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Morning Poll: Where Are You From, Originally?

by ARLnow.com January 30, 2012 at 9:55 am 3,933 101 Comments

Of those who live in Arlington, how many are native Arlingtonians? And how many people came here from outside the D.C. area, for work, school or otherwise?

This morning’s poll seeks to find that out.

Please choose the answer that best describes where you grew up, relative to Arlington.

  • Implant

    East, The Netherlands. My wife’s from here. Over all, America gives you more freedom, which I appreciate very much.

    • Apologies, we should have had an “international” option.

      • rosslynresident

        Yup, another international Arlingtonian here.

        • frenchy

          Moi aussi!

        • Belsh

          Encore un!

      • Just added an international option, but results will be a bit skewed since it was added a half hour after posting.

        • brendan

          will still be more scientific than an Arlington Walking Survey….

          anyway to find out how much the County spent on that btw?

        • Liz C.

          For this poll, is Baltimore considered “North” or “D.C. Region”? Thanks; I look forward to voting once I know the answer to my question.

    • drax

      Wow, more freedom here than the Netherlands?

      • Clarendude

        And, where can you get good smoked eel around here ?

      • Implant

        17M people in a very small area means that everything is very tightly regulated. Think of it as the government as your HOA. Also, all stores close at 5 on weekdays and on are closed Sundays and Mondays.

        • IssacAsimov

          [In response to this question by Bill Moyers: What do you see happening to the idea of dignity to human species if this population growth continues at its present rate?]

          “It’s going to destroy it all. I use what I call my bathroom metaphor. If two people live in an apartment, and there are two bathrooms, then both have what I call freedom of the bathroom, go to the bathroom any time you want, and stay as long as you want to for whatever you need. And this to my way is ideal. And everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom. It should be right there in the Constitution. But if you have 20 people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every person believes in freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up, you have to set up times for each person, you have to bang at the door, aren’t you through yet, and so on. And in the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, but it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies.

      • thecharlesriver

        Imagine that. Even though we provide the bulk of their international security they aren’t as free.

      • Nigel Powers

        “There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.”

  • YoBimbo

    I guess “West” also counts for “Midwest.”

    • Landros

      Yeah, and what do I put for Texas? Both South and West, esp. depending on which part. (Houston, definitely the South. Midland, definitely West.)

      • Richard Cranium

        If you talk to most Texans, they would claim it falls under the “international” option.

        • Arlingtoon


      • TX2VA

        Another proud Texan here! I voted as “South” (Dallas doesn’t seem “West”).

  • CrystalMikey

    This poll is not conducive to military brats. 😀 Though I was born in the Commonwealth.

    • SoMuchForSubtlety

      I agree. I was born in CA, but was a military brat so I only lioved there for 6 months. So I guess I’m from everywhere.

      • CrystalMikey

        Yeah, I was born in VA, southwest of here. Then lived in MS for a long while, followed by Germany, and then back to VA, this time the coast.

    • Hope

      So true. Born Internationally raised everywhere, family in the South. There should be an Everywhere option.

  • Virginian

    Virginia born, Virginia bred, when I die, I’ll be Virginia dead.

    • Leah K.


    • Boomer Sooner

      Hey… that is also from the University of Oklahoma Sooner’s fight song, “Boomer Sooner.”

      “Sooner born and Sooner bred… and when I die…
      I’ll be Sooner dead.”

  • Rob G

    Why isn’t East a choice?

  • Eric

    Good poll question. I look forward to hearing the results. living in Arlington
    for several years now, I think I may know the answers. It seems like the majority will have to be from NOVA/The Suburbs.

    They typical person who lives in Arlington went to high school in the general area, probably went to college at like Tech or JMU or even some out of state school, but moves back after graduation to meet up with high school buddys or college buddys, and it is just an extension of the 2.

    That is why people are clicky in Arlington because they went to high school and or college with who they go out with now. DC is more fun and social because DC residents are people from all over the country. Young adults from California, to Texas, to Kentucky come to DC and are looking to meet other people and interact. It is funny what a difference in climate a few metro stops can be!

    • Burger

      I think you need to get out more. Almost, no one I know is from “around” here. Sure, some people have lived in Arlington or there about their entire lives.

      But, think about why most people did not go to a DC high school for a second.

      • Ty

        I agree with Eric. I have met quite a few people from like Jersey/NY and scattered parts of our country, but I also notice that when talking to people, they went to high school or grew up in like Springfield or McLean or Reston or some other VA Suburb is the overwhelming answer. And they do stick together! weird!

        • Courthouse Res

          I think it’s split right down the middle. I am from a suburb about a 45 minutes west of here and did go to Tech (haha), but I have many different groups of friends. I have the friends I have been close to since elementary school, but they’re all over the region, have VT friends, but even those are three different groups. Then I also have friends from my previous employer, current employer, and random ones from social athletic leagues and such. I hang out with them all and I am always more than willing to introduce people to any of the groups and in fact, I do.

