Relocating to Washington DC/Metro Area, any advice?

I guess more accurately I'm moving to downtown Silver Spring, (shout out to denizens brewery). I figure given my proximity to the capital and my job location ill be spending a lot more time there and wanted to see what was up. I found a few forums on the topic already but they were slightly dated and figured things are always changing. For a little non-finance background, I'm a native Baltimoron so I've been raised my whole life believing 1) the whole metro area was just the one place where traffic was even worse in Maryland than where i was; 2) the Nat's are vastly inferior than the O's; and 3) politicians live there so stay away haha.

In no particular order I'm looking for advice on:

Breweries/pubs
Nightlife (U street is pretty much all i know)
Clothiers/Tailors
Barbershops
Pretty much anything else to do in Silver Spring/Bethesda/D.C/NOVA

Also if the WSO DC Chapter Social Chair happens to read this, looking forward to the next meetup (whenever that may be)!

Comments (77)

Jun 9, 2017

Cantina Marina in SW DC is awesome in the summer.

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Jun 9, 2017

Just visited website, first thing on the menu i saw was fish tacos, it's like you already know me haha.

Jun 9, 2017

As far as nightlife, you've already noted U street corridor, also within DC you've got Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan (this might be the closest 1:1 with Fells Point) and to a lesser extent Georgetown. I'm not too familiar with the bar scene in Silver Spring/Bethesda so cannot comment on them but within NoVa/Arlington you've Clarendon, fairly popular as well.

Breweries/Pubs: DC Brau, Capitol City Brewing(VA/DC), Port City Brewing (VA), Bluejacket and I'd add Sauf Haus (bier garden with rooftop seating)

PM if you'd like more specifics!

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Jun 9, 2017

+1 much appreciated! thanks for the fells point comparison, that or canton are usually where i usually end up.

Jun 9, 2017

Not a problem, yeah, like I said closest I can think of, that or Dupont(more spread out), to Fells, all the bars are within about 2 blocks a couple have live music, each place has its own vibe etc Good luck!

Jun 9, 2017

You MUST get the chicken and waffles from Founding Farmers in D.C.
Trust.
You're welcome.

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Jun 9, 2017

Putting it at the top of my list. do they also do hot chicken???

Jun 9, 2017

I don't believe so. Truth be told I never even look at the menu, also try Uncle Bucks Beignets if you still have room afterwards; they're made fresh just for you. It's a good quality restaurant and will def be in your top 5 in the whole region! Tab should only be around $30/person(if you get one soda, no drinks), which is GREAT for the quality of the food they serve. as you can see I like them... a lot

Jun 9, 2017

Fun spots in the summer - Georgetown Waterfront (Sequoia Brunch is awesome). Happy hour spots Dupont/Adams Morgan (Mission , Bar Dupont, El Centro, etc).

Nightlife - Clubs (Park, Living Room, Kabin, Public) Bars ( Catina Marina, Saufhaus, Hawethorne, Fainting Goat, etc)

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Jun 9, 2017

I just saw a picture of the double potomac seafood tower, I think I'm gonna be just fine with my relocation, at least from a food perspective.

Jun 9, 2017

For nightlife, the decent areas have already been mentioned (G-town, Adams Morgan, Dupont circle). Not so much down town Silver Spring. Downtown Bethesda is a decent area as well, more restaurants than actual nightlife though. Goto NoVa (Annandale, Fairfax) for late night Korean bbq joints, parts of those areas are like mini-ktowns.

Don't mean to go off topic, but just curious on what you guys do down there (career wise)? I grew up in the DC Metro region and only moved to NYC for college and career. I do miss the lower COL and being able to drive (I hate public transportation).

Jun 9, 2017

Currently a Small to lower MM underwriter/credit analyst for a regional bank. Your tag says corporate banking, there is a lot of that down there (it's why I'm moving). Not too sure about the IB scene but basically every major institutional banking outfit has a corporate presence there (between McLean/DC/Bethesda), along with some non-bank financial institutions.

Jun 16, 2017

There are other desirable careers out there than banking and consulting...

Jun 16, 2017

You could live out in Arlington or McClean, both are fine areas to live in. I know they just finished extending the subway line out there, although I don't know how close the stop is to your workplace. I love DuPout Circle and Georgetown, but both will be expensive. If you like outdoors stuff I'd probably live outside of DC proper.

I personally love DC and would move there in a heartbeat. You might luck out being a foreigner and be able to avoid all the political conversations that take over the city. What is nice is the place is incredibly diverse and educated and you have a ton of night life and restaurants. Two major airports and Amtrak make it very easy to explore the rest of the East Coast.

