wonderfully made: The places you'll go...

Monday, July 15, 2013

The places you'll go...

My friend Emily and I were chatting the other day and she casually asked me if I was going to miss the apartment where I live now. I've caught myself in this situation before: feeling excited and anxious for the 'new place' and forgetting to soak up the good things about where I am now. I think that our generation as a whole has that problem. We can't live in the 'now'. With Emily's question in mind, I started looking at these last few moments differently, and I'm happy I did.

When Mark and I started looking for a place to live last July, the last place we thought of moving was Oak Cliff. If you're not from Dallas, you might not know what the OC is. It's the large area south of I-30 and west of I-45. Oak Cliff is known as the 'hood' or 'ghetto' of not only Dallas, but for most of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. It started as an early Dallas settlement but as the years went on, the upper class moved north to places like Uptown, Highland Park, University Park, and Lakewood, to name a few. Oak Cliff fell behind and it showed. In the last 30-40 years, however, Oak Cliff has slowly pulled itself out of the dust and it has become a shining part of Dallas. The good and bad part about this is that word takes a while to get around and people still see Oak Cliff as being a scary place that you don't want to drive through during the day, much less at night. This is a good thing because jewels like the Bishop Arts District, Kessler Park, and Stevens Park go unnoticed and thrive on local interest, unlike places like Uptown and Highland Park which are known for their pretentious crowd. 

I moved into one unit of a three unit apartment building in an area called Winnetka Heights at the end of last July. 

(our side of the triplex on Christmas Day 2012)

(the view across the street in spring 2013)

I was worried about living here, in Oak Cliff, for three months before Mark and I got married, but I reassured myself that everything would be fine since I would have my 60lb teddy bear Motley living with me as well as a monitored alarm system to keep me safe.

Almost 12 full months after living here, I'm tempted to say this is one of our favorite places to live. The apartment has been just what we needed and has efficiently fit the combination of Mark's and my crap, for lack of a better term. We have met and waved at all of our neighbors, borrowed hoses from the man across the street, picked up mail when others were out of town, and gone on walks near and far exploring the neighborhood. We've watched 2,000 sq ft homes in this 'ghetto' part of town sell for upwards of $300,000 and have never had any safety concerns on our quiet little street. 

We have had the pleasure of spending our year here exploring the Bishop Arts District, just 1.5 miles away. It has been the most convenient and charming area to bring our friends and families to, and it also become our 'go-to' area for a dinner date on any given night of the week. Just last night I met up with my friends Jody and Heather for the annual "Bastille on Bishop", an event celebrating the French uprising and reconciliation:

 The event admission included a commemorative glass!

 Our first stop, unsurprisingly, was for crepes! Jody and I went for the Nutella crepe and Heather had the salted butter caramel. In hindsight, the caramel sounded realllllly good and Heather seemed to enjoy it. You can't go wrong with Nutella though!

We were waiting in line for baguettes and Jody and I stepped into the Ginger Fox gallery. She had some great art and I really liked this one, considering we are nearing the 50th anniversary of JFK's death. 

 We decided the baguette line was too long, so we stopped in at our favorite pizza place Eno's for a quick bite. They have some fun decor!

 This is the view from the second floor of Eno's.

 We decided to wander around the district and also stop in at some stores that were open. We all LOVED this candle store. It was like it was out of a movie. It's called Society and it has wonderful, mild scents and it is styled to a "T". I couldn't get over it!

 A visit to Bishop Arts isn't complete without a stop at Emporium Pies! They were only serving cherry pie, but Jody took them up on their offer!

 I'll speak for all of us and say we had a great time, despite the drizzle. It was a fun was to put a cap on our Oak Cliff experience and start looking forward to our new place.

All in all, I can't say much bad about Oak Cliff. It is a place that takes a while to adjust to and might not be everyone's favorite neighborhood, but Mark and I ended up loving it. I'm going to miss the historic homes, the beautiful hills, and the local vibe. If you are ever around town, I suggest you check it out!


  1. Soak it up as much as you can! At least Bishop Arts is still just a half hour drive away though :) There's so much I miss in Dallas (VELVET TACO) and the worst part is that it's so far away! Bastille on Bishop looks like it was fun, wish I could have joined y'all!

  2. Um, you forgot to mention the Oak Cliff game you play: firework or gunshot?


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