Oak Cliff: Not the best urban neighborhood in Dallas?

Only in Oak Cliff: Charco Broiler seen from Lonchería El Padrino

Only in Oak Cliff: Charco Broiler seen from Lonchería El Padrino

The best neighborhood for “urban sophisticates” in Dallas? Is up by the Galleria, according to the Dallas Morning News. No. 1 on the newspaper’s list of “The 10 best neighborhoods for urban sophisticates,” published Sunday, is at 635 and the Tollway.

This Addison-adjacent neighborhood is “cheap, close to good schools and safe, without giving up short commutes or easy access to shopping and entertainment,” according to the story.

Far North Dallas, Irving’s Valley Ranch and North Carrollton round out the newspaper’s top four best “urban” neighborhoods. Only two neighborhoods inside 635, Oak Lawn and The Village, made the top 10.

Guess who didn’t even make the list.

The News based its rankings on “eleven measures of accountability,” including affordability, low crime and good schools.

Don’t get sanctimonious here, though, Cliffsters, because DMN columnist Jaqueline Floyd puts us in check:

On one side are quasi-racist Dallas baiters for whom “urban” is thinly veiled doublespeak for poor, minority, crime-plagued neighborhoods where government is unfailingly corrupt and public schools actually make kids stupider. It’s a segregationist stereotype that by now should be eroded by three decades worth of urban revitalization, crime reduction and development of spectacular public spaces.

On the other are sanctimonious hipsters who use “suburban” as an insult that describes selfish, conformist commuters who drive everywhere in super-sized SUVs, spend their leisure time at the mall, vote like the people next door and think “art” is a Thomas Kinkade print. It’s a myopic definition that hasn’t budged since Richard Yates wrote Revolutionary Road in 1961.

I agree that 635 and the Tollway has good retail and restaurants. They have a Target, a La Madeline, Whole Foods, Central Market, Royal China, Neighborhood Services and lots and lots of things our neighborhood hasn’t got. What they haven’t got is bike culture, front porches, innovators like the Better Block guys or a drive-through taquería/sno-cone stand/former gas station. Or do they? I don’t know their life.

This was the sixth installment of a 13-part series the newspaper is producing on the region’s best neighborhoods.

Will Oak Cliff make any of these lists? I can’t decide if our chances are better in “best for wealthy buyers” on May 5 or “best bargains” on June 9, considering the diversity in our real estate market. Will we make the “best overall” on June 16? Somehow I doubt it, but that’s OK because we know it in our hearts.


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  • Michael Amonett

    Sounds like a SNL Linda Richmond topic to me. Tell me the best urban neighborhood in Dallas that’s neither in Dallas nor urban…. discuss.

  • Kelly

    Those of us who actually live here in OC would just as soon be left off any of DMN’s lists, thank you very much.

  • Gay

    No Way will Oak Cliff ever make the list. The DMN is determining neighborhoods BY CENSUS TRACT, not by anybody’s real definition of a neighborhood. I was told this by a staffer at the DMN when I called them to ask why I couldn’t register my neighborhood on their magnificent, all-singing, all-dancing “Neighbors” web site. The whole thing is a farce.

  • A LFH Leftie

    Those of us in Casa Linda by White Rock Lake would beg to differ over cookie cutter urban sprawl as well…..