Jun 16, 2017

"You might luck out being a foreigner and be able to avoid all the political conversations that take over the city."

I have family that live in a foreign country, and they absolutely hate having to deal with American politics every time they come over. They have learned not to bring up anything about politics/ taxes because when they do, people try to convert them to their cause (ie the Trump of Clinton campaign)

I've never been to DC, but I do know a bit about the Australian auto market. First and foremost cars are way more expensive in AUS than in the US. Second, shipping will cost a bit and when it gets here the steering wheel would be on the wrong side. If you do want a car, it's not a bad idea to sell yours and use the money to buy a nicer/ newer model over here.

Corporate culture should be similar, possibly a bit more money motivated in the US due to our lower income tax rates, (people get to keep more of what they make so they're more likely to jump companies/ cities for a better amount). There are also a ton more people in the US, so if looking to switch jobs in the future just realize you will be competing with about 10-15x more people.

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Jun 16, 2017

Pretty much seconded. Adams Morgan is also a cool neighborhood. The only problem with Georgetown is it's lack of a subway stop, which may make getting to work or around the city harder.

Also, if you aren't politically inclined, the people in DC can be a bit overwhelming. When I lived there, it seemed that everyone I knew either had aspirations to be president, senator, or ambassador to some third world country. There are also plenty of lobbyists, consultants, etc. That being said, if you're not into political debates, be warned that they can be hard to avoid because everyone is opinionated. That being said, DC has a ton of young, motivated people, which can be great in its own right.

Jun 16, 2017

Can i ask where and in what? And how did you pull that off?!

(Also an Aussie)

Array

Jun 16, 2017

PM'd

Jun 16, 2017

I currently live in the DC area and would highly recommend living in Arlington it has the metro that runs right through the middle of it allowing you to ride to work assuming by Mclean you mean the Tysons Corner area(they are relatively interchangeable). Arlington is a nice middle ground between the two areas, and the metro will take at most about 30 mins to get into DC or Tysons Corner/Mclean. As far as reliability, it has been prone to delays/closing of late due to a complete repair of the tracks, although I believe it will be finishing within the next 6 months.

As for areas to live in, Clarendon, Courthouse and Ballston are neighborhoods in Arlington, with their own metro stops that provide a diverse selection of nightlife and living.

As TNA said living outside of DC proper will be better if you like outdoor activities, from Arlington/Mclean you have about an hour long drive till you start hitting the Blue Ride Mountains and Appalachian Trail, which are great for hiking and exploring.

PM if you have anymore specific questions!

Jun 16, 2017
tyler2434:

I currently live in the DC area and would highly recommend living in Arlington it has the metro that runs right through the middle of it allowing you to ride to work assuming by Mclean you mean the Tysons Corner area(they are relatively interchangeable). Arlington is a nice middle ground between the two areas, and the metro will take at most about 30 mins to get into DC or Tysons Corner/Mclean. As far as reliability, it has been prone to delays/closing of late due to a complete repair of the tracks, although I believe it will be finishing within the next 6 months.

As for areas to live in, Clarendon, Courthouse and Ballston are neighborhoods in Arlington, with their own metro stops that provide a diverse selection of nightlife and living.

As TNA said living outside of DC proper will be better if you like outdoor activities, from Arlington/Mclean you have about an hour long drive till you start hitting the Blue Ride Mountains and Appalachian Trail, which are great for hiking and exploring.

PM if you have anymore specific questions!

Second this. I lived in Arlington and DC. I loved DC (I was in Eastern Market) but it's easy to get into the city from Clarendon/Ballston and you'll be that much closer to the office and the airport. Huge population of young professionals in those neighborhoods. Just uber home when you get too drunk in Adams Morgan, or take the train, it's not that far. They're also closer to the better airport. You'll want to be flying out of Reagan for projects, NOT Dulles, regardless of how close it looks to your office. Dulles is a huge clusterfuck international airport, Reagan is one of those swoop in/swoop out locations (tends to be less traffic to Reagan too if you're driving or in an uber, train works fine though). BWI (Baltimore) is also an accessible airport. I usually flew them over Dulles because it's also easy in/easy out but it's probably a wash because it's a bit further and rush hour will be tough to get to from the VA side.

