Interning in DC for the summer - parking and housing questions

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by BikePilot, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Hi All,

    I'm a law student and will be working in DC for the summer (end of May 18th to end of July). I'm from Alexandria/Fairfax so not completely unfamiliar with the general area, but never ventured into the city much. I'll be working on the 17th block of K street NW (not far from GW).


    Any suggestions for housing?
    I've checked into GW dorms a bit, looks like some are available, though a bit expensive and I'm told not terribly nice (not that I care too much as I doubt I'll be spending waking much time wherever I end up). I could probably stay with my in-laws in Alexandria, but I'm afraid the commute might be rather bad and I should probably be in town for evening networking events and such. Currently I'm thinking that walking distance or at least walking distance to the metro would work well. I often enjoy bicycle commuting, but will need to be in a suit most days so that may get a bit complicated but probably workable.

    Any idea what parking is like (I'll have a DR350 and my old ford F250 available, though probably won't make use of the ford)?

    Anything else I should think about?
    #1
  2. sffish

    sffish n00b

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    I worked on 19th street between L and M for 5 years and commuted in from Fair Lakes via motorcycle. This was some 4+ years ago. There is free parking on M street just east of Connecticut, I don't know if it's still free so you'd have to check. There are a bunch of other parking spots as well in DC, the best thing to do is to go look around the area you work.
    Once in DC filtering on a motorcycle, while not legal, is not enforced so you can make great time in the city, it's fighting the Va traffic to get into the city which can be problematic. Remember that motorcycles get HOV on 66 and 395. The hot months are the difficulty in riding especially if you have to wear a suit. You might consider leaving suits at work and then changing once you get there.

    han
    #2
  3. Whoam

    Whoam Semper Fi

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    As long as you can rent a place close to a train station you should be able to meet all your goals. There's plenty of stations so plenty of places to research, maybe get on the metro website to plot out the localities. My street dead ends as the springfield/franconia station, although I don't use it for work, I work down at Belvoir so only a 5 mile commute :evil
    #3
  4. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Thanks guys. I didn't know that filtering wasn't so strictly enforced in DC, that could be quite helpful. I'm all to familer with NoVA traffic - commuted from Stafford VA to the Pentagon (or near by locations) every day for a couple years, but rarely had to actually go into the city. sffish - the leaving the suit at the office thing sounds a good idea. That's what I did at the pentagon and worked out well for me then, though I suspect I'll need to be a bit more spiffy overal at the job this summer than I was expected to be at the pentagon.

    I need to find out if there's a gym and such at the office I'll be at. If so, that would make motorcycle/bicycle transport much easier.

    I could stay for free with in-laws in NoVA, about 2-3 miles from the Hunting metro stop, but a bit hesitant to be that far from the office and also they have a LOT of dogs in the house and I'm a bit alergic:( Still tempting though.
    #4
  5. MojaveGS

    MojaveGS Loving it!

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    I would think long and hard about staying in NoVA and buying benadryl and taking the Metro to Farragut North. less than a 5 minute walk to 1700 K.

    Be a wash on time difference between riding the bike and the Metro, the truck will take you A LOT longer unless you have slugs. I am not sure about the garage at Huntington but Springfield has free bike parking for the first 6 to 8 riders....can't remember how many spots there are.
    #5
  6. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Yeah, if I stay in VA I'll probably try and take the metro as there's not a very good route to get from the Hunting area to K street that I can figure. Just have to get myself to the metro. I know they have some parking there, need to check how much it cost and such.

    I'm also still poking around craigs list and such in hopes that something pops up that's fairly cheap and closer in.
    #6
  7. Lorretto

    Lorretto City Dweller Crushperado

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    BP: DC is pricey for rentals but that truly depends on where you are coming from. Compared to SF and NY, DC's a bargain.

    Just a suggestion stay with the In-laws until you get somewhat settled. The firm your working for along with your class of interns will all help you out in getting located. With any luck you may be able to get a house or pet sitting arrangement that costs you nothing to stay in a decent part of town.

