WSJ: Amazon set to announce DC and NYC for HQ2 and HQ3 (Maybe tomorrow)
What are these places?

Crystal City Va

Long Island City, NY

Neither Long Island City or Crystal City are actual cities, in a jurisdictional sense. Long Island City is in Queens (Borough of Queens, Queens County), New York City. The area is marked by the famous Pepsi sign that dominates the view across the river driving up the East Side Drive in Manhattan.

The main thing Amazon has had going now in New York is an ecommerce operation and its burgeoning advertising business.

Crystal City is a development within Arlington County, VA, located near Reagan National Airport. Crystal City is just a George Washington's stones throw away from DC across the Potomac. Amazon Web Services' giant data farms are located about 20 to 30 miles to the west, in Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Amazon had talked of building a separate campus-like facility near the data centers, though its not clear if that will still happen. Although AWS headquarters are in Seattle, Northern Virginia is the home of US-East, its largest region.

It is also thought that the DC locale is attractive to Amazon because as it grows its becoming a bigger target for several arms of the Federal government. Having HQ 2 or 3 nearby might be helpful in several ways.

Also, it is near Amazon's booming Federal business.

Both area have in common particularly high percentages of Asian-Ameican residents.

The lack of Engineering education nearby is a concern, but as part of the agreement between Virginia and Amazon the state agreed to a new Virginia Tech graduate campus coming to nearby Alexandria