospect Street NW are old town homes, which were built over a century ago. During Christmas time, residents open their curtains so passers-by can see their interior holiday decorations. This is always a fun thing to do.
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5/5
Sep 01, 2009

"A Quiet and Pleasant Area of Town,"

Fulton Street NW is a very pleasant street with some beautiful homes in an upscale area of the city. The very end of the street now has some fairly new homes on a cul de sac, which are probably the most expensive on this street. Because of the geography of the city with its parkland areas, this street is dissected, but each part of it contains beautiful homes that are above the average price of most other homes in the city. People living here keep to themselves. Many of the homeowners hire gardeners or lawn maintenance services to keep their properties looking nice. You don't see many children on the street, but quite a few of them appear to go to private schools in the area and are involved in extracurricular activities. This seems to be a nice place to live if you have the money to keep up the property and/or pay the rent or mortgages. It is not a "neighborhood" in that there are no little eateries or shops close by, but it is always easy to access services if you have a car and are willing to drive 10-15 minutes.
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4/5
Sep 01, 2009

"A Back Road Gateway to D.C. from Maryland"

Sargent Road NE is one of the roads that starts in the state of Maryland and keeps going into Washington, D.C. The border is at Eastern Avenue, which is the dividing line, but there really isn't any major line of demarcation to indicate that you have crossed into the nation's capital. One side of the road looks the same as the other. Sargent Road NE has average, middle class homes. Some are single family, some are duplex homes (two-family). There is an occasional small apartment building, and there is even a block that has, what it seems, two very large and out of place homes that seem to have been plunked there without a lot of planning. Shopping is close by and accessible, although you do have to drive about 15 minutes to get to a large shopping center or mall. The area is relatively safe and clean. A very average street, but it does have more traffic than most people would want because of its access to Maryland.
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4/5
Sep 01, 2009

"Nicely maintained homes in middle class neighborhood"

Shepherd Street is a nice street in a middle class neighborhood that is close enough to shopping and services, but far enough away from the downtown area that residents can feel isolated from the politics of the city. The homes here are mostly middle-class and they are well maintained, considering the state of the economy. This is a working class neighborhood and you can see homeowners outside on the weekends making improvements or repairs to their properties, which is always nice to see. There are a lot of kids on this street for some reason -- at least, they are not afraid to play outside. This is not a neighborhood for singles looking for some action, but it is a very good neighborhood for those who are settled down or want to have a quiet family life. It's quiet, calm and crime free, which is important.
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4/5
Sep 01, 2009

"Another Nice, Middle Class Neighborhood with Spacious Private Homes"

This is another nice, middle class neighborhood in the northeast quadrant of the city that offers spacious, private homes, many of them duplexes, with front and back yards for the kids to play. It looks a lot like middle America, and not the middle of Washington, D.C. Part of the street is "on the other side of the tracks," but in this case, both sides of the track are nice. The western side of the street comes up the campus of Trinity College,so that is quite a nice area, with many faculty and staff members making their homes on this street. The eastern end of the street has some small apartment buildings and some commercial activity, especially at the cross streets. There are no real restaurants or shopping areas in the immediate vicinity, but services and amenities are within a 5-10 minute car ride. This is a nice area of the city, even though most people consider the "northwest" quadrant to be preferable. This is a more affordable part of the city.
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4/5
Sep 01, 2009

"A Clean, Middle Class Neighborhood"

Hamlin Street NE is a clean, middle to upper class neighborhood, with some beautiful, but modest homes that have a little bit of yard, both in the front and back. There are also trees in many areas, which is nice. Hamlin Street is in the northeast corridor of Washington, DC, and as many streets in the nation's capital, it is dissected by railroad tracks. The western part of Hamlin Street dumps into Trinity College, while the eastern part of it traverses eastward toward Route 1, which is a major north/south route through Washington, D.C. This street could be mistaken for a street in the Midwest, because the homes are not typical of the homes you see on most Washington D.C. streets. Most of the residents on this street are young to middle-age families, with some retirees, who have been living there for a long time. Many currently work or have worked at Trinity College. Everyone takes pride in their homes, so it is a very well maintained street. Lots of people have dogs! Shopping is not really walking distance, but it is close enough if you have a car. Overall, a good place to live in Washington, D.C.
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4/5
Sep 01, 2009