You won't need a car in those particular areas but I'd recommend having one if you have the income. You don't want to shut yourself off from getting out of the city area, there's a lot of really beautiful and amazing stuff to do - there are some beautiful vineyards just outside of DC, Charlottesville is a must visit (the UVA campus and Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home), Mt. Vernon is close (George Washington's home), Annapolis is great. Keep in mind that an hour outside of DC Virginia turns rural. We call it 'horse country', it's full of multimillion dollar estates on large plots of clear country land. It can be a really refreshing day to drive out and visit some of these 'small towns' (they are small, and it's a much different way of life, but as stated they're very wealthy towns too). Finally, if you golf, DC has a plethora of mid range courses that are open to the public, are decent and won't break the bank, so a car is nice there too. Finally, there are some decent hiking trails and rock climbing areas near you (mostly MD side for a short drive) but again, you'll need a car to access.

The bike trails in Arlington are amongst the best in the nation as well. The Mt. Vernon trail in particular provides incredible views of the potomac and continues all the way down to its namesake. Four mile run might be one of my personal favorites, it connects through a few nice small parks, there are a lot of trees. Taking a bicycle is the best way to explore the monuments as well.

While living there, I assume you'll find the monuments and smithsonians. Some don't miss attractions you might not think of are the top of the Washington Monument (best view in the city, need a ticket), the cherry blossom festival (seriously, don't miss it), Mt. Vernon, a tour of the capital/library of congress, Arlington National Cemetery, the Air Force Monument. Most of this stuff is free to enter in DC. The city has really good happy hours, Adams Morgan/U St/Dupont Circle and Chinatown are the best places to score a deal.

One final caveat - be forewarned that DC has some of the worst traffic in the country (I honestly think the worst), and it is compounded because nobody is from the area, so there aren't many driving norms that everyone follows like in most cities.

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Jun 16, 2017

I have zero answers but I'm going to tag @SSits since, if I remember correctly, he's done the Aus--->US thing and can comment on the corporate cultural differences. Sorry to put you on the spot haha.

Best Response
Jun 16, 2017
Jaxom:

Corporate culture, Is there any major difference between the two countries? If anyone has worked in both and could comment. Done numerous internships back home in Australia, but have no idea of how the US operates.

Various differences. Key one is that they get offended and complain to HR if you call them cunts.

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Jun 16, 2017

Haha, that is rich. Ya filthy ranga!

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Jun 16, 2017

Fucking oath guess i'll be losing my job in the first week, PC cunts (Woops)
At least tell me we can get some stubbies in the office around 4pm mate;

Jun 16, 2017

If you are single, definitely Arlington (assuming you work in DC or NoVA). Chinatown is also solid, but more expensive. If money isn't a huge issue, Georgetown is great, but has no metro, so you'll need to walk to Foggy Bottom or across the bridge (though there is a fairly regular shuttle).

PM me, happy to chat more in-depth

Jun 16, 2017

Live in Arlington, in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. This is on the Orange/Silver Line of the metro. This area is great for postgrads and has plenty of restaurants and bars. You can take the Silver Line from this area of Arlington out to McLean/Tysons Corner. I would avoid the Blue Line area of Arlington (Pentagon City, Crystal City). Feel free to PM me with any specific questions.

Jun 16, 2017

How did you score that? Is it an AUS based firm with a DC office or a US firm? Did you have to get sponsorship?

Jun 16, 2017

It's a US global firm if that makes sense. So US firm with a DC office, and mainly through networking while on exchange and a lot of luck.

Jun 16, 2017

I could read @SSits American/Australian analysis for hours

@Jaxom - the accent alone will bring you more girls than you can imagine

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Jun 16, 2017
CRE:

I could read @SSits American/Australian analysis for hours

@Jaxom - the accent alone will bring you more girls than you can imagine

Seconded on the accent + will 90% of the time be met with "Oh i've always wanted to visit Australia!" or [generic comment about Bondi/Coogee]

Jun 16, 2017

Let's get serious now. Has a dingo ever eaten your baybay?

Jun 16, 2017

My rottweiler bit a baby once, but it was my god-daughter and I had a "dog bites baby" get out of jail free card, I think. Certainly, no charges pressed.

Jun 16, 2017

I've lived my entire life in Northern Virginia, actually. DC is an amazing city and I'm sure you'll love it. As far as places to live, there are many options. The whole area in Arlington between Ballston and Rosslyn has great nightlife, young professionals, and has the orange line on the metro running through it, which might also be the best metro system in the country. If you're middle aged (or approaching middle aged) check out some places north of there. North Arlington, around the Washington & Lee area is great for families. McLean and Falls Church are also great options that will give you a 15-25 minute commute to DC. Fairfax, Vienna, Oakton, and many others that I may have forgotten are all gonna be great choices too. Please feel free to PM

Jun 16, 2017

Hi Jaxom, Thank to share has lived more serious in living. Good morning!

