newsOak Cliff made the New York Times again. This time, the paper spotlights the outstanding work of our neighborhood’s urban planning champions, the Better Block. That is, Jason Roberts and Andrew Howard. We’re choosing to ignore a cheap shot the writer makes about Dallas in the fifth paragraph, and also this paragraph, which is outdated and inaccurate:

Roberts lives in Oak Cliff, a part of Dallas generally known for its crime. Oak Cliff used to be on the streetcar line, which brought with it diners, cafes and shops. No longer. “I wondered why we don’t have those anymore,” Roberts said. “A block I could walk to, have a cup of coffee, get outside, take my kids to something.”

And instead, we will focus on the light shone on the Better Block as trendsetters in urban planning, who have helped to realize measurable change in cities, especially Memphis, Tenn.

As long as we’re talking about press from the big city, we just came across this story, which ran in the New York Post last year, about the house on Neely where Lee Harvey Oswald was photographed holding a rifle in the backyard. That story’s headline is “Oswald rifle yard virtually the same since 1963,” and the story claims that the backyard of 214 W. Neely “looks almost untouched” and “the white picket fence and wooden stairs remain.” That, my neighbors, also is inaccurate. Ron Nelson of Kessler Park bought the duplex in 1990 and rebuilt the stairs and front balcony. He also built a fence in the backyard to replicate the look of the shed that’s behind Oswald in the photo. Scroll to the bottom of this story from the December Advocate to read about Nelson and the Neely house.

Our neighborhood is so rad that we have TWO independent bookshops (three counting Uncle Robert’s Imported Books). Here’s a nice review of the Wild Detectives from City of Ate. And don’t forget that the 40th anniversary celebration of Lucky Dog Books runs through Tuesday, June 24. There is a gift every day, usually a book, and anyone born in 1973 or 1974 can receive 40 percent off as many as 10 items.