A while back a friend of mine talked about making some sort of guide for fan fic writers who like to set up scenes in Orlando. Her problem, the fan fic authors kept writing basement scenes, in Orlando. Most homes in Orlando have no basements. Something about the water table. There were other errors that annyoed her too.
I was vaguely aware that screenwriters for the cable show Homeland threw in the name Truxton Circle. So on the off chance this becomes a trend and Hollywood wants to get a bit of it right (but not to the point off on location shooting because our streets can't handle it), I have this short guide.
Housing- Small apartments, turreted homes, split townhouses, tiny townhomes. Attached everything. Take a look at the variety that is here in my Flickr set Townhomes of Truxton. The few apartments are no more than 3 or 4 stories above ground. The largest complex is the NW Co-Op, which is a mix of apartments and attached townhomes and they have a decent sized parking lot. Most townhomes are 2 stories high. Some of those townhomes, could be split into 2 or 3 units. Those units could be flats or condos. There are also many basement apartments.
People- We've got a diverse set. Yes, you could have a University Professor terrorist living in the TC. You can have couples, white, black, multiracial, gay, straight, professionals, students, the chronically unemployed, with or without kids. You can also have low level drug dealers living with their grandmothers, neighbors to the couple where mom works for a non-profit and dad is an analyst for some group/agency/whatever. The kids of this fictional couple are under the age of 10 and there are no more than two. Yes, there are couples with 3 kids who live here but I'm ignoring them for this excerise. There is a strong chance families have a pet. Usually a dog, that must be taken out for walks so your character can meet up with informants or spies at the dog run (outside of TC) near KIPP or the Shaw dog park.
If you need a bunch of shady looking people hanging out, try the tip of the TC (maybe Eckington/Bloomingdale) at Florida and North Capitol. A small group of sad characters hanging out? Maybe 1st and O or Q and 4th. If the unsavory looking characters are doing things with cars and littering, try the 100-200 block of Q.
Streets/Parking- Besides the boundary streets, most streets inside the TC are quiet 2 lane roads with parking on both sides. There are several one way streets. The big busy streets are North Capitol and New York Avenue. Florida and New Jersey Avenues are big but not as congested and messed up as the other large streets. From New Jersey you can get a shot of the Capitol building.
Points of Interest- We've got a mosque that looks like a gym. A small park. A CaBi station. More black churches than you can shake a stick at and for now a high school that looks like a prison. If you want a dining or coffeehouse scene, wander across Florida Ave to Big Bear. Or keep going past Florida, along 1st, north a few blocks to Rustik, or Aroi or whatever else pops up around there. For interesting businesses (yoga, farmers markets, pet shop), you'll have to have your characters walk over to Bloomingdale.
Transit- We are right on I-395 heading to Virginia. So if your character needs to do something at DCA or the Pentagon or something in Northern Virginia he/she is just a quick car ride away. If they need to get to Georgetown, they will hop on the G2 bus with a newspaper and enjoy the ride straight to the gates of the University.