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!