It's hard to categorize this kind of article since it should probably be directed toward neighborhood civic association. Many people have written songs about their travels from town to town, and now there are television shows about that equally.
Here is my personal experience. I have been living in the greater Washington DC area since 1978. At that point, my family was traveling the world and taking our choice of the best place to live. I was fond of Washington because of its great promises. The things we sought were education, fairness in politics, wealth and prosperity, family values and friendship. One by one I have been finding many of these promises to be false, at least the way I see it. Now I land in Arlington Virginia, which is directly across the river from Washington DC. It was once part of the nation's capital, and also part of the very nice state of Virginia.
Now that I have made an introduction to my article and given some background, I'll get on to the meat of the matter today that prompted me to write this article. It's really hard to say, but I would title it something like "Marlene in Arlington". The first disclaimer I want to say is that I do not in fact experience all of Arlington County, but more of our little neighborhood in the city, known as Virginia Square or Ballston. The reason I'm talking about the character Marlene is hard to explain. First of all, I was born in Arlington and as I said, have been in the general area for a long time. Arlington has long been known as a rather slummy place, with many gangs, immigrants, and crime. If you first looked through this county, you would observe that most of it is about a hundred years old or more, with distinct character, although in need of great repair. It's a very moderate community in that manner.
The character "Marlene" was a young working girl. She evidently had a job at the department store and wore the finest clothes imaginable. She was very popular at the dance halls when Washington's working class went out to enjoy the evenings filled with music and dance on the weekends. Looking at Marlene for the first time, everyone thought she was a prostitute; since she had an extremely short pink mini-skirt and tall black gogo boots that came up over the knee. I think at the time she told others she was a fashion designer.
Now, with Arlington's drugs and gangs, and very loose government, Marlene's fame and hard work have thrust her into a position as a community leader. With no official position, and a county that does not really care because the appointed or elected politicians also don't really care. This community has shown that they are still in favor of a local economy where liquor sales are a driving force, and very small rental apartments designed for working people, are very common. The rental rates are very high and keep getting higher because this is a capitalist community where a majority of the people seem to be obsessed with getting rich and have been for half a century or more.
Now, this is more about "Marlene in Arlington". She is a poor girl from the ghetto, she goes to midnight clubs that were once known as speak easies and associated with the criminals and drug dealers, who populate the working class. Marlene is a real hypocrite to deal with because she feels that she is so special, she's eternally spoiled and always thinks she right, even though she seems to hate just about everything and everyone when she's in the mood to feel that way. Like most prostitutes, she can turn on the charm and make you feel loved, and quickly change her mind and make a quick escape. Once a person is taken advantage of by her charm they would feel very deceived or let down. At this point, we are not sure if Marlene is an individual, a group of people such as sisters, or just a stereotype for any girls who behave that way. The community seems to talk to her and use her name when she is not around. In other words, it fits the patterns or a notorious prostitute who rose to power. See also Mata Hari, in Washington DC. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mata_Hari)
Nobody is really sure if Marlene actually exists, although it very clearly a local legend, that people talk about almost every day. Personally, I have met one girl or maybe more, although she had stories that she had a fake name and fake ID, which is also a crime. In this part of North Arlington, Marlene's name is thrown around much like a nickname, such as Buck, or Jose', or maybe Lulu.