It’s a rare day on Van Dorn street when it isn’t choked with traffic. This is a typical scene in the West End: wide boulevards, lots of development, and none of it very appealing or attractive.
The West End is the antithesis of Old Town. This is the most densely populated neighborhood and the largest in Alexandria, where you’ll find forests of highrise apartment and condo buildings, oceans of townhouses, acres of strip malls and the lovely industrial zone. No tourists or trendy shops here. It scores a bit fat zero on charm and atmosphere, unless Home Depot, McDonald’s and Jiffy Lube make your day.
But this is the neighborhood where I found an affordable place to live seven years ago. If I were trying to buy something now, I wouldn’t be able to live here at all. Even though it’s not cute or scenic, I like it because within its nooks and crannies, there are a lot of surprises. Come on. I’ll show you, starting tomorrow.