          I will say I did not plan to move back here after college, and I applied all over the country, but this is where the job took me.

        • truth be told

          You think it is weird that someone keeps friends for a long time? I would say that is a pretty good friendship to have.

    • Ty

      Spot On!!!!

    • Andrew

      90% of the people I have met in Arlington are not from Arlington (or the DC area for that matter).

      • CW

        Natives speak like that’s a bad thing, but given that the major driver of the economy here is the federal govt, I’d think that should be a positive, not negative aspect, given the whole “representative” government thing.

        • novasteve

          Given the personality disorders the transients here have, it’s NOT a good thing, unless you are into really shallow, status oriented people.

          • Implant

            Oh hi! Nice to meet you. Where do YOU work? ohhh, okay. I think I’m going to mingle a bit.

          • doodle

            Yeah I know the type – people who have to mention that they are a lawyer every chance they get, or show that they know what is the proper name for sake, or that thai food here is nowhere as good as in Thailand…yeah loads of that type here

          • wimmer201

            Well said….

          • CourthouseChris

            Reply of the day right here…

    • thecharlesriver

      Agree! I love how the locals always use the “most people aren’t from here” defense whenever anybody says ANYTHING negative about the area. Yet the locals are some of the most parochial, self-infatuated blowhards I’ve ever come across.

      • Well, I’m local and have been here a very long time. If I were to use the “most people aren’t from here” phrase, it would be an accurate observation and not a “defense”. Given that many people in this area are parochial, self-infatuated blowhards AND most people are not locals then it goes to say many of those blowhards are indeed not locals.

        • thecharlesriver

          Oh……No doubt in my mind you’re a local.

          • truth be told

            It would seem you are the blowhard however.

          • thecharlesriver

            You’re gonna make me cry now. Have anything better than that?

  • TJ

    Virginia, but not DC region…

    Yet, I refuse to select “South”.

    • Clarendude

      Same here, although I did select South. Hampton Roads would be pretty southern if not for all the military and that’s where I’m from. Generally, the categories should be NorthEast, SouthEast, SouthWest, MidWest and West although even that would not satisfy anywhere near all the ways that people think about where they are from.

    • dk

      My children and I have a running argument about whether VA is in “The South.” I grew up in New England (came to VA for college), and damn straight VA is The South. My children are horrified by the thought; they’d draw the Mason-Dixon line around Dale City, LOL.

      • Ronald McDonald

        I went to a Waffle House in Dale City once and our waitress (straight southern tpt) asked me what part of the north I was from. By north did you mean 20 minutes away?

        • You can easily say the same about places such as Waldorf.

          If you want to see something really scary, take a detour off of I81 on some of the back roads of Appalachia. You won’t believe your eyes, and you won’t believe that such poverty exists in this country.

    • thecharlesriver

      Denial: It is not a river in Egypt.

  • Chicagoan

    I will not vote for this because the Midwest is NOT the West and the results will be skewed.

    • ArlingtonRay

      It says “relative to Arlington”. Pretty simple really, you are in the West category.

  • nunya

    you’re also missing R.O.W. this is an international type of town.

  • Arlingtonian

    I’m from farther south originally, around the Fredericksburg area. My father’s side of the family is from Arlington however, and I still have some family here, so I chose to live in Arlington after graduating (from Tech) even though my job at the time was closer to Reston. Now I’m lucky enough to live AND work in Arlington. I’ve been here nearly five years now and am very happy.

  • NrNy2ArlVa

    New Rochelle, New York – Home of the Petries (Rob, Laura and Little Ritchie)

  • Leah K.

    From North Carolina! Moved here when I was 20! We all know that in general, the DC metro area is a “come to” area.

  • ArlForester

    Arlington. The rest of you are interlopers. 😀

  • Andrew

    What is the boundary of “DC Region”?

    • CW

      If you believe real estate agents and traffic reporters, it’s bounded by baltimore, richmond, cumberland MD, harrisburg, and the Atlantic.

      • Andrew

        Good point…I knew a guy who grew up in Deleware but told people he was from Philly.

    • When the beltway was relatively new…1970s and 1980s…. I thought the DC Region was anything inside the beltway. Now, the region really exists in Virginia from Ashburn/Reston to Manassas to Woodbridge in Virginia as the outer boundary. Maryland I would say Gaithersburg on the west side to Laurel to Waldorf.

  • MW?

    What no Mid-West option? WTF?

    • Andrew

      YEAH! And no Pacific Northwest either! How dare you!

  • bobco85

    Arlington is where I was conceived, carried to term, raised, and have lived most of my life. Even though I was technically born in Georgetown Hospital (it’s just across the Potomac River), I am definitely originally from this find county/city/whatever-people-call-it-now!

