I received an ambitious publication in the mail yesterday. I won’t call it by name, but it is an advertising magazine with 16 pages of glossy ads and the purported purpose is local shopping in Dale City.
I’m always interested in hyper-local topics, whether those topics include homes, shopping or news, so I opened the circular to see if I might discover some new service, store or restaurant in Dale City that is either new or unknown to me.
It is difficult to define Dale City. The map I added to pictures for this article shows Dale City boundaries. You can see we are defined mostly as a zip code of 22193, but that some of that zip code bleeds out of the Dale City boundaries. Confusion thrives regarding what is Dale City and what is not. For example, Howison Homestead Park is listed as “Woodbridge, Va 22193” on the Prince William Icebreaker Field locations, and on Mapquest Local yet, on the Prince William County Parks and Recreation pdf I added to this article, it denotes Howison as, “Woodbridge, Va 22191”
You can see from the boundary map that Dale City is roughly defined by Hoadly Road, Minnieville Road, Route 1 and the Prince William Parkway. Dale City edges out into (what is defined as) Manassas, 20112. Part of Lake Ridge, 22192, bleeds into Dale City, and finally, Dale City oozes out into Dumfries, 22025.
If you look up Dale City, Va on Wikipedia, you’ll find we are described thusly: The community is roughly bounded by Minnieville Road to the northwest, Prince William Parkway to the north, Smoketown Road to the northeast, Gideon Drive to the east, and Cardinal Drive to the south.
On that same Wikipedia page, you’ll also find our motto, “The Friendliest City Around”, but we appear to have lost that status, since the sign that made that declaration no longer sports those words as you enter Dale City. Now I can’t say if those words were removed because we are no longer “friendly” or if someone finally noticed we are not a “city”. We are CALLED Dale City, but we are not a city, even though more than 65,000 people live here!
We are further defined as an “Unincorporated Community” a definition I researched with some pretty unhappy results here and here. I searched again, using the previous term, but added the specific “Dale City Virginia” and came upon a site with information from Princeton.edu that seemed hopeful, only to discover our only claim to fame is that we are “Near Potomac Mills Mall”.
So, I went back to have another look at the publication that specialized in Dale City. I determined that in the 16 pages that publication contained, there were 37 advertisements. Out of those 37, I identified only five that are located in and used the term “Dale City”. One Framing shop is definitely in Dale City, but did not use the term, one auto repair advertised, “Lake Ridge-Dale City” and there were five that fell into the gray area: I think they are technically in Dale City, but they did not use that term in their address.
Dale City still has some new homes to offer that do fall in the 22193 zip code, but I’m betting there’s not a lot of push to market specifically as “Dale City”. It appears there is no logical reason for this lack of business in our community. Dale City residents’ Median Household income is $86,343. In Lake Ridge the Median Household Income is $92,294. In Woodbridge, the Median Household Income is $65,134, so it seems plausible that in Dale City we should have businesses suited to the income level of our residents…yet, we don’t.
If you’d like to explore the theories, contribute to the discussion, experiment with possibilities, and look into the future, all the while trying to improve the present, I invite you to meet with Neabsco Action Alliance. Our next meeting is Tuesday, Dec.11. Details are on our web page, on Patch Events or on Facebook Events. You can also find us on Google+ If you are a Twitter user, you can find us as NAAorg and we’re on Facebook. You can connect with us on LinkedIn, too! Let me hear from you, no matter where you live. We are all in this together!