Monthly Archives: April 2013

Baseball is Back and the Rangers are Hot

Taking a trip out to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington provides more than just a baseball game for entertainment. Families gain the opportunity to stay in the area and enjoy Six Flags or take in some of the other sites and events near the ballpark. However, just taking a trip for a baseball game is a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon or enjoy a night out during the week.

Rangers Ballpark Arlington - Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ensignbeedrill/3590869292/The ballpark was opened on April 1st, 1994 and has become known as one of the top choices in all of Major League Baseball. The 270-acre complex holds just over 49,000 fans and was built with tradition in mind. It features a brick facade, exposed steel, a home run porch and a beautiful playing field. Even non-baseball fans can appreciate the Texas architecture displayed throughout the stadium.

Throughout this open-air complex, you will find a youth baseball park, a twelve-acre lake and the ballpark includes four-stories of offices. Parking it readily available with only a short walk from the furthest lots to the stadium. As you explore the complex, you will find many interesting areas including:

  • The Captain Morgan Club located in the Lower and Upper Level
  • The Batters Eye Club
  • Casey’s Corner
  • Cuervo Club
  • The Texas Rangers Hall of Fame
  • The Kids Zone
  • Vandergriff Plaza featuring the Budweiser Bowtie
  • And More!

The stadium offers many dining options, along with a famous $26 hot dog, which you might need help finishing. The home run porch in right field is an “All You Can Eat” venue with special ticket prices for games. Whether you want to take the entire family for a tour of the stadium or you just want to enjoy a baseball game, you will have fun exploring and watching a top American League Baseball team right in your hometown.

A Glance at Little Forest Hills

Founded in the early 1920s this neighborhood is full of history, beautiful homes and more. Little Forest Hills is found between Lakeland Drive Old Gate Lane, stretching from Garland road to Eustis Avenue. It’s home to about 1,000 homes, including everything from brand new single-family dwellings to brick cottages and bungalows. Many of the older homes were built as lake cottages and most of the older homes have been renovated.

Home in Dallas, TXThe average home in the area runs from about $120,000 to $250,000 and covers between 700 and 1,900 square feet. The neighborhood is full of beautiful tall trees, giving it a private feel away from the downtown area. However, with the location just on the outskirts of downtown Dallas, it’s a perfect choice for commuters. Whether moving to the Dallas area for new work or just looking for a new neighborhood near downtown, Little Forest Hills is becoming a popular choice for many.

If you enjoy the lake lifestyle, this is a good neighborhood for you. White Rock Lake is within walking distance and there are plenty of great outdoor activities for the entire family. Whether you want to spend time on the lake or just enjoy the beautiful views, a home in Little Forest Hills will provide both lake and downtown access.

Some of the local favorites include Cafe Lago and Bonnie Ruth’s Cafe. The area is served by the DISD schools including Bryan Adams High school and Alex Sanger Elementary. Families settling in Little Forest Hills can also choose from a couple of private schools for education needs.

Many younger families and singles are moving to the area because of the surrounding of mature trees, unique architecture and charm. This has become a popular spot for local artists and those looking for the lake lifestyle with Dallas at their fingertips.

Taking a Closer Look at the Medical District of Dallas

If you’re looking for house homes, with a contemporary design, the Medical District is the place for you. This neighborhood runs from Mockingbird Lane to Inwood Drive and lies between Harry Hines Boulevard and Maple Avenue. It’s filled with townhomes and many older homes with an average price of $260,000. Over 7,500 people live in the neighborhood and the daytime population skyrockets to nearly triple that.

With the UT Southwestern Medical Center campus as the anchor, this neighborhood provides plenty of amenities. Enjoy many places to go, all within just a few minutes, including:

  • Thai2Go
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Uptown
  • Highland Park Village
  • Oak Lawn Avenue
  • Cedar Springs Road

DART Station - Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kinkisharyo/4144794535/The new DART station even makes it easy to get to Victory and downtown. You can hop on the train and enjoy downtown Dallas after about a five-minute drive. If you need to be close to the school or the medical facility, this neighborhood works perfect for your needs. Many have compared the Medical District of Dallas to MD Anderson in Houston. The housing is affordable and provides a great alternative for many residents, not just medical students.

