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Tell me about Frederick, MD?

600 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Dragonfly
I did one of those "where should you live?" quizzes and, surprisingly, Frederick came up 3rd on my list (just below Portland and Eugene, OR). I currently live in NOVA and have actually thought about moving in that direction in a year or so because there's a school close by that I'm very interested in for ds.

Anyway, would love to hear about the town, community, arts, music, diversity, availability of good, organic, food, etc.

I'd also love to hear if anyone has experience commuting from there to DC.

Thanks! <imagine a big smiley face here>
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly
... because there's a school close by that I'm very interested in for ds.
Is that the Lucy School? It seems so cool.

I've heard great things about Frederick, too...btw. They have a great and active birth circle and so much natural beauty around. I think there's also a lot of growth as it has become an "exburb" for DC.
I don't live in Frederick, but my husband works there so I know a little about it. First, food shopping - there is a great co-op there called the Common Market. They are moving into a new location in mid-May that is much bigger and sounds great. It is already a great store. There is also a sign near my husband's work about a "Mom's" store (I think that's the name) being built. The sign says it's an organic type of store also. Looks to be good size also.

There is a beautiful park named Baker Park that runs through downtown Frederick. It has a very nice playground, a public pool, and a creek that you can walk along forever it seems. The historic downtown area has lots of nice shops with a wide variety of restaurants. My husband works with someone who used to bartend at an organic restaurant downtown. He thinks it's called The Orchard. The whole downtown area is nice I think. We can around there once in a while - lots of funky shops. There are a couple of theatres down there that look like they put on interesting plays, but we've never been to any of them. There are a couple of parking garages with reasonable rates as well.

Right near downtown is the main public library and it's great. It's not huge by any means, but the children's area is plenty big for us and I know they have storytimes and such.

I don't commute obviously, but I think there is a Marc train from Frederick to DC or you can drive down to the Bethesda area to catch the Metro. Otherwise it's driving 270 all the way down.

I think Frederick is a little pricey for homes, but you are in NOVA so you should be used to that.

There are also lots of other parks (federal and state) around this area of MD. We actually live in Harpers Ferry WV and it's only about a half hour from Frederick. There is lots of whitewater rafting and hiking to do around here. We really love living here and I enjoy going to Frederick.
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It sounds wonderful! I think we'll take a drive up there once I finish up with exams, maybe spend the day wandering about.
sorry, off topic...
i can't help you with info, but i just wanted to tell you I love the link in your sig! I'm a big muppet fan and that is one of my favorite tunes!
I live 30 min west of Frederick in Hagerstown. I did work in Frederick for several years and have a few friends in the area. On in Frederick and one in Ijamsville and both love the area and my one friend w/ school age children is very happy with the school the other friend has 3 yr old twins. ShadyGrove is the closest metro stop off 270.
We live in Frederick. DH commutes to Silver Spring, MD and it takes him a little over an hour, BUT he goes down 70. 270 is much more congested. (it would be less miles for him to take 270 to 495 & around to Silver Spring, but would take him MUCH longer time-wise during rush hour, that's the way I go if I go down to see him in the middle of the day though). Before I had kids I was working in Rockville & during the school year (we moved here in the summer & I saw noticable difference in commute time when school started) it took me about 1 1/2 hrs to get to my office in Rockville (can make it in about 35 min during non-rush hour times, but "rush hour" covers too wide a time range to miss & still work a normal office day, even with the flex time my office offered, I still needed to work hours that allowed me to interact w/ my coworkers LOL). And that was 3 years ago, & if anything I would guess it's gotten worse. That said, lots of people are doing it, so . . .

We're happy in the area, other than housing costs. I dream of a time when dh can find a job farther out & we can move farther out & get a comparable house w/ no mortage thanks to the equity in this one LOL. And to go along w/ teh housing costs, the property taxes are insane. Gas is high, but no higher than anywhere else, generally at least a few cents lower than in the city.

