Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Crystal City Depression

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I've been real tied up with job interviews and bolting my Federal job for the green pastures of contractors. One thing during my time in Crystal City that I've noticed everyday is how depressing Crystal City is. Location wise, Crystal City would seem to be prime for great development, it's on the Metro line, its convenient to jobs, but for some reason all that's there is a depressing line of buildings with a half-assed attempt to spruce things up by dropping a Jaleo and Oyamel on Crystal Dr. The most depressing part of this area has to be the part that is most widely known: the "Crystal City Underground." The underground mall is one of the most downtrodden, mystifying shopping areas I've ever encountered. First off, the actual shopping areas are not underground, they're at street level. Second, I still to this day, do not know how most of the stores survive. There is a puppet/marionette store for gods sake. Is the demand in the DC area for marionettes really high enough to warrant retail space?!? Walk through the underground during working hours, the hours you would assume are right in these stores' wheelhouse, and you will see nothing but depressed looking shopkeeps sitting in empty stores. This got me thinking, maybe it attracts a weekend crowd like most malls. Wrong. I went into my office on Sunday and found an even more barren underground. So, I have no idea where the revenue is coming from to keep these stores open. Maybe Charles E. Smith is giving free rent. Who knows...

My opinion on the Crystal City area in general is that it needs to get torn down and rebuilt. All the government office spaces will soon be vacant, and once DoD moves out, there's really no reason for the defense contractors to stay there. Perfect timing to raze everything, keep the Metro-centric development idea, and rebuild new structures. The location is perfect, has great views, and is close to everything you need. It just needs a new face.

2 Comments:

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Delrayder said...

Oh man... you have an uncanny ability to capture just what I'm thinking. Crystal City needs to be torn down fast and hard. And I can't stand that underground thing. It reminds me of the 70s show "Logan's Run" about life after the apocolypse.

I sometimes wonder if Washingtonians don't have a negative view of Arlington and Alexandria in part due to seeing Crystal City when they first cross the river.

I've asked the same thing over a dozen times about that marionette store! I don't know anyone who has ever bought or owned a marionette. I'm convinced it's just a front for a hot porn ring, which would at least give CC some pizzazz.

23rd street is the saving grace of that area. Go to Freddie's and pick yourself up a drag queen. Tell your mom your girlfriend got a husky voice from one too many Virginia Slims. She has hairy pits but cooks well.

 
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