Many homes, condos and apartments are available throughout the area, which provide convenience for those working at the Medical Center. Of course, with the new DART station, this will become a favorite place for those working downtown, as well. Hop on the train and you’re at work in just five minutes. That’s a much shorter commute compared to what many Dallas residents deal with daily.

The newer buildings all feature energy-efficient living and plenty of space. Most of the features of the neighborhood are within walking distance and there’s plenty of parking throughout the area. With many new developments coming to this area, it’s a great place for those looking for a growing area.

Looking in at Lake Highlands

If you’re looking for a country neighborhood with a distinctive down home feel, Lake Highlands is the place for you. The Bettina Barn from 1900 still stands and many of the homes were built before 1960. Most of the older homes found throughout the area have been updates, adding new amenities and even more square footage.

Lake Highlands is found in between I-635 and Northwest Highway with the eastern border drawn by Greenville Avenue. This is a large neighborhood with about 85,000 residents. Homes price out at an average of $247,000 and some of the newer homes go as high as $800,000.

The neighborhood is wooded, family-friendly, full of great schools and growing. The new Lake Highlands Town Center development makes this neighborhood even more appealing. It was a $400 million development covering 70 acres and includes parks, open spaces, retail space, office space and residents units. A light rail station from DART has also gone in and many bike and hike trails running through the entire area. You can actually bike from Lake Highlands to the American Airlines Center.

Many new homes are going up in the area, as older homes are torn down and replaced. This provides a great mix of older and newer homes with plenty of beauty, without losing the country feel. This area is perfect for young professionals, families and anybody else looking for the country feel with access to the city. People looking for value or looking to downsize a little bit from McKinney, Frisco and Plano are moving into this neighborhood.

Residents enjoy many local treats including White Rock Coffee, Picasso’s Pizza, LA Fitness, Mi Cocina, ST Cafe/Sweet Temptations, Highlands Cafe and so much more. This is a fun area with a great feel. Access to downtown Dallas is easy, making Lake Highlands a favorite for those working in the city.

The Popular Bishop Arts District

Old Gloria's Oak Cliff Llewellyn Bishop Arts District - Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anthony1732/5892781840/This busy district can no longer dub itself as the best-kept secret in Dallas, but it’s still a great area. Found in South Dallas, this area used to be a warehouse district. Now, the Bishop Arts District is known as one of the best areas for a new restaurants or boutique shop. The shops and restaurants found here are not your average chains. This district is known for unique food and funky shopping.

The goal of the retail shops and restaurants in the area, is to create a community that does everything locally. Whether it’s dining in a farm-to-table restaurant or buying clothing, the shops want residents to give their business to the local economy instead of large corporate stores. Some of the local favorites found here include Bolsa, Tillman’s Roadhouse and Eno’s Pizza Tavern.

Local residents enjoy over 60 independent businesses including art galleries, theatres, restaurants, boutiques, bars and coffee shops. This is known as one of the most unique neighborhoods in Dallas and even the events are local.

Upcoming Events in the Bishop Arts District:

  • Urban Street Bazaar – April 6th and 7th
  • Brew Riot – May 19th
  • Bastille on Bishop – July
  • UrbanStreetBazaar – October
  • Blues, Bandits & BBQ – October

On the first Thursday of each month, the Bishop Arts District stays open later than normal and features live music, along with special deals at stores, restaurants and other businesses. A few times a year, this event will feature a “Wine Walk” featuring wine tastings in participating shops.
Some of the Businesses Found in the District:

  • Bishop Street Market
  • The Book Doctor
  • M’Antiques
  • Indigo1745
  • Just Add Jeans
  • Green Pet
  • Anytime Fitness
  • Skin & Body Solutions
  • Studio 410
  • Stains & Sinners Tattoo
  • Tranquillo/Sync Yoga
  • The Texas Theatre
  • Jim Lake Companies
  • The Kessler
  • Good Space
  • Hunky’s Hamburgers
  • Hattie’s
  • Lucia
  • Zen Sushi
  • Emporium Pies
  • Veracruz Cafe
  • Dude, Sweet Chocolate

It’s safe to say, the Bishop Arts District features a little bit of everything. If you’re looking for a great place for unique finds, eats and arts, this is the place for you.