"6th Street SW Has Good Access to the Marina Area"

Living on 6th Street SW is pretty sweet if you enjoy the water, because that's where this street begins, right at Water Street. Most of the buildings toward this end of 6th Street SW are larger and relatively more modern apartment buildings, but as you get farther away from the water, the neighborhood begins to turn more citified with brick townhouses dotting the landscape. Living near the water is really nice in the warmer weather, since it's a relatively safe place to walk or jog and there are a lot of restaurants that (naturally) specialize in seafood. Many boaters keep their vessels at the marina, so it is very busy during the summer months. Often people will come down and just hang out on the boats, so it is a very friendly and warm atmosphere. The street passes close to Southeastern University, so if you live here and go to school there, it's an easy, walkable commute. It is also very close to the Arena Stage, which is on 6th St. SW and Maine, so you would have opportunities to see some great theater. All in all this is a very nice place -- close to the water and close to downtown.
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5/5
Apr 14, 2009

"Scenic Views and an Oasis in the Big City"

Battery Park City is a planned development at the tip of Manhattan that is adjacent to "Ground Zero" and site of the former World Trade Center. A residential community combined with outdoor parks and recreation, this is a neighborhood within a neighborhood and definitely an oasis in the midst of the Big Apple. Adjacent to the New York Harbor, walking to the tip of Battery Park City provides breathtaking views of Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty, New Jersey and the shoreline of Staten Island. It is a mixed development of apartments, condos, office buildings and commercial establishments. Theoretically, if you live and work in lower Manhattan, you really should not ever have to leave since all services are at your fingertips (or at least a subway ride away). Battery Park City is a fairly new "neighborhood" as far as New York City goes. Although there was a Battery Park years ago, the development of the green space and scenic promenades are quite recent, as are many of the upscale apartments and condos. Much of the "land" was developed when the original World Trade Center was excavated and it was used to form the basis of this new neighborhood. Living in Battery Park City is extremely expensive because of its proximity to the Wall Street financial district as well as its waterfront views and amenities. Although it is extremely congested (do not even think about owning a car here, unless you are rich and can afford private parking or a valet driver), getting around on foot, bicycle, bus or subway makes it a convenient place. There are lots of upscale and trendy restaurants as well as plentiful casual eateries. If you need a banker or lawyer, they're in great abundance in Battery Park City. The same for stockbrokers and plastic surgeons! I like this area a lot because it provides a bit of tranquility while still just a few miles from the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhattan. It's a must-see for tourists and if you can afford a night in one of the pricey hotels, spring for it and spend the day exploring the side streets, where you can find a lot of interesting shops. (There are even a few antique shops on down here, albeit off th beaten path a bit.) Be prepared for windy conditions when you're on the tip of Manhattan. Bring a sweater or jacket, even in the hot summer months. The breezes can kick up fairly suddenly.
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3/5
Apr 13, 2009

"The Heart of Boro Park"

48th Street is pretty much the heart of Boro Park, a very ethnic neighborhood that is comprised of Orthodox Jews, so you have to know up front that most stores and services will be closed from Friday sundown to after sunset on Saturday. This street is filled with mostly private homes that have been converted to multiple family dwellings, or small, low-rise apartment buildings. There is a large Jewish Center on this street which is home to a Rabbinical College, so you will find a lot of activity during times that classes or services are in session. Parking is also problematic, but once the Sabbath arrives, no vehicles will be moved. There are not a lot of services on 48th Street, but you will find robust activity on the Avenues, especially on 13th Avenue, which is the central shopping area for Boro Park. Here you will find mostly privately own stores selling everything from deli items to fabrics, from fine china to wigs. This is a safe neighborhood but it is very conservative. Although there is tolerance for all religious groups in Boro Park, non-Jews might find it more comfortable to live elsewhere if their habits will clash with Sabbath activities.
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4/5
Apr 13, 2009

"Beautiful Brownstones in a Quiet Neighborhood"