    • bobco85


    • drax

      You were actually born in Georgetown Hospital, not just technically.

      And we don’t want to know where you conceived.

  • mind the gap

    Poll left out the Midwest.

    Also, I believe census reports % of people who are born in an area

  • Swag


  • novasteve

    I wish this area had more natives.

    • doug

      I wish we could go back in time and see the future.

    • thecharlesriver

      There are many natives. It’s just that a lot of non-natives have moved into the area, making the natives a lower percentage of who is here. Unless of course you’re implying that all the natives FLEE this area.

  • FunnyMunny

    C’mon ArlNow, once more than 10% of respondents are from a non-listed region (Midwest, yes!), you gotta add it in! 🙂

    • Arlingtonian

      “Please choose the answer that best describes where you grew up, relative to Arlington.” So Midwest would fall under West

      • FunnyMunny

        But using that logic, why do you have an International category? And where is East, then? And what about up or down? 🙂

  • Kevin

    Born and raised in Arlington! Best county in the country!

  • Arlwhenver

    West is west Texas, California, Washington, Arizona, Montana, places like that. It is not Ohio, Illionois, Indiana, Kentucky or Wisconsin, places centrally located. You won’t get answers from the very many people around here who hail from the Midwest.

  • The midwest needs better schools

    Because clearly how to read a map or use a compass is not in their basic elementary curriculum… “Please choose the answer that best describes where you grew up, relative to Arlington.” North, South, East, West… they’re not naming regions, they’re asking for a direction… if you go West, you hit what? Ah yes… the mid-west. There you go. 😉 Yikes folks…

    • CW

      Yeah, I was surprised to see midwesterners getting worked up over this. They’re usually so sedate. I’d figure they just would have said “golly gee” to the author and then offered him some apple pie.

      • Arlingtoon

        You betcha.

    • Andrew

      Agree the midwesterners need to calm down. However, I think the poll would have been more interesting if it asked for regions (midwest, southwest) than directions…

  • PL25rd

    Born & raised in South Carolina, but as soon as I left for college (in Virginia), never looked back. Moved to Arlington three days after I graduated from college, over a decade ago. Husband is from northern California.

  • Boomhauer


  • dk

    I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I came to VA for college, met a man who was born and raised in Fairfax County, and moved here to marry him. We lived in Arlington for a year after we were married, then in DC for 15 years, and then we moved back to Arlington 3 years ago. I’ve lived here longer than I lived in MA. I certainly don’t consider myself a carpetbagger. Ask me where I’m from, and I’ll say DC/Arlington.

    But at heart, I still think of myself as a New Englander. You can take the girl out of New England, but you can’t take the New England out of the girl.

    • novasteve

      The problem is when people from mass fleed to avoid high taxes, bring their liberal values with them which causes excessive spending which means taxes get raised.

      • FunnyMunny

        The problem I see is using too many tenses in a single sentence.

      • thecharlesriver

        Most of us didn’t “flee” to avoid high taxes….Most of us are here because this happens to be where the seat of government is. Believe me, there’s nothing special about this area that would attract people otherwise. Least of all the attitudes of the locals.

      • doug

        Dad is Mass. Mom is VA. If my Lynchburg, Va Grandmother could read your posts, she’d know you for the tacky carpetbagger that you are.

        You clearly do not understand the area in which you live.

        • thecharlesriver

          Who doesn’t understand what?

    • SouthArlJD

      My mother was from Massachusetts. Had that accent to the day of her death, but loved this area and considered it home. You should have been here in the early 60s when suspicious neighbors would whisper about my mother, “that Nohthehn woman”.

  • Dum Dum Guy at the Gates of Dawn

    I’m from Donaldson Run. Which answer do I select? I am so confused.

    • charlie

      right after WEST is WET.
      check that.

  • Irish and proud of it.
    Loving it here in Arlington.
    Great people and very friendly area.
    The only thing missing is somewhere for the 50+ age group to go dancing.
    Any suggestions ???

  • Jo Ann Holland

    My husband is from Arlington and has always lived within a three block radius, except for college and law school.

  • HenryES

    Born in Alexandria Hospital, raised in Annandale.

  • 5555624

    Where are we “from” or where did we “grow up”? I was not born here, but I did grow up here, as we moved here when I was a year old and have lived in various spots in 22204 for 40+ years.

  • SouthArlJD

    Born in DC, raised in Fairfax, and living in Arlington since a little stint overseas. Keeping it local.

  • MC

    I’m in a very small minority that is Arlington born, and I have seen it gradually shed it’s rather parochial past to something bit more cosmopolitan. To me the more interesting question is how large was the actual city you grew up in? Right now, basic culture war being waged in Arlington is between people who think of Arlington as an urban region, and those who want to believe it will forever be a suburban bedroom community.

  • Billy Corgan

    I’m from Birmingham, Alabama! War Eagle!!

  • West. Moved from Seattle last year.


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