An Older, Yet Beautiful Neighborhood: The Cedars

As one of the oldest neighborhoods found in all of Dallas, The Cedars provides plenty of history. From Old City Park to the Victorian style features throughout the area, this is one of the most popular historic neighborhoods in the city. Streets lined with large mansions, cottages and some of the most impressive architecture, this is an elite area rich in history.

The Old City Park was purchases all the way back in the 1870s and provides some of the most creative loft living in the area. Newly completed, the Dallas Police Headquarters is now located in this part of town and the new DART Cedars Station provides convenient transportation to anywhere throughout Dallas.

The Cedars is found south of Downtown, but north of the Trinity River and covers nearly 3 square miles. It features apartments, townhomes, lofts and single-family homes ranging in size. The price range for a home in the area starts at $85,000 and extends all the way past $3 million, but the average home is around $150,000.

Some of the most popular businesses in the area include Poor David’s Pub, Lee Harvey’s, The Opening Bell, Gilley’s Dallas and the Palladium Ballroom. This arts community provides plenty of unique experiences for residents. There are many job opportunities found close by and with easy access to most of what Dallas offers, this is a top choice for those looking for an affordable place to live.

Annually, residents enjoy the Cedars Open Studios, which is an event featuring local artists willing to open their homes and studios to the community. You can go from one to another as you enjoy the artwork, connect with neighbors and even purchase a piece of artwork from one of the studios. Between the great architecture, rich history and art community throughout The Cedars, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular area.

Coming in June: The Mesquite Championship Rodeo

Starting in June and running through August, one of the most popular events found in Mesquite is the Championship Rodeo. This event takes place at Resistol Arena, which was renovated in 2009. It seats 5,300 fans and provides an air-conditioned environment for everybody to enjoy the events. This is a great family activity and provides plenty of fun for everybody.

Mesquite Championship RodeoThe Mesquite Championship Rodeo features tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, barrel racing and bronc riding. These are typical rodeo events and quite a bit of fun for the serious fan or the newcomer. The family can also enjoy many different activities, including pony rides, shopping at the Western Store and riding the mechanical bull.

The action gets started in June on the first Friday and Saturday of the month. It will continue through June, July and August every Friday and Saturday with a laser and pyrotechnics show to get things started. You don’t have to worry about missing any of the action as you walk through the area because all the competitions are shown on large video boards throughout the Arena.

Even though this rodeo doesn’t start until June, you can get started with the “Real.Texas.Festival.” held on April 26th and 27th. This event will feature a Battle of the Bands, BBQ Contest, the Mayor’s Food Drive, a Rodeo Performance, Car Show, Carnival and more.

When attending the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, make sure you bring your appetite. The all-you-can-eat Sonny Bryan’s BBQ is a great choice and there a many other foods and beverage choices throughout the arena. Tickets start at $14 and range in price depending on your seats and the package you prefer.

They do offer a few special discount deals including a Texas Roadhouse deal. If you dine at Texas Roadhouse beforehand and present your receipt, you get one free Child’s ticket with the purchase of two Reserved adult tickets and you can ride the mechanical bull free of charge.

Discovering the Foods of The Bishop Arts District

The Gastronomic Exploration of The Bishop Arts District will be held on April 17, 2013 from 7pm to 9pm. This event will allow attendees to experience everything the area offers. This small town, amongst the big city offers great restaurants and a melting pot of cultural experiences. If you want to takes some of the homegrown cuisines of the area, comes out and enjoy delicious food in a social environment.

