What Makes Reston a Great Place to Live

What Makes Reston a Great Place to Live

Reston residents discuss their favorite places, activities.

Adults and children alike groove along to the salsa and Afro-Cuban music at a Reston Town Center Concert.

Adults and children alike groove along to the salsa and Afro-Cuban music at a Reston Town Center Concert. Photo by Monika Shayka


Linda Holloway enjoys the Reston's Used Book Shop's Book Club, every third Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Linda Holloway, a resident of Reston since 1970, calls herself ”a very part-time bookseller and a full-time lover of books,” as she stands in front of the cash register at the Reston Used Book Shop at Lake Anne. It may come as a surprise to longtime residents of Reston, but “many people don’t know where we are,” said Holloway. Even so, “I love the whole Lake Anne area. It’s where it all started…it’s a cool place and I feel like I’ve come home,” said Holloway.

What are your favorite places around Reston?

“I love the whole Lake Anne area. In fact I can see my house from here [through the door of the bookshop]. I love all the restaurants at Lake Anne like, the Jasmine Café, Café Montmartre, and now Kalypso. I like to come here and have breakfast on Saturday mornings at the Lakeside Café and then go to the farmer’s market.

What do you like most about working at the Reston Used Book Shop?

“Well, the shop was originally started by my two dearest friends, Sue Schram and Sue Wensell, and now the shop is owned by a husband and wife.” Holloway turns the corner and goes into the adjoining room of the bookshop pointing to a rocking chair with a placard on the top that reads “The Sues.”

“This chair is dedicated to the original owners of the book shop and one of the Sues sits in it during our monthly book club.” Talk about a no obligation book club, the Reston Used Book Shop book club is unique because “no one reads the same book and we go around in a circle and each share the book we are reading,” said Holloway. This shop is “ a most special and unique place,” she added.


Linden Abston appreciates the sense of community found in Reston.

Linden Abston, surrounded by signs promoting the use of local milk and local ingredients, is enjoying a Creama Gelato at Pitango Gelato at Reston Town Center. Abston, a resident of Reston for 12 years, is a rising sophomore at George Mason University.

What do enjoy about Reston?

“I like that Reston is beautiful and pretty. There is also a sense of community and, along with that, a sense of pride that everyone has about living and being from here,” said Abston.

Do you prefer North Reston or South Reston?

“I guess I like North Reston more because I live here, but most of my friends live in South Reston and I went to school in South Reston,” said Abston.

What is your favorite restaurant in Reston?

“I really like the Counter (Counter Burger),” said Abston.

Like the Counter Burger, there are many chains and franchises in Reston, and many of these are located at the Reston Town Center. On the other hand, there are a handful of local businesses, which are mainly located at Lake Anne.

Should Reston have more local business?

“I guess so, but if there were more local businesses, I would be scared that they would go out of business because of the many chains in Reston. What I really think Reston is lacking is more things to do at night for college students. I was talking about this very issue with some of my friends and, while Reston Town Center can be fun if you are an adult or in middle school, it gets old after a while,” said Abston.

Now that you are attending George Mason in Fairfax, do you appreciate the fact that you grew up in Reston?

“Yes, I do because I feel like when I meet other people from different places it makes me realize that the atmosphere here isn’t like this anywhere else,” said Abston.


Zach Wallace likes the American Espressos at the South Lakes Starbucks.

Zach Wallace is one of the baristas at the Starbucks at the South Lakes shopping center and has lived in Reston for 4 years; four of those years were during high school.

What do you like most about Reston?

“I like that there’s a lot of nature in between places, but it’s still not far away from stuff,” said Wallace.

What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks?

“I enjoy the American Espressos,” said Wallace.


April Kitcho-Lucero is the assistant manger of the Pet Valu at the South Lakes Shopping Center.

April Kitcho-Lucero is the assistant manager at Pet-Valu, which is located the South Lakes Shopping Center. Kitcho-Lucero has lived in Reston for two years.

What makes Reston unique?

“There are so many trees and trails that you can walk on and I love that there are so many shopping centers that I can walk to from my house,” said Kitcho-Lucero.

What is the most interesting item you sell?

“Well, we have dog cookies,” said Kitcho-Lucero. “We also sell reptile food and hedgehog food, but the hedgehog food doesn’t sell nearly as much as the reptile food,” said Kitcho-Lucero.

What do Restonians buy most frequently from Pet Valu?

Restonians go for the basics when shopping at Pet Valu, “the thing we sell the most is dog food and cat litter,” said Kitcho-Lucero.


Syed Muzzammil Mehdi is volunteering at the Walker Nature Education Center this summer.

Syed Muzzammil Mehdi is a rising senior at South Lakes High School, who is volunteering at the Walker Nature Center this summer, and no, he does not have to feed the snake that resides there.

What is your favorite part of Reston?

“I just really love this place, the nature, the forests, the scenery, but I think it’s mostly the people [who live in Reston] that makes it a good place to live. The Reston Town Center is also really fun,” Mehdi added.

Why do you like working at the Walker Nature Center?

“You get to help people and it’s a good working experience,” said Mehdi.

As a rising senior what do you like most about South Lakes High School?

“The teachers and the students are the best.”