Ballston: Bustling Arlington Neighborhood Is a Renter’s Delight

Ballston sign

You are here: Worried about moving to Ballston only to wake up one morning and forget where you are? It’s a common problem. Fortunately, the city has erected this handy reminder overlooking Wilson Boulevard. (Google)

About a year after I moved to Washington, D.C., my then-girlfriend referred to what I thought was “Boston” in a casual conversation we were having, as in, “Yeah, it’s this place in Boston. Let’s go check it out,” or something to that effect. I was like, “Uh, tonight?”

Stupid, provincial me had no idea what she was talking about. I still don’t, which may explain a bit about what happened with us. But this is about you, not me, and why you’d be a fool not to rent an apartment in Ballston … the one in Arlington, Va., that is.

[ Related: Ballston: Well-Stocked Public Library is Worth Checking Out ]

Now that we’ve established that Ballston is just outside the capital city, let’s see what else it has going for it. For one thing, Ballston has one of the better collections of small skyscrapers that the D.C. area will allow. That always lends a sense of gravitas to the proceedings. Second, according to the Arlington Economic Development website, this impressive urban village “is Arlington’s hub of science and technology and contains the nation’s greatest concentration of scientific research agencies, anchored by the National Science Foundation.” The site also lauds Ballston’s “green spaces,” labeling the area as “vibrant” and “pedestrian-friendly.”

If that alone isn’t enough to send the potential renter into giddy paroxysms, how about the knowledge that you’ll be in the presence of Ballston Common Mall. The four-level shopping center is anchored by Macy’s, a 12-screen Regal Cinema and a Sport & Health Club.

Here are a few more good things about Ballston that have nothing to do with the Red Sox. In a 2007 article, The Washington Post called Ballston “a national model for transit-oriented development.” One of the reasons for this is the Ballston-MU stop on the Metro’s Orange Line. That “MU” tacked onto the end stands for Marymount University. Just thought I’d share that.

I’ll leave you with a little information about the Taste of Arlington, an annual event hosted by the Ballston Partnership. The 2010 event featured the participation of more than 40 restaurants. The festival, which draws an average of 15,000 people each year, also offers local entertainment and activities for children.

[ Related: Bethesda Serves Residents Another Helping of Popular Food Festival ]

The 2011 Taste of Arlington will occur Sun., May 22 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, and will be held on Wilson Boulevard in front of the Ballston Common Mall. It’s free to show up and gawk, but it’s 20 smackers for a ticket book (if bought in advance), which is good for eight tastes. Lollygaggers who show up wanting to eat, drink and be merry will be charged an additional $5 for the same deal. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Check out Apartment Showcase for more information.

Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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