71st Street is split in two by the Gowanus Expressway, so you can't go from one part of the street to the other without doing a detour. But 71st Street is a very well-kept, upscale area with some beautiful, old brownstones that have been kept up with the care by their owners. Some of them have been renovated to include garages (which is sometimes a necessity if you're looking for a close parking spot) but they seem to have kept the architectural integrity when doing the renovations. Traveling down 71st Street will take you into a different era (house wise) with some plain, boxy structures that are either two-or four-family units. They're not as elegant as the brownstones, but they are still well kept. This is a pretty quiet neighborhood ... there does not appear to be a lot of "activity" during the day, evenings or weekends, so anyone looking for "action" would best be served by looking elsewhere. But it is convenient, not far from the water and interstates and services are moderately available but you really do need a car to do any major shopping. If you don't mind being a bit isolated (meaning, not being right on top of services), this is a great neighborhood in which to live.
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4/5
Apr 13, 2009

"Convenient City Living Close to the Water"

Marine Avenue is a wide street that runs between busy Ft. Hamilton Parkway and ends at 92nd Street. It's a nice address to have (wouldn't you like to live on Marine Avenue?) and if you are lucky enough to find a vacant apartment here, it will most likely be in a mid-rise apartment building (4 to 6 stories), although there are a number of private homes that are located on this street. Marine Avenue is only about one long block from Shore Parkway, which is the major interstate that runs from Queens to Brooklyn and around the borough, so you have good vehicular access to and from the area. Plus, you are adjacent to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, that goes into Staten Island. Marine Avenue is also close to the water and some of the little parks and trails that are built alongside it. Ft. Hamilton Park is also close by. There are no commercial services per se on Marine Avenue, but you have lots of restaurants, grocery stores, laundromats, dentists and specialty shops on the intersecting streets and avenues, especially 3rd and 4th Avenues. Marine Avenue is a healthy and vibrant street in a thriving and accessible neighborhood. Living in this area definitely has its perks.
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4/5
Apr 13, 2009

"Great Neighbohood Close to the Water and Parkway"

This is a great neighborhood that has lots of local amenities. Best of all, it is close to water, you can easily hop on the Shore Parkway to get almost anywhere, and there's plenty of opportunity for bike riding along the paths that cling to the water's edge. You are fairly close to the subway stop at 18th Avenue and New Utrecht, so public transportation is good (in case you don't have a vehicle) and you're not far away from Dyker Beach Park, which has lots of greenery and a golf course. Shopping and restaurants are abundant on the Avenues that cross Bay 20th Street, and there's a very warm "neighborhood" feel wherever you go. Depending on where on Bay 20th Street you happen to be, you'll find mid-rise apartment buildings and older, lovely brownstones (going away from the water) and "newer" attached single family homes as you get closer to the parkway. Rents in this part of Brooklyn are pricier than other neighborhoods, but the convenience and cleanliness are probably worth the extra money you are expected to pay. This is a very good are in which to raise kids because there are so many family services (I noticed a LOT of pediatricians in the area) and the "vibe" is just very positive. Although I'm partial to the Midwood section of Brooklyn because I've spent most of my time there, I really like the Bay Ridge/Bensonhurst areas, too. Actually, any of the neighborhoods along the water are highly recommended.
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2/5
Apr 12, 2009

"In the Shadow of an Expressway"

N. Oxford Street is in the shadow of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, so you're close to the whizzing and whirring of cars at all hours of the day and night. It is a VERY busy interstate, connecting Brooklyn to Queens so it's not a very quite street. N. Oxford Street is in the Ft. Greene neighborhood, which up until a few years ago, was not a very desirable place to live. But thanks to a lot of urban renewal and special incentive programs, the residents of this neighborhood have cleaned up the streets and made it a fairly decent and accessible place for families. N. Oxford Street has a school on one side of the short street and there are brownstones and a few multi-unit apartments on the other side. There was a Chinese restaurant on one of the corners of the street, but they were only open sporadically. You really need to venture out of the immediate area for most services, but you can walk to Ft. Greene Park, which is maybe 15 minutes away. I wouldn't recommend this particular street to live on, but the neighborhood is convenient to Manhattan and other parts of the metropolitan area. Plus, it's coming "back" from what used to be a pretty rotten condition.
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3/5
Apr 12, 2009

"Rough and Tough Neighborhood, but Has a Certain "Charm""