I find Common Market to be high priced compared to Whole Foods & Trader Joes, but they're only about 1/2 hr away (actually a little less if I were driving, but we generally go down w/ my parents (they like Baja Fresh & my kids love the pico de gallo there so it's a great place to go eat & then we head over to Whole Foods afterwards), so there are options. And yes, a MOMs (My Organic Market) is supposed to be coming. Most of the grocery stores have a decent size (considering) selection of natural/organic items as well.

There is the birthing circle, but on the other side of that coin, Frederick Memorial Hospital doesn't seem to be very open to natural birth options. I haven't been there, but I know I heard awhile back that they won't do VBACs at ALL there. I delivered my twins at Shady Grove (again, about 1/2 hr away, unless it's rush hour), wasn't overly impressed. . . if I talk dh into a 3rd, I'll be looking into homebirth options.
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When I think of Frederick, ALL I think about is how I've spent the last year and a half of my life fighting the fact that the only hospital in the county forces women to have repeat cesareans whether then want them or not. In the first year of the ban alone, their cesarean rate has gone up 4%.

-Barbara Stratton
The PP are right. Frederick Memorial Hospital does NOT allow VBAC's anymore. However, the Washington Co. hospital does and it is only 30-45 minutes away. I would personally reccomend Washington Co. to live in anyway. The shopping in Frederick is less than desirable for how large it has gotten. The Hagerstown area has much nicer and spread out shopping available and less traffic too. Although it may be quite a bit longer of a commute to DC. I'd suggest visiting and seeing if you like the area yourself. All that being said, I've lived in Frederick my whole life and if it wasn't for the price of housing I'd probably stay here. WV is MUCH cheaper.
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Hi guys! We live across the line in West Virginia.

I go to Frederick a lot for shopping. We're Common Market members and shoppers. I like the downtown area. It's charming and old and very active. It's not all full of banks and mortgage centers. There are lots of little shops and restaurants. We like the Ethiopian restaurant and the Brewery.

I would have concerns about the water quality anywhere near Fort Detriech. I have a friend who is trained in environmental issues and he very seriously said he'd never drink the water in Frederick due to Ft. Detreich.
We've lived in Frederick for almost 3 years now and love it. What brought us here from Montgomery County was the lower cost of living. Housing prices have gone mad since then but it is still way more affordbale than Montgomery County. The taxes are also much less. I shop at the common market quite a bit but also find a good amount of organic items on sale at Giant Eagle.There are also local farms and CSA's.
I've also found a great number of like minded people here. We do have the Frederick Birthing Circle, a LLL meeting a the library, a Montessori public charter school,......let's see what else? I know a large number of homebirthers and it does suck that Frederick Mem. doesn't do VBAC's but most hospitals are now discouraging them as well. They just lie about being open to one and then tell you you have no choice. There are some arts available here. I haven't been involved too much in that in awhile though so i can't tell you how good it is in this area. Ok...well last and certainly not least in my book is diversity. It can be found in Frederick. Sometimes you have to search it out. We bought our townhouse because of the diversity in our neighborhood. We are also within walking distance to great county park.
I highly recommend checking out Frederick.....

Oh, and the commute thing - a few friends of mine commute to DC via the MARC train. There are several station here in Frederick county.
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I live in Montgomery County, but friends and I do go to Frederick when we can for fun days of shopping, antiquing, and I love the Common Market. Frederick is commonly referred to by many as "Fredneck" - but I think it is a charming place. It seems lovely and the housing prices are much lower than Montgomery County!
I really like it here, although it is growing. When I commuted to DC, I was a member of a vanpool. We left very early in the am and were generally back by 5:30pm. That was before HOV though. The vanpool was much quicker than the METRO, but there was not a train station in Frederick at the time.

I love the free concerts in the summer and the outdoor movies at the park. It's a short ride to Harper's Ferry, Gettysburg, State Parks and lakes.

I belong to a playgroup of at least 15 families, most of which cloth diaper, co-sleep, still nurse, etc. It's a great support system, and the children are great.
Thanks for all of the input! Two more weeks of school and then we can go for a visit.

One more question: Is the downtown area very walkable? (I mean, is it possible to live in an area where you can walk to most everything?)
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