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MAGFest 7: Jan. 1st - 4th, 2009


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Pleasantville? Stop by Hartsdale or White Plains then and pick me up! It's literally on your way and I can give you instructions how to get to anywhere from wherever you pick me up from!

As somebody who grew up in the area, I can attest to Bahamut more than likely not being at all out of your way if you're stopping in Pleasantville.

I haven't posted here in a couple years now, but I figure going to MAGFest would warrant dropping a line. I wouldn't mind meeting up with some of the more 'seasoned' peeps from here, you know who you are.

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ok, fourth seat in my car is taken. don't pack too much stuff.

edit - this is assuming that avaris needs the ride.

edit 2: look this over and make sure it's right. specific roads would be good.

Looks like a roundabout route - if I meet you by the White Plains train station lets say, then the fastest route would be to take either the Bronx River Parkway down to 95, or to take I-287 West and head down I-87 South until it becomes the Major Deegan Expressway, and then get on I-95 that way.

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ok, fourth seat in my car is taken. don't pack too much stuff.

edit - this is assuming that avaris needs the ride.

edit 2: look this over and make sure it's right. specific roads would be good.

Ok, I can't help you with the roads before Baltimore, but once you get past Baltimore, there's a much better way to get to Alexandria (basically, take the Beltway around DC instead of cutting through it; it's a bit longer but it saves you a lot of time and you don't risk having to drive down New York Ave in Northeast at night).

Try this route when you approach I-495:

Updated Route

(This will avoid having to cut through DC and any of the narrow residential roads in Alexandria. This way is nearly always going to be quicker.)

Hope this helps. KF

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just drag a pointer around on the map until it changes to reflect what you're talking about, and we'll be set.

Err, I don't know how to paste a link of what the resulting map would be if I dragged it to the route I was referring to - drag the path from your route onto I-287 back near the Tappan Zee Bridge and that should be the route I was referring to. I know of a better way to go anyway, so don't worry about it - just meet me by the White Plains train station, and I can get you to the GWB with no problem from there.

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maybe the link button on the middle right-hand side of the screen?

Alright, here is the best route I can think of: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&saddr=248+Blakeslee+Hill+Rd,+NY+14867&daddr=horseheads+ny+to:pleasantville+ny+to:white+plains+to:41.022391,-73.821945+to:I-495+S%2FI-95+S+to:I-495+W%2FI-95+S+to:5000+Seminary+Road+Alexandria,+VA+22311&hl=en&geocode=%3B%3B%3B%3B%3BFQYlUAIdtEtp-w%3BFUATUAId8qpn-w%3B&mra=dpe&mrcr=3&mrsp=4&sz=12&via=4,5,6&sll=41.016174,-73.857307&sspn=0.189621,0.286674&ie=UTF8&ll=40.962012,-73.790359&spn=0.189777,0.286674&t=h&z=12

If you want the absolute fastest route (I changed your location for D to be the White Plains train station to be more accurate) to the GWB, this should do it: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&saddr=248+Blakeslee+Hill+Rd,+NY+14867&daddr=horseheads+ny+to:pleasantville+ny+to:28+Hamilton+Avenue,+White+Plains,+NY+10601+(White+Plains+Station)+to:41.014879,-73.790016+to:5000+Seminary+Road+Alexandria,+VA+22311&hl=en&geocode=&mra=dme&mrcr=3&mrsp=4&sz=12&via=4&sll=41.029384,-73.737488&sspn=0.189583,0.286674&ie=UTF8&ll=40.988451,-73.747787&spn=0.189701,0.286674&t=h&z=12

The only thing I should note here though is that for a stretch of a good 5 - 10 miles, the Bronx River Parkway is easily the most dangerous highway to drive on at higher speeds. It is often a 4 lane highway, and there is no safety room between the left and right lanes and the guard rails, coupled with the additional twists and turns you have to make, you have to be an excellent driver if you want to drive faster on that highway, especially if you run into traffic there.

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i was hoping there was a way around DC. i didn't want to go anywhere near that pit of taillights =) now i just need specifics from avaris and bahamut and i'll go from there.

Hey, that's OUR NATION'S CAPITAL to you, bub! I *work* in that pit of taillights.

Honestly, Alexandria and the surrounding area in NoVa is just as bad... imo the best way to avoid traffic is to drive ridiculously early or fairly late. Anything after 10pm can usually avoid most of the fuss.

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The public transportation system in NoVa is a joke. Evidently whoever planned the metro in VA thought the suburbs will never extend past Fairfax. It's a giant collection of traffic lights and similar-looking condo/townhouse developments.

But on the bright side, this place does have a better job environment for me than NY, and it does have just about everything you'll ever need.

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The public transportation system in NoVa is a joke. Evidently whoever planned the metro in VA thought the suburbs will never extend past Fairfax. It's a giant collection of traffic lights and similar-looking condo/townhouse developments.

But on the bright side, this place does have a better job environment for me than NY, and it does have just about everything you'll ever need.

Well, we're insanely off-topic, but since NoVa is the new home of MAG it's not too much of a stretch. Hell, it's also relevant to Fallout 3...

It would have been hard, at the time the metro was developed, to anticipate the insane growth of FX and Loudoun counties, esp. w/ regards to IT. They could have at least picked a better bidder for construction, but that's another story. The rumored purple line would be a big improvement, that's for sure.

