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13 Signs You Were Born and Raised in Alexandria, Virginia

Student Work
by Bethany Coan Oct 13, 2015

1. You know that if you hit a green light right away at the intersection of Gibbon Street and Route 1 and drive exactly 25 miles per hour down Route 1 through Old Town Alexandria, you can cruise the 15 city blocks without stopping at a light.

2. In conversations, you make a clear distinction that you are from Northern Virginia and it is never shortened to NoVa.

3. You grew up on one of George Washington’s original pig farms or in a townhouse down the street from Gatsby’s Tavern or across Richmond Highway from Woodlawn Plantation.

4. Your parents, friends’ parents, and neighborhood adults at large work for the government or the military.

5. You never realized how great the Smithsonian Institute is until you visited or moved to another city and had to pay to explore a portrait gallery or to see baby Asian elephants at the zoo (and most zoos don’t even have giant pandas!).

6. Every year in April, you forget which Sunday is the George Washington Parkway 10 Miler until you are forced to wind around the neighborhood side streets due to road blocks.

7. You frequent the reliable 24-hour 7-Eleven on a regular basis whether for a morning coffee, an afternoon energy drink, or a late-night drunk snack.

8. You can count on running into friends’ parents at Safeway, the Hollin Hall gas station, or Wendy’s during lunchtime on a school day.

9. You have been to Gravelly Point on a summer afternoon and laid out in the grass to watch the low-flying planes coming and going from Reagan National Airport.

10. You remember the wonders of Power Video in the Belle View shopping center — rent one classic film, get another classic for free and charge the balance to your parent’s account.

11. You love driving down the George Washington Memorial Parkway because you know all the right places to go above the speed limit and where to slow down for hidden police traps.

12. Your little league athletic teams always went to Primo’s Pizza after a big win or to celebrate the end of a season.

13. You have attempted/
completed the Philly Cheesesteak Challenge, which is where you start at 7:25am (the time the first school bell rings) from the school parking lot, drove 3 hours to Philadelphia, get a cheesesteak, take a picture, drove back, and be back on campus before 2:05pm (the time school lets out).

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