Folks who live inside the Bubble can talk all they want about the Park Cities’ municipal services, great location {in the middle of Dallas, about six miles north of downtown), lower taxes, and terrific schools, but the truth is no other neighborhood offers the built-in cachet of Highland Park and University Park. Why else would anyone spend a million-plus on a home squeezed onto a seventy-foot lot?

The city planner responsible for laying out Highland Park in 1908 (20 percent of it set aside for parks) is the same fellow who designed Beverly Hills (yes, that Beverly Hills). University Park was developed a few years later as a support community for the new Southern Methodist University. Highland Park boasts more million-dollar mansions, which explains why people who live in University Park may say “the Park Cities” when asked where they live, rather than elaborate,


Like an oasis in the middle of Dallas, Turtle Creek runs from Fairmount Street to the edge of Highland Park, but it’s the high-rises (hat dot the creek just north of Lemmon that the highfalutin’ types are referring to when they boast a Turtle Creek address. Numbers are used to denote the most prestigious (“3525”) and the least prestigious (“21”) high-rises along Turtle Creek, while British-sounding names are used for the newest (The Claridge). Across the railroad tracks, Northern Hills is home to some of Dallas’s quiet, but frustrated, money: the neighborhood stops just short of the Highland Park town limits.


Its proximity to Highland Park, Turtle Creek, and Cedar Springs gives Oak Lawn-undoubtedly Dallas’s funkiest, most eclectic neighborhood-a decidedly split personality. Realtors, you see, like to lump the city’s beloved Oak Lawn area with any one of the above, depending on a client’s preferences. Fur example, there’s “Oak Lawn/Cedar Springs.” in deference to the area’s considerable gay population, “Oak Law n/Turtle Creek” for would-be sophisticates, and “Oak Lawn-just-south-of-Highland-Park” for wannabes.


This community in the western part of southern Dallas is much misunderstood. One problem is that, no matter how hard Oak Cliff tries, there will always be that river to cross. It’s the old south-of-the-Trinily complex (hat says crime is higher, schools are worse, so on and so on. Loyal Oak Cliff dwellers will tell you otherwise.

No one’s denying that Oak Cliff has the most eye-pleasing terrain in Dallas. The winding, wooded streets of Kessler Park, the Highland Park of the southern sector, are filled with stately homes that would go for twice as much in parts of North Dallas. Thai’s also true in neighboring Stevens Park, just across the way from the Stevens Park Golf Course. Kidd Spring shares what some call “the $100,000 boundary” with Kessler Park, hut bears it stronger resemblance to Winnetka Heights, Dallas’s largest historic district.


With the implementation of busing ordinances in the early Seventies, this once predominantly Anglo neighborhood in the southwest quadrant of Oak Cliff saw an influx of African-American families who preferred relocation to busing. It’s now considered one of the city’s most racially balanced areas, with a mis of blue-and white-collar workers, including many of Dallas’s most prominent African-American lawyers, doctors, and politicians.


In spite of attempts to change its image, the neighborhood that sits, on the southeast edge of Dallas remains the punch line of every budy’s favorite brae-collar joke. Pleasant Grove is decidedly residential, middle-class, and, for the most part, quiet and laid-back, But Gravers like it here, even though, as one Pleasant Grove resident who sits on the board of Clean Dallas’s Southeast chapter puts it. “Everything junky comes south of R.L. Thornton. We don’t see shopping malls or good restaurants. We have to go to Mesquite to shop.”


When Ross Perot backed down on his plan to fund the White Rock area’s beautification program, residents pondered the fate of the Dallas Arburetum and While Rock’s 2,000-plus acres of parks and greenbelts, Now they’re got something called a White Rock Master Plan that’s supposed to bring culture to the area in the Nineties.

Forest Hills, next to the lake, is the jewel of the area with a mix of bungalows and rambling half-million-dollar homes. There are also the neighborhoods of Little Forest Hills, Emerald Isle, and the Peninsula. otherwise unremarkable if not for their proximity to the lake. The Casa Linda neighborhood, however, shows all the signs of a revival with young couples moving in, sprucing up their homes, and rechristening the neighborhood Cuh-sa Linda.


Transplanted snobs from (he East Coast like to snicker a! the idea of a historic district in Dallas. Okay, maybe “old” is a relative term. Still, you can’t deny the appeal of Swiss Avenue, arguably the grandest boulevard in Dallas, east of downtown. Thousands, in fact, turn out each year for the Mother’s Day Tour of Homes just to see what a turn-of-the-century mansion looks like.On a smaller scale, there’s the historic twelve-block Munger Place neighborhood to the south, developed by the Munger brothers in 1905, Along with Swiss, it was the first neighborhood in Dallas that carried restrictions mandating architecture, style, and price standards.


As with other prestigious neighborhoods in Dallas, realtors will call everything within striking distance of this pricey neighborhood “Lakewood.” Truth is, Lakewood proper is situated east of Abrams Road and north of Gaston. two miles east of downtown. Like a small town where everything from the local shopping center and movie theater to the country club sports the name of that town, Lakewood is the most suburban of Dallas’s inner-city neighborhoods. There’s even a folksy Fourth of July parade each year that winds down I akewood Boulevard and Tokalon Drive.It looks for all the world like something Norman Rockwell dreamed up.


Its name suggests something much fancier, but Hollywood Heights was originally built in the Twenties as a middle-class alternative to its more affluent neighbor, Lakewood. Towering pecan, crape myrtle, oak. and redbud trees shade the neighborhood’s Tudor cottages and, because it has no major thoroughfares, the area remains remarkably quiet. Says one resident of the difference between Hollywood Heights and Greenland Hilts: “Instead of being bordered by horrible things like Greenville and Central Expressway, you’re got Tenison Park and Lakewood Country dub.”