As far as similar-looking condo/townhouse developments... no moreso than other areas. Actually, having lived here all my life, I can tell you the difference between Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Vienna, Oakton, Arlington, etc., and there really is significant variation and history to each. There's also cookie-cutter townhouse and condo developments, and the (even more annoying, imo) McMansions where huge houses are constructed 5 feet apart from one another, but there's plenty of older communities with a lot more character all over the place. I'm always amused to hear those from NYC or elsewhere complain about the self-similarity of the burbs when there's plenty of identical apartment buildings with cramped, identical layouts all over big cities as well. You have to look for the areas with character, but they're there, whether you're in an urban, suburban, or rural setting.

NoVA single-handedly turned Virginia blue, has some of the best public schools in the country, has tons of historical sites, and as you mentioned, has tons of restaraunt/retail options and a huge job market. The traffic is miserable, but at least there are myriad compensating factors. There wouldn't BE so much traffic if it was a shite place to live.

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It would have been hard, at the time the metro was developed, to anticipate the insane growth of FX and Loudoun counties, esp. w/ regards to IT. They could have at least picked a better bidder for construction, but that's another story. The rumored purple line would be a big improvement, that's for sure.

True, and I know that it happens everywhere. The biggest issue is not so much the growth as it is the local/state governments achieving the right balance between selling land for commercial/residential use (which of course puts more money in their coffers) and doing the never-popular task of paying for infrastructure expansion. Sure, nobody likes construction, and nobody likes higher taxes, but you can't dig yourself deeper into a hole, then when it hits the fan, most improvements seem to be nothing more than a band-aid over a gunshot wound, i.e. toll lanes for the Beltway.

I forgot where the purple line is supposed to run, but I do remember hearing about the...silver line, which is supposed to run from Dulles to Tysons? Either way, I stand by my assertion that the metro, at least in VA, is extremely sub-par. Even if they weren't going to lay track out in Warrenton 20 or 30 years ago, they could have at least set aside land for it. Ending the Orange line out in Fairfax right now is the equivalent of Metro North in NY stopping in Yonkers, it's insane. I also remember hearing somewhere about how the Metro is unique in the sense that it doesn't have a dedicated source of income, that basically the authority of it, every year, has to go around and ASK local/county governments for money. That's ridiculous!

As far as similar-looking condo/townhouse developments... no moreso than other areas. Actually, having lived here all my life, I can tell you the difference between Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Vienna, Oakton, Arlington, etc., and there really is significant variation and history to each. There's also cookie-cutter townhouse and condo developments, and the (even more annoying, imo) McMansions where huge houses are constructed 5 feet apart from one another, but there's plenty of older communities with a lot more character all over the place. I'm always amused to hear those from NYC or elsewhere complain about the self-similarity of the burbs when there's plenty of identical apartment buildings with cramped, identical layouts all over big cities as well. You have to look for the areas with character, but they're there, whether you're in an urban, suburban, or rural setting.

The DC metro area is filled with rich history, that I would never be crazy enough to argue. I've spent time in several different places, and this area to me has made an impression with cookie-cutter developments the most. That's not to say it doesn't exist anywhere else, just that with the rapid growth that occurred here, and of course no incentives whatsoever for builders to vary their designs, it seems more prevalent. Hell, I live in one of the cookie-cutter developments I'm putting down.

NoVA single-handedly turned Virginia blue, has some of the best public schools in the country, has tons of historical sites, and as you mentioned, has tons of restaraunt/retail options and a huge job market. The traffic is miserable, but at least there are myriad compensating factors. There wouldn't BE so much traffic if it was a shite place to live.

Yeah, I never said NoVA is a bad place to live. In fact, it's grown on me somewhat. Instead of staying in my apartment, getting some experience, and making a b-line out of here, I bought a place, and am now running on the five year plan. I do enjoy the huge selection of stores, restaurants, etc., and being only 30min from the nation's capitol is always a cool thing. I'm still only a few hours from family in NJ, and a cheap bus ride up to NY if I want to go back home. It's definitely better than when I was in the military, having to fly home, and only being able to do it a couple times a year. Life is good, but being a transplant, you tend to have those sentimental strings tugging at your heart from time to time.

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Honestly, Alexandria and the surrounding area in NoVa is just as bad... imo the best way to avoid traffic is to drive ridiculously early or fairly late. Anything after 10pm can usually avoid most of the fuss.

I've found the best way to avoid traffic is to get a good sense of when roads will be crowded, and in what directions. I metro to work, and most of the time I have to drive, I'm on a reverse commute (away from the city in the morning, towards it in the afternoons). Given the time of day--unless they're leaving NYC at, like, 4AM--then circling around on the Beltway and coming up I-395N will be relatively traffic-free.

NoVA single-handedly turned Virginia blue, has some of the best public schools in the country, has tons of historical sites, and as you mentioned, has tons of restaraunt/retail options and a huge job market. The traffic is miserable, but at least there are myriad compensating factors. There wouldn't BE so much traffic if it was a shite place to live.

Yeah there's a ton of reasons why I've basically decided to settle down here. Then again, I also live in Crystal City, so traffic and metro access hasn't ever been a problem.

It's also why it's convenient for me to go to MagFest this year! KF

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just drag a pointer around on the map until it changes to reflect what you're talking about, and we'll be set.

How does this look? I even highlighted the exact streets you'd take.

I'm not far from Newark, and it seems you'll be passing by that in your original route. My house is a quick trip off the parkway, and then you can get back on.

Someone please tell me how to resize an image with MS Paint. I don't have my own computer right now.

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