My wife and I lived in Allen for several years, and often while traveling we were asked where we were from. Despite making our home in the northern suburbs, the answer was always the same: a hesitant “Dallas.”
After a two-year hiatus in a foreign land (Northern Virginia), we arranged to move back to Texas, specifically Dallas proper. Like most modern-day homebuyers, we scoured the internet for the perfect home close to our respective jobs, and the best options we found were in Lakewood Heights. We didn’t know much about the area, and the number of homes for sale gave an impression of impending doom to the neighborhood; so we took our real estate agent’s advice and took to the streets to ask around. We proceeded to accost a few dog-walkers and joggers, all of whom provided glowing reviews. That was enough for us. After a few rounds of negotiating, we were proud homeowners in East Dallas. Here are a few things that we have learned from living here for a few years, beyond those initial lessons from the passers-by.
Lakewood Heights has one of the best parks in Dallas. Tietze Park has been a neighborhood staple for years and has provided countless hours of entertainment to local residents. If you’ve ever driven by it at 5:30 p.m. on a 103-degree July day, you might see some crazy people working out boot-camp-style (we’re part of that group of crazies). In addition, you might see kids playing baseball or soccer, or maybe dog owners trying to wear down their hyper Labs with countless tosses of the tennis ball. The main summer attraction at the park, the Tietze Park pool, will likely be full of children swimming or climbing the in-pool rock wall. The lifeguards are diligently watching to keep everyone safe.
Another great facet of Lakewood Heights is the neighborhood association. LHNA is an organization that promotes safety and well-being in the area. Dues are voluntary, and all events are free of charge for anyone who wishes to participate. LHNA sponsors multiple events throughout the year to bring residents together for food and fun. In the springtime, the front-yard picnics are a big hit. Each street hosts a block party, and the neighborhood association chips in for food. In the fall, kids are encouraged to come to Pumpkins in the Park, where they get to carve pumpkins at Tietze Park. The best part is that the pumpkins have already been cleaned out, so there’s no mess required!
In 2013, Lakewood Heights celebrated its 100th anniversary. Despite its age, the neighborhood isn’t a historical preservation district, which means builders can erect anything architects can dream up. We have 1920s bungalows, historic Tudors, Mediterranean McMansions, and some modern designs that would even make Frank Lloyd Wright proud.
There is a good mix of older couples, new families, and short-term renters. The best anecdote I have to summarize the people here is the day that a stranger tried to walk off with a bicycle from my front yard. My vigilant neighbor chased him down four blocks on foot and recovered the bicycle. Of course, I never told him that only weeks after his daredevil rescue that bike ended up on given away via Craigslist’s “free stuff.” Regardless of the outcome, his selfless act epitomizes the local spirit.
Living in Lakewood Heights has been some of the best years of our lives, and we look forward to starting our family here. Now when we travel and someone asks where I am from, I proudly say, “Dallas, Lakewood Heights!”
Richard Sheffield and his wife Crystal moved to Lakewood Heights in 2011.