Post discovers NOVA not part of the South

Mere weeks after their silly NOVA vs. ROVA feature, today’s Post has breaking news — Northern Virginia is different than the rest of Virginia. Are you shocked?

Alexandria still has its Jefferson Davis Highway and Springfield its Robert E. Lee High School, but if last week’s election showed anything, it’s that Northern Virginia is not only different than the rest of the state, it is a different state. And it’s no longer in the South.

Thanks for the bulletin! Gee, this story is what, 25 or 30 years late? I suppose their next big scoop will be that water is wet.

Having lived here since the pig farmer was at 1600, it has always been pretty clear that Northern Virginia is different than the rest of the commonwealth. Why is this such a surprise to The Post? They need to get out more.

7 Comments so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 10:05 am

    They really worked hard to insist that Virginia is somehow special, despite being one of a handful of big states that have a lot of diversity from one end to another. To which I say, gimmie a break. I grew up in Miami where you’ve never been as deep south as you are after driving 5 hours north. You think the money you send 2 hours south is long gone? Try sending it the to other end of the state! California’s got the same kind of economic annoyances as VA does, if not more extreme.

    I think the most notable thing about that article is that they went out of their way to find the biggest possible jackasses in our area they could manage. Oh noes, I can’t tell people I’m from VIRGINIA! I’m ashamed! Gimmie a break. They ‘balanced’ that with very accepting quotes from people from rural Virginia – guess they’re still smarting from the heat they took over that article last month.


  2. Twinkie (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 10:44 am

    It is surprising that the Post points that out only as a geographic divide. I don’t think this anything different from any state – it is about economic classes.

    It wasn’t until I traveled to the middle of the state to a conference for County Administrators where I met many people south of Richmond that I realized this “great divide” – have’s and have-not’s.

    The economic disparity was obvious when I first went to this conference and realized how ignorant I was about the state of affairs for those who live in small counties where there is very little economic development. With farming (esp. tobacco) going the way of the dinosaur and natural resources with a slow rate in replenishment, a lot of the counties are in search of another industry to preserve their community and put a plug in the brain drain.

    It is understandable that the residents south of Roanoke (where the line between the North and the South is, I was told) are resentful towards Northern snobbery about them. I think every NoVA resident should take the opportunity to visit the rest of VA to meet some of these down to earth folks and open your minds.

    P.S. Two other things I learned:

    1) It’s hard to believe that there are still areas of the state where there are no modern plumbing or potable water and we are in the 21st century.

    2) I don’t have an accent. Funny, as an asian (ABC) and one of two at the conference, I didn’t know if they meant I didn’t have a NoVA accent or an asian accent.


  3. Tiffany (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 11:22 am

    While I think you make excellent points, Twinkie, and all of them are well-taken, I do want to point one thing out about NoVa’s “snobbery” toward the rest of Virginia:

    When the rest of Virginia is essentially voting gay people out of the state by trying to rewrite the state constitution to make it as difficult as possible for them to live here, my fellow Virginians aren’t doing a whole lot to earn my love and respect. What they ARE doing is grouping me in with their backwards ideas in the eyes of the rest of the country. So yeah, I’m going to feel a little snobby about that, and a little embarrassed about my neighbors to the south. Being less affluent than Northern Virginia is no excuse. Let’s not forget that Virginia is the state that spent legislative time (and therefore taxpayer money) trying to figure out how to keep their sodomy laws on the books and enforceable after the Lawrence v. Texas decision. I’m pretty sure you won’t find that a majority of Northern Virginians favor outlawing BJs.

    [Insert obvious “Virginia is for Lovers” joke here.]


  4. Derek (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

    Here’s the solution someone else has mentioned: Virginia should retrocede Alexandria and Arlington back to DC.

    Seriously, though, Virginia is a wonderful state. There’s so much natural beauty and history that it would be a shame to stay couped up in Northern Virginia (as some in the article were quoted as doing). Part of the greatness of America is all of the different people you meet. Suspend your stereotypes and experience it now before it all becomes one big NoVA strip mall!


  5. CLW (unregistered) on November 17th, 2006 @ 9:16 am

    I have long advocated that Northern Virginia be admitted to the Union as the state of North Virginia. This could be done in combination with statehood for the District of Columbia, much as Alaska and Hawaii were admitted. On the other hand, the suggestion by Tom Bridge of a merger with D.C. to form the new state has merit and should be explored. Most estimates are that Fairfax receives back only 17 cents on the tax dollar that goes to Richmond. The income level of the state of North Virginia would quintuple as a result of separation. There would no longer be any debate about extending Metro and other solutions to our traffic problems. We already have a fine public university system in George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College. What we need is control of our infrastructure.


  6. cat (unregistered) on November 17th, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

    I don’t live in VA anymore (haven’t for 30 years) but I can’t believe they’re just now talking about this. I grew up in the Alexandria/Mt. Vernon area in the sixties and seventies and never considered myself a southerner and neither did my parents who still live there. The only thing southern about it is they use pig in their bbq.


  7. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on November 18th, 2006 @ 9:37 pm

    Having moved here from a long stint in the frozen north, I was excited to return to the South but quickly learned that some of the elements I missed most from my home in NC were still not here. No grits, no firing shotguns in the backyard and few wonderfully charming southern accents, although we have many other equally charming accents in the DC area.

    Still, I am not disappointed. We also have few of the constraints that Southern life puts on people. For instance, telling someone in public to go smoke their hog is not completely unheard of. And driving like I am back in Boston is more adaptive than it is unacceptable. In addition, we don’t have nearly as much overt racism as I am used to from both NC and MA.

    This area is certainly much closer to the South than I have been in a number of years but until I can get a decent plate of grits or drive down the highway and see the remnants of the cotton harvest blowing like snow across the road, I won’t call it the south.



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