Dikeman Street runs through the heart of Red Hook, which has been known go be a pretty rough neighborhood. Right on the waterfront, it has some great views of the harbor, but because it's an industrial area, the folks living here are mostly blue collar, fiercely ethnic and can be confrontational if they feel you're invading their turf. But, we were there in search of Steve's Key Lime Pie, which is just a couple of blocks away (definitely worth the drive, by the way). The homes on Dikeman Street are mostly multi-family and get better as you go farther away from the water. You can tell that they're not very well maintained, as I saw lots of window air conditioning units precariously perched on the window ledges, and a lot of busted windows. There are a lot of vacant lots around, which is coupled with industrial areas and abandoned cars. I would not be comfortable living here, but I think if you're a native to Red Hook, this is probably paradise.
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4/5
Apr 11, 2009

"Lots of Diversity on Brooklyn Avenue"

Brooklyn Avenue in Brooklyn, New York runs quite a ways through the borough, crossing a lot of major intersections as it meanders from neighborhood to neighborhood. It pretty much starts around Fulton Street in the old "downtown" area of Brooklyn, in what is part of Bed-Stuy, and continues several miles past Atlantic Avenue, Eastern Parkway and Empire Boulevard, until it is intersected by the large medical complexes of the Kings County Hospital Center and the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. Then it continues again through the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, coming to a stop at Flatbush Avenue and Avenue J. Because it transverses so much territory, the street is extremely diverse as it goes through all of these wonderful sections of Brooklyn. Brooklyn Avenue is rich in culture, and rich with nice old homes, apartment complexes and smaller multi-family buildings. I am most familiar with Brooklyn Avenue as it goes south from the hospital complexes. In that area, there are some of the most beautiful brownstone homes, with the rounded front windows and large, stoops. This is a family neighborhood and you can often find three generations of a family living in the brownstones ... the grandparents, their kids and the grandkids. that is what makes Brooklyn Avenue so special -- it really feels like "home" when you're there. There are some small shops and services on Brooklyn Avenue, but most of the restaurants, grocery stores, dry cleaners and businesses are on the other major streets surrounding the neighborhood. Brooklyn Avenue is just wonderfully residential. And obviously, it is close to excellent medical care, since the medical complexes are not far.
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2/5
Apr 11, 2009

"Short Street with Cramped Homes"

Desmond Street is another short street that is not far from the Sheepshead Bay area. It is a very middle-class area with attached homes that are cramped together like so many others in Brooklyn. Since real estate is at a premium, this was the preferred style of building, it seems. Desmond Street runs between the main drag of Coney Island Avenue on one side and West 7th Street on the other. It is convenient to a lot of services, but you really would need a a car if you wanted to shop for clothing, furniture or things of that sort. There are a lot of small shops on Coney Island Avenue, but most of them are independent or mom-and-pop operations. It's a fairly clean street and very average. However, the location is good and so is the surrounding neighborhood.
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3/5
Apr 11, 2009

"Private Homes across from Apartment Complex"

On Dank Court, you have your typical, attached brick homes, which are either single family or two-family. It's hard to tell, since some of the homes appear to have been converted into an apartment on the lower level. Most of the homes on this street have garages, which is a real bonus in New York. Across from the private homes on Dank Cort is a large apartment building complex. Dank Court is short, running from West 3rd Street to Shell Road. Other than large buildings across the street, the biggest complaint about living on Dank Court would be the elevated train that runs along Shell Road. It is just down at the end of the block. If you can put up with the noise and rumbling, it's not a bad place to live. You would be between Coney Island and Sheepshead Bay and pretty close to the Coney Island Hospital Complex.
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4/5
Apr 11, 2009

"No Lake on Lake Avenue, but Close to Water"

I'm not sure what Lake it is named after, since there is no Lake around Lake Avenue, but I guess the fact that it is close to the water is close enough. Lake Avenue is a very small street in the Sheepshead Bay area of Brooklyn, which ends at Emmons Avenue. It is not particularly attractive, since there is a mix of houses on the street and a couple of dilapidated garages and an empty lot, but it is very close to a lot of good restaurants and services. So if you love being close to the water and water activities, it's a good place to live. The surrounding neighborhood is good and very lively. It is packed with people during the warmer months since everyone likes being close to the water. It's close to transportation routes that can get you into Queens very easily and it's not a bad ride around Brooklyn to get into Manhattan (as long as traffic is OK). Lake Avenue may not be the most attractive street in this area, but you can't go wrong living in this neighborhood.
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3/5
Apr 11, 2009

"Close to Sheepshead Bay"

