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The Beauty of Vienna Living

From national recognition to local perspective, views on life in Vienna.

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The annual Vienna Halloween Parade draws thousands of families. Many parents remember watching the parade as children themselves. Viewers frequently mark their curbside spots early in the day by leaving personal items there—and nobody steals them.

What surprised many people living in the Vienna area is not that Vienna was voted by Money magazine as the third best small town to live in in America but that it did not come in first. That’s Vienna pride.

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Vienna sparkles during the holidays. The annual Church Street Holiday Stroll features Santa’s arrival in an antique fire truck, a petting zoo, live holiday music, Santa listening to Christmas requests on the porch of Freeman House and toasting marshmallows.

For Money magazine’s annual survey of best places to live in America, towns across the country were assessed on a multiple of attributes contributing to quality of life, “livability,” if you will. Rankings were based on population, safety, schools, health care, leisure activities, family income, job growth, housing, ease of living and diversity. “Money” referred to Vienna as unlike the “cookie-cutter” communities of Northern Virginia. The magazine wrote, “Vienna offers walkability, a historic center and unique businesses that give Vienna an identity all its own. … The small-town feel comes with access to all the D.C. metro area attractions.”

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Michele Wright, lawyer

Before anyone knew Vienna was in the running for the honor, before the survey was published, before the rankings were announced, Vienna Connection readers had weighed in on Vienna’s quality of life and what makes Vienna a great place to live.

Michele Wright, lawyer

“The sense of community. It’s easy to walk around. Vienna reminds me of where I grew up, a suburb of Manhattan before it became overly-crowded. Here, you can walk down the street and see people you know. You can talk to the mayor while you’re shopping and she knows your name.

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Brianna Hegel, rising sixth-grader

I like going to Caffe Amouri. I love his coffee, love the atmosphere, and love that he is so giving to the community.”

Brianna Hegel, rising sixth-grader

“There’s a lot of nice people. I like ViVa! Vienna! Starting track in fall.

Waters Field. Me and my friends go there sometimes to hang out.”

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Linda Lotto, VVFD EMT

Linda Lotto, VVFD EMT

“The community feel … lots of activities, the trail [W&OD]. That’s the reason I live here. I’m on a bike-racing team. I love the family spirit within the fire department, love the career and volunteers there. I love the support the people show when they come to visit us.

The bike trail.

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Deborah Droke, VVFD EMT

Deborah Droke, VVFD EMT

“I love the sense of community. It’s like a small town feel in the D.C. area. Vienna’s very community-oriented and I like being part of it. Working in the fire department is the most incredible community service you can give your community in times of need.

Today I came through the kitchen at the station. Someone brought in corn, plums, tomatoes, squash, for us. We’re always getting food from the community.”

There’s two places, Church Street Pizza for family, and Bazin’s for a night out without the kids.”

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Kirsten Evans, analyst

Kirsten Evans, analyst

“What I love most is that Vienna is so family-oriented, and it’s always felt like home to me [Evans was raised in Vienna]. That’s why we haven’t left. It has a great school system and lots of family activities. We love all the events in Vienna. The Halloween Parade—I started going when I was 4 years old, and we take our kids to it now every year. We’ve met so many nice people from all over the world living here. It’s a family-feel. We don’t want to leave. Vienna is a beautiful place to raise a family.

There are two restaurants I absolutely love, new Pazzo Pomodoro and Bazin’s for a night out. And, the Renaissance, of course. Vienna Vintner is my favorite wine shop. The kids love Church Street Pizza and Elevation Burger. We go for chilidogs at the VI [Vienna Inn] after baseball, basketball, soccer.

We love Glyndon, Meadow Lane and Meadowlark [parks].”