Events like this don’t come along very often and they’ve decided to keep the restaurants included in the event a secret for now. However, some hints will be shared on Twitter @DishcrawlDFW, which can lead you to figure out which restaurants you will get to experience. This event has “FUN” written all over it and is the perfect way to re-introduce this revitalized area of Dallas.

Dishcrawl will put the event on and will showcase some of the best culinary skill in the area. Local chefs and restaurants will provide amazing food from locally grown produce and other local ingredients. You can join the many other food enthusiasts and find out more about the offerings of The Bishop Arts District. Many of the restaurants practice farm to table with their dishes and some of the best chefs in Dallas are found in this neighborhood.

As one of the most unique neighborhoods in Dallas, you’re bound to find something you’ll love. This area has gone through a full transformation and amazing food has become the signature for the neighborhoods. Tickets for the event are $45 and once you’ve purchased them, you’ll receive an email (48 hours prior to the event) will all the details you need. If you’re a vegetarian or you have any other special dietary needs, Dishcrawl will make sure you are accommodated.

People in Dallas Aren’t Worried About The Recession

Economists from across the globe could be debating what caused the biggest recession to hit the United States in almost 100-years for decades to come. For those of us living in Texas we barely noticed the recession itself, avoiding the very worst of the financial fallout from it. The reason why the people of Dallas have weathered this storm so well is simply because of the strength of our local economy, and in more than just a regional sense too.

RecessionDid you know, for example, the economy of Texas is not only one of the most powerful in the country (ranking at position #2) but is also viewed as being of the largest economies on a global basis, ranking at position #14 internationally? With a state GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of US$1.2 trillion Texas is responsible for almost 10% of the GDP of the entire country, ahead of New York and just trailing behind California. The economy of our state is larger than that of the entire country of South Korea, and is only marginally smaller than the total GDP of Australia, just to give you some perspective on the kind of economic scale we’re talking about.

The Texan economy is also far from stagnant and has grown from being responsible for 7.3% of the total US GDP in 1997 to 8.3% of national GDP in 2010, so it won’t take too much longer before our economy eclipses that of California and every other state in the union.

In a time when Americans are looking to overseas economic powerhouses like China and India and worrying about the future of the country it’s a comfort for many to know that at least by relocating to Dallas your family can enjoy a much healthier economic outlook. With a growing population, cultural diversification thanks to immigration and a world-class defense and healthcare industry living in Dallas is a smart move both for now and the foreseeable future also.

Buying an Older Home in Dallas

An Older Home in DallasDallas is full of many beautiful older homes and sometimes an older home is a better investment than building or buying a new one. Often, older homes come with character you don’t see in the newer designs. Things, such as crown molding, antique fixtures, hardwood floors and gabled roofs can be found in the older Dallas homes.

Older homes are full of timeless beauty and it’s like buying a bit of local history. These homes represent a different time in Texas and provide the owner with a combination of grace and beauty. Of course, buying an older home comes with its own challenges and can present many issues. They don’t always have the same plumbing or electrical standard and if not maintained correctly, they can become more of a burden than an enjoyment.

A Few Tips for Buying Older Homes

  • Watch out for iron pipes - These were popular until about 1940 and they often clog up with rust.
  • Have an asbestos inspection done - Asbestos is very dangerous and usually found in homes build before 1960.
  • Expect to add insulation - Many older homes were not insulated very well and you may need to add insulation to the walls and attic. This will save on your energy bill, anyway.
  • Check the wiring - Older technology, such as knob-and-tube is no longer considered safe. With an older home, you may need to update the wiring.
  • Moisture Damage - Older homes often suffer from moisture damage. A simple home inspection will help you find any damaged areas.

Whenever buying an older home, make sure you get all the necessary inspections done. You may need to fix a few things, which isn’t a big deal, but if you don’t know what you’re getting into, it could cause even more issues.