18 September 2009

I arrived in Virginia yesterday, and I'm staying with Almea while I continue to look for an apartment. For those of you who don't know about it, the website spotcrime.com is a lot of fun. It gives you a searchable map pinpointing all the reported crimes in an area during a specified time period.

Something interesting I saw on the website: Arlington, a city with a population of about 200,000, had about 200 reported crimes in the past two months. Alexandria, with a population of 150,000, had about 200 reported crimes in the past two weeks. Washington, a city with a population of about 600,000, had about 200 reported crimes in the past four days.

According to the spotcrime map, most of the Washington crimes are not in the poorest neighborhoods, but are instead property crimes in some of the trendiest parts of the city. Perhaps criminals have easy pickings among the young and well-to-do. (I am reminded of the Harvard students who were repeatedly burgled when they left their dorm rooms unlocked.) I'm not sure, however, why the trendier parts of Arlington have so many fewer crimes; maybe would-be criminals are deterred by northern Virginia's famous transportation problems.

08 September 2009

My apartment in Arlington just fell through, so I'm back on craigslist looking for a place to live. My favorite listing so far: "$650 Basement near Ballston with 20 Some restaurant workers." After I clicked on it in sheer fascination, I realized they were refering to their ages, not their numbers.