In preparing to launch a couple of Graveyard Rabbit blogs, I started to scout around my neighborhood and the local cemeteries that are closest to where I live, and it occurred to me that a lot of what makes the Falls Church area most interesting is being irrevocably changed by development and “improvement.” Smaller, older houses are being replaced by larger ones with less personality (not large enough to be termed McMansions – our neighborhood cannot even aspire to that socioeconomic level; we call some of them “fungushouses”), small businesses and older rental units are falling victim to the construction of grandiose condominium developments and more upscale establishments, and there are plans to straighten out curving roads that do not conform to a uniform grid.
Falls Church, or at least the incorporated City part of it, is known as a desirable place to live, with much of the population belonging to the upper income brackets. In fact, complaints were published in the local newspaper when the city’s ratings slipped due to its location in the midst of “less desirable zipcodes” (a good part of surrounding Fairfax County shares the Falls Church address while not being part of the City). As a resident of one of those zipcodes, I contend that much of the surrounding area, as well as certain less glamorous parts of the city, are actually a lot more interesting than the “hoity-toity” sections and do not need to be “beautified.” Some of the streets are actually more like winding alleys, and there are tiny parks wedged in here and there; they still exist, but development is steadily encroaching on them.
One very interesting and historic area right next to my own neighborhood is Tinner Hill, a historic black district (home to the first rural branch of the N.A.A.C.P.). There are two historic churches with their graveyards and several other landmarks. Some of the historic landmarks may be preserved, but that is not a guaranteed fate for the residential neighborhoods.
I would like to do a blog which documents this “other” part of Falls Church, but I do not know what to call it: ? Falls Church. Unpretentious Falls Church?
So here is the request/challenge: Can anyone help me come up with an appropriate name?