The State of NoVa is four counties and one city – Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Alexandria – comprising 2 million diverse and dazzling people, in every setting from the densely packed apartment complexes of Alexandria to the great wide open of western Loudoun. It’s not like DC, it’s not like Maryland, and it sure ain’t like the rest of Virginia.

The State of NoVa is also the mindset that expects the whole enchilada AND the side of rice. It wants the urban pace and intellect of the District, but also the space to play soccer on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. It wants the security of a suburb, but the culture of the world. The State of NoVa is flush with every nationality, every religion, every fast food joint. It’s got the high life, in the mansions of the rich and powerful in Great Falls and McLean, the chattering social hives of the giant malls in Fairfax and Prince Wiliam, and the large enclaves of Arlington and Annandale where no English is spoken. This page will explore the State of NoVa, examine it, try to explain it and enjoy it. Your help welcomed.

Tom Jackman was born in Northern Virginia, grew up in the fledgling planned community of Reston, graduated from Herndon High School back in another century and is unapologetic about his suburban pedigree. He has been a reporter covering NoVa for The Washington Post since 1998, and is a dedicated follower of the Nats, Skins, Caps, Wizards and United. He likes live music, late nights and lazy Sundays. He knows where and how the wheels of power grind up your hard-earned cash, what’s happening in your ‘hood and where all the cool hangouts are. Or almost all.

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