    Parking for a car around 17th & L is about $240.00, you can get a discount for a bike in some of the parking garages which run $120.00 to $150.00 per month. There is on-street bike parking still at M Street and Conn. Ave, 15th and M as well as 15th & Eye. I think it's still free but can't say for sure as I don't use it.
    #7
  8. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Thanks! Very helpful. DC is also just a touch better than Boston/Cambridge where I'm at now so pricing isn't a shocker. That doesn't mean my bank account looks any better though:lol3 Great point about finding a house, pet sitting or something, that would be the ideal solution.
    #8
  9. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff.

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    All of the other interns will be using Metro, so that's where the social connections will be. Plus Huntington's not that far, so I'd recommend staying with the in-laws until something else pops up. As for Craigslist, rather than just searching, try posting to ask for somebody looking for a temp room-mate.
    #9
  10. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

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    The free bike parking still exists.

    #10
  11. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Good to know:thumb

    Looks like the in-laws place may be a bit crowded this summer (little sister-in-law is also applying for an internship in DC) so I may need to look more seriously elsewhere. There seem to be a lot of places between Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights (1.5-2.5 miles from work so not bad) for around $900/mo which seems pretty reasonable.
    #11
  12. pdoege

    pdoege Been here awhile

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    I did the same thing, back-in-the-day.

    I stayed in a lobbying shop's condo in Crystal City when it was available. There are a lot of condos that are kept for guests, and there is normally a spare bedroom available. If you ask around you can probably find one.

    If I remember, the university dorms were basic, but priced right.

    I did all of my commuting on the underground. I used a small moped to get around on the weekends.

    I'd leave the Ford at home.

    Regards,
    Peter
    #12
  13. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Sounds good. I'll see about the lobbying shops, didn't even think of that!

    I just heard back on GW dorm pricing (GW is nearest my place of work), its not so great anymore - a touch more than a decent 1 bed, 1 bath room off craigs list.
    #13
  14. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    I graduated from GW Law - but that was 15 years ago.

    If you are going to have vehicles with you, I don't think I would do DC unless I had off street parking lined up. Almost without exception, everybody I knew in school that lived in the district had their cars broken into. Sometimes it's a crackhead looking for a stereo. On one occasion at a friend's apartment a homeless guy got into the garage and broke a window in every car just looking for small change. It's unfortunate, but that's DC.

    Adams Morgan is good for night life, but awful for parking. I would defintely do the Metro as a first choice. But depending your length of commute and parking situation in DC, you may just want to be yet another vehicle going across one of the bridges. I have to admit, however, 10+ years of law enforcement in DC/NOVA has soured me on DC.

    Where are you interning? (Firm/Gov't/Other)?
    #14
  15. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    I'll be at a firm on the 17th block of K-street. I will probably leave my truck with family in NoVA and use a bicycle and if I find a safe place to keep it, motorcycle, for getting around the city.

    Right now I'm leaning heavily toward finding a place within a mile or two of the office so I can just walk or bicycle easily/quickly/without getting terribly nasty in the summer:)
    #15
  16. rizzlesticks

    rizzlesticks disenfranchised

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    living down here definitely isn't the most cost effective (i'm in my GW dorm as i type this), even if it is incredibly good for commute time to where you're going. there are lots of places you can find to live that are cheaper in the city, and near a metro stop that can get you to work in a reasonable amount of time. as for street parking, i almost never leave my bike down here, but i keep my ruckus around since noone seems interested in stealing it/stripping it :D. i can't stand it personally, but if you don't mind the NOVA traffic, i don't see that being too bad an idea from what i've seen, though, commute times tend to be a bit less coming in from the north.
    #16
  17. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Good to know:thumb If you come across any classmates looking to sublet a place for the summer shoot me a pm:deal

    Will you be in the city for the summer?
    #17