Drive down am one of the tree-lined M streets in the area formally known as Greenland Hills-across Central Expressway from Highland Park-and it’s hard not to feel a sense of wit-being. The Tudor cottages look so adorably quaint with their glass-enclosed porches. Jeep Wagoneer, BMW, and/or Saah in (he driveways and herb gardens out back. You’d almost be disappointed to spot an>one over thirty-five, unsuccessful, or unattractive.


A poor cousin to the tonier Greenland Hills and. to a lesser extent, Hollywood Heights, the neighborhoods of Belmont. Lake-wood Heights, Junta Heights, Vickery Place, Cochran Heights, and Mill Creek make up Old East Dallas. When neighborhood restoration became a popular notion during the boom years, the oft-neglected bungalows cottages, and prairie-style homes of Old East Dallas gave many would-be yuppies a chance to get caught up in the spirit of the thing.


When Bryan Place (a mile east of downtown) was bulldozed eleven years ago to make way for a new residential community, it was called an “experiment.” Would a new breed of urban pioneer find happiness in Fox & Jacobs townhomes and coodos in one of home (such high ceilings and bay windows!) and the modern conveniences of a newer one the developer built some 400 zero-lot line homes, and the homeowners’ association added a pool and clubhouse. Cobblestone streets with old-fashioned street lamps completed what the developers call “an old New England look.” Rut try as it might to effect the feel of an older neighborhood, Bryan Place still looks new in its inner-city surroundings.


Have Dallas’s dreams of its very own SoHo been put on hold indefinitely? The warehouse district east of downtown, along Kim, Main. Pacific, and Commerce streets, has always been attractive to artists, given the area’s dirt-cheap rents and cavernous spaces. But when developers moved in and raised the rent, many artists were forced to move on. Offbeat clothing stores, trendy restaurants, and nightclubs are more the norm these days, but for the residents who remain (only 10 percent to 15 percent), the amenities are still sparse. Says one sculptor who has lived in Deep Ellum for nine years: “People who are used to air-conditioning and dishwashers won’t fit in very well here.”


The State-Thomas area-a former freedman’s town that sits in the northern shadow of Woodall Rodgers-still bore a remarkable “esemblance to its origins until it was targeted as Dallas’s next ur-ban mecca some five years ago. Sadly, most of the area’s old shotgun shanties have been demolished (a few. preserved as relics, now sit in Old City Park), and many of the area’s African-American residents haw moved on. Charming Victorian homes remain unong the lower McKinney restaurants, shops, and hot spots.


If Ward and June Cleaver had lived in Dallas, they would have chosen Lake Highlands in Northeast Dallas. Once a victim of the nothing-east-of-Central-is-worth-a-darn syndrome, the take Highlands, area has become attractive to middle- and upper-niddle-income families who want a Dallas address but like the idea of being in (the Richardson School District. Merriman Park is one of the area’s older neighborhoods, while Pebble Creek and Oak Highlands are the newer, more affluent pockets.


A friend calls Preston Hollow (between Douglas and Hillcrest. north of Northwest Highway) “the only civilized neighborhood in North Dallas.” Old Preston Hollow-including the old-moueyed estate area of Strail Lane, where homes start at $2 million civility carries a hefty price tag)-has all kinds of connotations plain ol’ Preston Hollow (in the $200,000 range) simply doesn’t. The homes of Old Preston Hollow are set on at least an acre of and, which gives this neighborhood the distinction of being, among other things, the only place in Dallas where horses are allowed as pets.


During the boom years, Preston Royal (southeast of Preston Road and Royal Lane) was where a number of builders began taking part in the practice known as “leardown.” They’d buy the ranch-style houses indigenous to the area, then tear them down to make room for something more befitting a North Dallas address. Now (he area has become popular among some homeowners who are positioning themselves for the next real estate boom.


If you didn’t know better. you’d think the tiny block of land called Greenway Parks-bordered by Mockingbird Lane, University Boulevard, Inwood Road, and the Tollway-was plucked out of the country, so pastoral is the setting. Thanks to the greenbelts. wide strips and triangles of grass and trees, virtually every house has a meadow for a back yard. The neighborhood’s ties to Highland Park-Greenway Parks was originally developed in the Twenties as a riva-were severed some twenty years ago when the HP School District refused to accept tuition students from the area.


You don’t just happen upon Bluffview (west of Inwood and south of Northwest Highway), the one-time Indian battleground where streets have names like Watauga and Catawba. Its modest cottages and million-dollar estates are so densely surrounded by towering elms and red oaks that you could go for years without seeing your neighbor. Jus) west of Bluffview, the Shorecrest area has frame cottages that were originally built for service people statiooed at Love Field during World War II. Both neighborhoods fall within the flight path of Love Field.


What to call the area north of North Dallas furrowed many a brow until somebody came up with the entirely appropriate Far North Dallas, It’s the nesting ground for transplanted executives (90 percent of JCPenney’s employees, for instance, settled north of LBJ) and the newly moneyed who like to have things just so. As if decreed, virtually all of the neighborhoods in tar North Dallas spoil names with the prefix of “Preston” or “Bent.” Prestonwood, Preston Trail, and Bent Tree, for instance, make up the Golden Corridor. Farther north, the brand-new subdivision of Bent Tree North is proof that FND hasn’t stopped growing.


Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.