Like a Fine Wine

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A young couple I represent just bought their first home: a Cape Cod in a neighborhood I like (my neighborhood). Their house is a 15-minute stroll from Shirlington Village. Nice.

Yet back in the nineties, I wasn’t crazy about Shirlington Village. A new development, it was what now might be called a “Towncenter.” I lived ten miles away, and went there a half dozen times at the behest of friends. It had nice restaurants and a relaxing atmosphere at a time in my life when those features weren’t that important. It seemed there was no there there. In its movie theater, I saw the The Truman Show, and afterwards, standing in the town-centerish environs, I looked around and laughed at what resembled the “perfect” world for poor Truman (I hope you’ve seen the film).

Since then, Shirlington Village has grown—and grown on me. It’s now a residential neighborhood, and I have friends who live and work there. The streets were always tree-lined, but now the trees are mature. At lunchtime on a warm day, the aroma of a dozen cuisines astounds. S.V. is, for me, the place of chips and salsa happy hours at Guapos with my teacher friends. The café Busboys and Poets has comfortable chairs—a great place to read. It’s near the library where my daughter, at age two, shouted, “AT THE LIBRARY YOU HAVE TO WHISPER!” Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub (try the fish and chips) doesn’t wear its Irish on its sleeve (a Kelly can say this). Dinner with my wife at Carlyle, S.V.’s flagship restaurant, often includes jambalaya and Pinot Noir. Plus it’s where we met.

I’m happy my clients, the young couple, have made their home near Shirlington Village—and near my family. I hope someday when we’re there, they’re there.

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