Coyle Street is an average, middle-class street,convenient to Sheepshead Bay and the water. It is not very far from the Belt Parkway/Shore Parkway, which is a major highway that runs along the Brooklyn waterfront. The houses on Coyle Street are mostly attached brick homes that can have a family living on the lower level and another family living on the second floor. They're mostly private homes, but look pretty cramped. No real front or back yards and there are always kids playing in the street. That always amazes me, since there is a significant amount of traffic going by. On one side of Coyle Street is a school with a playground. If you go further down Coyle Street (on the other side of the Parkway, toward Avenue U) there are some small businesses and shops, like a video rental place, and an accounting business, cleaners, etc. Those little pockets of business have a lot of graffiti on the walls, which makes it very unattractive. The area toward Sheepshead Bay is definitely nicer and a lot quieter than the commercial part of Coyle Street.
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4/5
Apr 10, 2009

"A Great Little Neighborhood Far from the Crowds of the "Big City""

The Midwood area of Brooklyn is a great little neighborhood that would be a wonderful place to live, if I had the money to afford one of those old, charming houses on the side streets off Bedford Avenue and around the Brooklyn College area. I've been fortunate enough to spend enough time in the area to know it pretty well. I have good friends in Midwood and have been able to go inside some of the older homes. They are awesome, as is the entire neighborhood. I think that Brooklyn College really anchors Midwood and keeps it vibrant, without making it ostentatious.

Midwood has changed over the years, but I still enjoy walking around "the Junction" (the intersection of Flatbush and Nostrand Avenues, where the subway line ends) and watching all of the people coming and going. I love going into some of the ethnic markets and seeing what's for sale. I also like walking along Avenue J and sampling some of the Russian, Jewish and local foods. You can't beat New York for the type and variety of food, especially in the local neighborhoods. You don't find chains here. Most of the stores are still independently owned and have been passed down through the generations.

What is kind of sad about Midwood is that it has some beautiful homes, but many of them need some work (new roofs, a paint job, some general clean up). I think it's because they are owned by senior citizens who just can't afford to keep them up. There's a really pretty house on E. 24th Street that I've admired for years. One of these days I may have enough money to buy it.

This is a great neighborhood for almost anyone, unless they are looking to be loud, noisy and annoying. That's one of the reasons I like it here. It is like suburbia, but still close enough to midtown Manhattan.
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4/5
Feb 27, 2009

"Historic Neighborhood on the James River Undergoing Revitalization"

The Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of downtown Richmond, Virginia is literally "at the bottom," meaning it is a very low-lying area adjacent to the historic James River. Originally home to a number of tobacco warehouses owned by companies that are long gone, the neighborhood has always been a mix of old, new and eclectic. Every few years a hurricane or bad storm comes through and the "bottom" gets flooded ... which sets in motion a new wave of renovation.

Currently, Shockoe Bottom is in the midst of a revival. A new seawall along the banks of the James River will keep the water in the river next time a major storm passes through. Old warehouses are being converted into trendy condominiums and restaurants. Lots of new restaurants are joining those which have been there for years. Tourism is increasing, as a local company is offering Segue tours.

Main Street Station, the Amtrak boarding location for Richmond has been restored and sits at the western end of Shockoe Bottom. Adjacent to the station is a Farmer's Market, that operates seasonally and sells fresh fruit, vegetables and crafts from local growers. The Edward Allen Poe house is in Shockoe Bottom -- it is one of the places that Poe lived in as a young man.

On the drawing board for Shockoe Bottom is a new minor league baseball stadium for Richmond. This is still in the planning stages and approvals will be needed from a variety of constituents to make it happen. But if it comes to pass, Shockoe Bottom will likely become a shining star in Richmond's economy and night life. Also in discussion is the possible development of a National Slave Museum.

Right now, Shockoe Bottom is one of the best places for night life in Richmond, maybe second in stature only to Carytown. Living in Shockoe Bottom currently means an expensive condo overlooking the river, or one of the apartments over the numerous stores or restaurants. There are some private homes and small apartment houses. Nearby Church Hill also offers some outstanding opportunities for living in an historical area.

When in Richmond, head for Shockoe Bottom for good food and good views. Walk along the river on the canal walk. Visit some of the trendy shops. Enjoy the history of Virginia's capital city.
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