MSN: Oak Cliff went “from blighted to bling”

PHOTO COURTESY OF The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League

They like alliteration. And “bling” is actually a real word now.

A real estate story on msn.com points to Oak Cliff as one of 10 neighborhoods in the U.S. that had a bad reputation in the ’70s or ’80s and is now hip.

The benchmark neighborhood msn uses is Manhattan’s Soho, “which transformed from a warehouse district in the 1970s to the upscale gallery and residential community it is today”.

Here’s what msn said about our neighborhood:

Turn-of-the-century homes. Tree-lined streets. A short bike ride from downtown Dallas. These help comprise the appeal of North Oak Cliff, a neighborhood left behind in the post-World War II rush for the suburbs. Today, the neighborhood is attracting many young, urban professionals.

North Oak Cliff has been successfully shedding its reputation as run-down and dangerous for one of being hip, cool and not opposed to redevelopment that includes shops, restaurants and bars.

Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention, they called it “North Oak Cliff”, which technically is inaccurate, in my opinion. Our neighborhood is Oak Cliff. But adding the designation “north” with a capital “N” to the name is becoming more and more common, especially among politicians and real estate professionals.


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  • rubbercow

    Rachel – The “North” designation is needed and has nothing to do with snobbery or any other high-handed reason. As others have pointed out, the problem with the blanket “Oak Cliff” moniker is that the way crimes tend to be reported really create a negative perception of the entire area. Currently, any crime that takes place south of I-30 is reported as having happened in “Oak Cliff”. Heck, I have even read of crimes that took place at I-20 and Houston School Road as having happened in “Oak Cliff”. Does that seem reasonable to you? If it does, I (and probably many others) would be interested in your thoughts as to why.

  • Rachel Stone

    That’s a really good point about North Dallas having 20 different names.

  • Cooper

    I also think that North Oak Cliff is justified and necessary. The media (and people in North Dallas) use “Oak Cliff” to generally define anything south of I-30 and this side of I-45. However, in the same amount of space north of I-30, there are easily 20 different area names (Downtown, Uptown, Oak Lawn, Highland Park, University Park, West Highland Park, Greenway Parks, Bluffview, etc.).

    As Robbie mentioned, without the North, we’re clumped in with lots of crime-ridden areas, when we’re not even the same thing.

  • robbie

    I agree.

    I think the distinction is necessary because of how the name spread to include parts of “Oak Cliff” that weren’t part of the original town. North Oak Cliff is actually the original Oak Cliff.

    Part of the reason Oak Cliff developed its bad rep is how the news reported crime that happens in other parts of the neighborhood. East Oak Cliff and South Oak Cliff bring up an image that is much different from the one MSN is reporting on.

  • Sonja

    As someone who grew up across from Kimball High School, the moniker “North Oak Cliff” is absolutely correct.