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Jun 16, 2017

I think you'll like it, our best restaurant is Outback Steakhouse so you should feel right at home. Also to note our aboriginals are different than yours. While a majority of D.C. is like your Northern Territory each "tribe" is required to go on a different walkabout of sorts. Also replace Walzing Matilda with C.R.E.A.M. and you're in.

Jun 16, 2017

I lived in DC for 4+ years. Personally, I'm not a fan. It is over priced but not as fun as NYC. A good chunk of the people are horrible. I'd suggest living outside the city in Virginia where you can get a better place to live for cheaper than the city and you're only a metro ride away. A good thing about DC though is the womanz...

Jun 16, 2017
WidespreadPanic90:

I lived in DC for 4+ years. Personally, I'm not a fan. It is over priced but not as fun as NYC. A good chunk of the people are horrible. I'd suggest living outside the city in Virginia where you can get a better place to live for cheaper than the city and you're only a metro ride away. A good thing about DC though is the womanz...

This criticism just doesn't make any sense. As I outlined in my post, there is almost no activity a human being can think of that is not available in the D.C. area, so I'm not sure how it could be criticized as not "fun." And if the complaint is cost of living, COL is 13% higher in NYC than in D.C. without the oppressive taxes.

Jun 16, 2017

I'm a native Washingtonian, the real estate developer I work for owns a disproportionate share of Arlington, and I live in Arlington, so I feel qualified to agree with much of what's been said about the D.C. area and about choosing to live in Arlington. haha.

With that said, frankly, public transportation is abysmal in the D.C. area. I live adjacent to an Arlington metro stop but never use the metro except for rare occasions. The metro is slow and unreliable. D.C. is a car-dominated city; however, Uber and Lyft have become pretty huge among the younger crowd, so it's used often (especially for nightlife since parking can suck in some places). A lot of people want to live in D.C. proper, usually to say they had the "experience," but there is really no justifiable reason to choose to live in the District of Columbia and pay the higher taxes unless you are radically committed to a car-free, alcohol-centric lifestyle and your employer also is in D.C.

The great thing about the greater Washington, D.C. area is that there is anything your heart desires--wineries; indoor climbing gyms; restaurant movie theatres; symphonies; theatre; comedy shows; countless concert venues; popular professional sports teams (soccer, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey); every fitness/gym activity imaginable (indoor cycling, Orange Theory, barre, SolidCore, yoga, kickboxing, etc.); endless restaurants; endless breweries; fantastic hiking; organized rec leagues (for bowling, ultimate Frisbee, softball, etc.); boating/sailing; equestrian; one of the most prestigious malls in the world (Tysons Corner mall); a huge new casino. It's endless. And there are four distinct seasons (for weather), which is pretty cool and kind of rare throughout the world.

The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is one of the greatest places in the world. We're incredibly blessed here.

Jun 16, 2017

Thanks Virginia!, I haven't done anything related to being an Equestrian since I was in high school as I had to give it up when moving for College. Would you know where these places are located of the top off your head? (What a pleasant surprise!)

Cheers
Jax

Jun 16, 2017

Since you are going to be working in McLean (Tysons)/ Arlington I would highly recommend living in Arlington. Ballston/Clarendon are two really cool "neighborhoods" that have a lot to offer from restaurants/bars/gyms/ etc. Plus being in Arlington you are only a 5-7$ Uber ride to DC.

That being said if you plan on living in Arlington/McLean I would recommend having a car. The traffic sucks but the metro in Nova blows.

Jun 16, 2017

Don't think you could pick two more polar opposites: DC and rural Australia. Best of luck mate.

Jun 16, 2017

How are girls in D.C.? I am considering doing Master of Real Estate in DC

Jun 16, 2017
5 million:

How are girls in D.C.? I am considering doing Master of Real Estate in DC

Girls in the D.C. area are pretty hot, but it's relative to what you're used to. If you're used to, I don't know, Los Angeles girls, Swedish girls, or even NYC chicks, D.C. chicks are a bit "meh," but overall, an attractive group of women. Also, girls (and guys, for what it's worth) in D.C. are not particularly fashionable, which is sort of disappointing.

It's a work hard/play hard town, but mostly work hard--if you're coming to the capital of the world's sole superpower, you probably have a type-"A" personality and are generally more career focused and less fashion and fun focused.

