Venus Trapped in Mars

16 May 2016

It's Time To Get Involved

In August I will have been in Dallas for 4 years, and over the course of those 4 years, I've lived in three different neighborhoods. First was Carrollton, which is actually not in Dallas, but rather a suburb of Dallas. I chose this because it was minutes from my work. Although I really LOVED my apartment in Carrollton, it wasn't the area for a 25 year old Dallas transplant to easily make new friends. 

So as soon as my year-long lease was up, I bolted to what is now still my favorite little Dallas neighborhood, Deep Ellum. From what people tell me, Deep Ellum has had its ups and its downs. This explains to me why the guys at work gave me a look of absolute shock and horror when they found out I was moving there. "But like, you'll get stabbed." was what they were thinking. This was two years ago and the change that has whipped through Deep Ellum in a mere two years is incredible. Unlike its neighbor to the North, Uptown, Deep Ellum doesn't judge. Deep Ellum is chill and awesome and accepting and just overall the greatest place on earth.



I'm a little obsessed, can you tell?

Unfortunately though, CB and I didn't get a house in Deep Ellum. Although finding an apartment isn't difficult, there are very few homes in that area. The homes available were very historic -- read: way out of our price range -- or were loft style living. After spending the majority of my adult life walking a dog twice a day every day,  I was ready to be able to just open a door and have them go out into a yard. Hence, loft and high rise living were ruled out. 

After looking at every possible option from the suburbs to the city, we found the house we loved in a neighborhood called Oak Cliff. 



Now, I didn't think people could come up with more horrified faces than they provided me for Deep Ellum, but I was wrong. The look I got when I said 'Oak Cliff' conveyed: "How many gunshots did you get when you toured the house.

Oak Cliff is an interesting neighborhood. Again, not being a born and raised Dallasite, all I have to go on is what people tell me, and people tell me Oak Cliff used to be THE neighborhood to live many, many years ago. Well, until it wasn't. 

Our home, like many homes for sale in Oak Cliff right now, was a complete gut, overhaul and flip job. Yes, some streets are better than others. Some streets have been overhauled, some have not. Both CB and I loved every single thing about our house and jumped at it, especially at the price point. In Oak Cliff, you're going to find one beautiful house located right next to two homes that look like they might be abandoned -- even though there are 48 cars in the driveway.  

We both feel good about Oak Cliff. We both feel excited about the future of Oak Cliff. If we had it to do over again, we'd still choose our house in Oak Cliff. That house screams Sarah and CB. It's perfect. 

With all of that said, I get really defensive when I hear or see people talking crap about Oak Cliff. For example, there was a pop up Farmers Market announced on Facebook a few months ago, and so many people left comments saying they wouldn't be going because they feared for their safety in Oak Cliff. This Farmers Market was in a church parking lot on Saturday morning, come on people you sound ridiculous. 

We were super busy yesterday, but there was a huge craft beer event in Bishop Arts that I insisted we attend. Bishop Arts is the most popular area in Oak Cliff and is filled with adorable  shops and some of the best restaurants in Dallas.  As an Oak Cliff resident, it's important to me to support our neighborhood and hopefully change people's opinion on that side of Dallas. The more opinions that change, the faster the revival and the more our property will be worth. 


As I knew we would, we had an absolute blast. Aside from the fun we had though, I think we both really saw that event as an eye opener that we are adults now and need to be more involved in things we support and believe in. This might sound bad, but I've never been the kind to really get involved in my community.

I'm genuinely surprised that I learned a life lesson from attending a craft beer event, but I'm glad I did.  CB and I both need to change that, we both need to put effort and support into where we live. 

If you live in Dallas or are even just visiting, shoot me an email and I'll recommend my favorite Oak Cliff spots that I can guarantee will win you over and totally change your opinion on this bomb neighborhood that we love! 


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13 comments :

  1. I think it's awesome you are in an up an coming hood! You can totally be the pioneers of that "village", aka your own little corner of Dallas. So many bad areas are seeing this awakening. Our small town is small but mighty and in the almost full 10 years I've lived here in Florence, AL I have seen this area grow. Grown in spirit - and arts and just everything that makes small towns great! The artist movement is booming, hipsters are taking over (in a good way) and it's just a great, great time to be a young adult in this town. (Please note, I will be 40 *GASP* this year but still feel like a young adult and I want to do more to foster this town)... I think it's great you and CB wanna be active, because you know what.. .the new Oak Cliff IS your town!!! Do it Proud!!! ox

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  2. I love this! I love love love my city! I love to explore and find new and interesting things to do in all the wonderful neighborhoods of Columbus. We too have areas that have gone through major transformations in the past 10 years and I hear the same comments you do. (Sometimes from my own mother - a long time city resident as well.) I challenged her to go with me to a local craft and flea market last summer in an up and coming area and although she was nervous at first, she had a great time.

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  3. this is an interesting perspective for me, since I grew up in Dallas and have always known what my dallas should be. I honestly don't think I'd go to deep ellum as much if I wasn't your friend (which is a GREAT thing) and it's fun to really see what it has to offer. I think the next time in dallas I want to show you my neck of the woods. which is way less mural-ly but still pretty cool. I can't believe it's been 4 years!!!

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  4. My sister lived in Oak Cliff before she moved to Colorado, & I actually really like the area! It has.... charm, haha. One day we walked around bishop arts & went into a bunch of the shops and I kind of fell in love!

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    1. Oh NO WAY!!?!! Isn't Bishop Arts the cutest? There is nothing not to like there (well, maybe the parking situation....)

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  5. But man, being active in the community can be so hard if you're the type of person who just wants wine and Netflix. :(((( but you are definitely right, and even if it is hard, it usually ends up being worth it too.

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    1. Ok I hear you. I really do. I too very much enjoy a couch and wine and Netflix. I'm really shy too... so it takes courage for me to get out there

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  6. My husband and I bought the first new (construction) house in an area of Chattanooga known as Hill City. There is only one street separating "our side" from the trendy, very pricey area known as North Chattanooga. All of the real estate in North Chatt is sold, so people are gradually crossing the "street" and joining us in Hill City. In just two years, the value of our house has increased by $100,000. We are in shock--happy shock, that it is! We thought about selling and cashing in, but if we sold our house, we wouldn't be able to afford another one in the neighborhood. Crazy how things change when people start to buy in and realize what diverse neighborhoods have to offer!

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  7. I love all the painted bricks! Everything by me is too historical to be painted on :( My boyfriend and I learned the same lesson lately. He's a New Yorker but he drank the cool aid and saw how much better Connecticut is (it's less expensive). We've made a ton of friends by getting involved in the craft beer community. Look into Girls Pint Out, it's a national organization and that's how I've been making friends! If there isn't a chapter near you, they'll help you set one up! The one here in Connecticut does fundraisers all the time and even cosponsors events with the Rhode Island and NYC chapters. They do a lot of co-ed events as well!
    http://www.girlspintout.org/

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    1. Girls Pint Out... UMMMMMM... that sounds RIGHT up my alley! I will look into that right now, thank you for the suggestion!

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  8. I love the OC and I miss our sweet place there every single day. So glad you guys like it!

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  9. Growing up in Duncanville, we all heard about OC. I am so glad its being overhauled and being revitalized. Now people look at me weird when I say I went to Duncanville. Still need to head over to the big D for the craft beer scene. J wants to go to Deep Ellum Brewing for father's day.

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