Jun 16, 2017

im quite sure those are not the point sir! best of luck anyway

Jun 16, 2017

I didn't read all of the posts above but having lived in DC for ~5 years, I suggest the following, in no particular order:

  1. Explore living in Bethesda, Arlington, or NW DC.
  2. Attend as many embassy events as you can. You will meet some really interest people your age and can get pretty lucky with meeting some very powerful people.
  3. Filomena Ristorante is a must. Hands down the best Italian I've ever had in any major city
  4. If you are really interested in American politics, reach out to the communications director for either a congressman or senator from surrounding states (VA, MD, DE) and see if you can visit their office to learn more and get a tour of the Capitol Building. I don't know if they allow visitors to ride the underground tram but it is an experience.
  5. DC is actually very APOLITICAL because many government workers simply do not participate in politics.
  6. Don't aggressively ask for what other people do for work (cold war sentiment), they will think you're a foreign spy.
  7. Definitely get a car if you have the income. While DC is "public transit friendly" their metro (subway) is often shit.
  8. DC is a great place to find a girlfriend if you're into the "power couple" type. You can easily meet someone at a bar drunk as fuck that is a White House aide or director of XYZ for some member of Congress.
  9. Embrace it. You are now resident of the most powerful and influential city the world has ever known. Be proud and be "American."
  10. This is a bit of an adventure but if you want to have the best fried chicken you've ever had, visit southeast DC but make sure you go with some jacked bros because you may get mugged.
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Jun 16, 2017

News years resolution: Time to get jacked. Don't mind me while I go wrestle some crocodiles and kangaroos.

I've understood that its possible to lease a car in the US which isn't possible back home, However not sure how long I will be in DC and how that is vs Lyft/Uber in regards to cost-effectiveness/utilization. So that's definitely an eye-opener, thanks for all those points!

Jun 16, 2017
Whiskey5:

I didn't read all of the posts above but having lived in DC for ~5 years, I suggest the following, in no particular order:

  1. Explore living in Bethesda, Arlington, or NW DC.
  2. DC is actually very APOLITICAL because many government workers simply do not participate in politics.
  3. Don't aggressively ask for what other people do for work (cold war sentiment), they will think you're a foreign spy.
  4. Definitely get a car if you have the income. While DC is "public transit friendly" their metro (subway) is often shit.
  5. DC is a great place to find a girlfriend if you're into the "power couple" type. You can easily meet someone at a bar drunk as fuck that is a White House aide or director of XYZ for some member of Congress.
  6. Embrace it. You are now resident of the most powerful and influential city the world has ever known. Be proud and be "American."

This. You'll come to find that the DC metro will seriously suck due to single tracking, and people are actually super nosy about work. Almost every date starts with this question. A lot of people are really career-driven, so just take their annoying type A personality with a grain of salt.

Jun 16, 2017

Arlington is the best area to live in without spending a sizable portion of your paycheck on rent, particularly Ballston/VA Square

Jun 16, 2017

There are places around Tysons that are pretty low cost. PM me if you want to chat. I live in Tysons.

Jun 16, 2017
Praesto:

There are places around Tysons that are pretty low cost. PM me if you want to chat. I live in Tysons.

If OP is travelling from work, Tysons is pretty far from Reagan.

Also, Tysons sucks.

Jun 16, 2017

On another note, I know London & NY generally have areas of a high concentration of Australian expats.
I was wondering if anyone knew the relevant area in DC? Would be good to build some links/networking on the Oz side as-well.

Jun 16, 2017
Jaxom:

On another note, I know London & NY generally have areas of a high concentration of Australian expats.I was wondering if anyone knew the relevant area in DC? Would be good to build some links/networking on the Oz side as-well.

1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC

Jun 16, 2017

Hopefully you found a great place! Living in this overall area does get to be expensive, but you can avoid some of that if you're strategic. I'm assuming your office will be in Tyson's if you wrote McLean, and the good news is that there are some affordable places to live there that are in proximity to the metro.

Regarding your comment about the Australian expat community, you can reach out to the Australian embassy to see if they have any events going on and meet people through that. A lot of embassies in DC frequently have cultural events. I live close to the French embassy and it seems like they have something going on every night. There's also definitely a favorite bar for watching rugby, etc.

DC itself is pretty expensive, but there are some relatively affordable areas if you're willing to look, like Columbia Heights and north of there, or around the Capitol. Some lines of the metro are worse than others also, but overall walking proximity to a station is going to be a game changer.

Jun 16, 2017

I would recommend the Kalorama neighborhood. You could neighbors with the Obama's and the Kushner/Trumps! :)

Jun 16, 2017
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