Dallas: A User’s Guide to Help You Better Understand The Real Housewives of Dallas

Forth Worth cows

Thank the baby Jesus Xanadude has been rechained to the radiator to cover Real Housewives of Dallas for us starting tonight! Perhaps now, Ben C. and I can stop slap fighting like two little bitches and the radiator room can go back to a peaceful existence. But first, Xanadude says we need to be schooled on a few things… 

Part One – The Areas Around Us That Aren’t Actually Dallas, but, Bless Their Hearts Anyway

By The Dude  aka Contributing Writer, Xanadude

I love Dallas.  I love living here.  I love working here.  I love playing here.  Dallas is an amazing city surrounding by some equally amazing communities, and, if you’ll allow me a few minutes to share with you, I’d like to help you navigate through some of our more…quirky…aspects and allow you to put some of the RHOD in context.

First off, the city of Dallas is huge – but the the area surrounding us, called the D/FW Metroplex, is enormous.  It encompasses Dallas, Fort Worth and all points around it.   Ft. Worth is a good half hour drive to our west – those shots of cattle being led through the downtown area? That’s not Dallas, that’s Ft. Worth during the Stock Show.  If you’ve never been to the stock show, you need to go at least once, because it’s when delicious walking slabs of pre-steak are herded through the city and then judged.  The winning one is always bought by the fabulous Dee Lincoln – Dee Lincoln sound exactly like Marianne from Brooklyn from the Howard Stern Show and she is a truly NICE, amazing woman.  But I digress – and I will be digressing quite a lot here.

RHOD Brandi 2


For the longest time there was a rivalry between Ft. Worth and Dallas.  Local stories tell of a Ft. Worth Mayor who, when visiting Dallas for business (pronounced “bidness”), would always pack a lunch so as to not contribute to the Dallas economy.  These days its not as pronounced, since the cities work together on so many projects, including D/FW Airport, the most logically built airport in the world.  Seriously.  Amazingly easy to get around in.

In between D and FW on Route 30 is Arlington, where the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys play and home to Six Flags Over Texas.  (Twenty minute drive from downtown Dallas).   The Cowboys are owned by Jerry Jones.   You are allowed to make Jerry Jones plastic surgery jokes as you wish.  For a while, there was a push to replace the term “D/FW” with “DAFW,” pronounced DahFwah, but it never took off because 1) it sounds stupid and 2) it sounds stupider when you say it again.  By the way, Arlington residents refuse to participate in the local transit system, so that means you can’t get to any of those attractions unless you drive yourself, and parking costs at all of them are astronomical.   A day at the ball game for a four person family could run you into several hundred of dollars, IN THE STANDING ROOM SECTION.   Argh.  That being said, if you have a chance, please do take a tour of the Death Star, I mean, Cowboys Stadium.  It is architecturally phenomenal.

In between D and FW via I35 is D/FW Airport and the city of Irving.  Irving used to have the Cowboys Stadium, but they have since moved to Arlington.   The Four Seasons Hotel on the Golf Course that the RHOD lives on?  In Las Colinas, a very rich part of Irving.  Very very very rich. Like, wash your car inside and out before you drive through it rich.  Also, Irving was recently in the news for the entire “Clock Kid” fiasco and their Mayor wanting to ban Muslims.   Irving may be getting a new Mayor soon.

Immediately surrounding Dallas you have Plano (and yes, it IS very Plano), Richardson, Allen, Garland (on which “King of the Hill’s” Arlen is based on), and some other nice suburban cities.  Most were formed due to white flight from the city but, as they grow, are becoming nice little cities unto themselves – diverse, interesting, and fun.   Even Plano.   BTW Some of you may remember Plano from that heroin epidemic a while back – it made national news because – gasp! Suburban affluent white kids were dying of heroin overdoses.   No offense, but affluent white parents didn’t care when the lower socio-economic kids were dying of heroin overdoses, but, when the kids in YOUR supposedly protected community are dying, it got real.  Putting on my Official Tamara Tattles “Liberal Gay Uncle Yoda” hat, this is pretty true across the country and is indicative of our country’s approach to substance abuse.

I may rag on Plano and the suburbs some, but, honestly, they really are nice places to live.  They just aren’t Dallas.

RHOD Leeanne


Before moving onto the Big D itself we need to talk about The Bubble.  Picture a donut.  That donut is Dallas.  The hole in middle? The Park Cities – University Park and Highland Park.  Yes, there are several entire cities completely surrounded by the city of Dallas proper.  When driving through them, you may not realize it except for subtle differences, like the roads are better, the street signs are better, the houses are huge, and there are people in maids uniforms at the busstop (by the way, even the Park Cities have bought into our transit system.  Arlington still has not.   Think about it.).  You’re going to see A LOT of RHOD shopping being done here, especially at Highland Park Village.  To quote the Wiki: “Park Cities is a term commonly used in reference to two communities in Dallas County, Texas – the Town of Highland Park and the City of University Park. The two municipalities, which share a border with each other, are surrounded by the city of Dallas and thus jointly comprise an enclave.The Park Cities are largely affluent and have some of the highest per capita incomes in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as well as the state of Texas. The median income is $121,084.”  SMU is here, as is the George W. Bush Presidential Library.   Fun story that shows how far we’ve come: about 15 years ago there was a kerfluffle because the YMCA in the Park Cities, which has a freaking water park, was refusing entrance to anyone who wasn’t a Park Cities resident – Y members from other parts of the city (read: black and brown people) were coming into to use the superior facilities.  This brought lots and lots of bad publicity and eventually everyone kissed and made up and now you drive by and see the pool being used and enjoyed by everyone.

I just want to take a moment and point out that the D/FW area is one of the most diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and income. Take a sec and go to http://www.visitdallas.com/about/diverse-dallas/index.html for a nice rundown.  The area is indeed international and you never know who you are going to run into.

Next up:  Dallas itself!


Filed under Entertainment News, Real Housewives of Dallas, RHOD

47 responses to “Dallas: A User’s Guide to Help You Better Understand The Real Housewives of Dallas

  1. Isn’t the famed South Fork in Plano?

    • Mary M

      Southfork is in Parker, TX. It is near Plano. (And, Southfork is no where near as big as it looks on tv.)

    • Theresa

      To is so right on pats house. I went there a few months ago. The yard is TINY and the house isn’t nearly what you’d expec . I buzzed the buzzer but Michael must have been off.

  2. pfffttt

    Sounds a bit like South Florida, Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

  3. TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    Hmmm, not sure I believe $120 000 counts as “affluent”. Upper middle class? It’s more than a lot of people have for sure but I don’t think it’s “rich”. Maybe it’s because I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. That kinda $ doesn’t get you far here.

    Watching RHOD I feel like some of them are pretty middle class, like me. It’s pretty unexciting :(

    These tidbits make Dallas sound really interesting though, I hope we get to see some of this on the show.

    • tamaratattles

      $120,000 would be an astronomically high number for a median income DFW is the 26th highest metropolitan city when ranked by median income with an MI of $47,418. San Francisco (including Oakland and San Jose) is first with $63,024. Median income is the point at which exactly half the measured population make more and half make less.

      $120,000 is a number so high as to be unbelievable. A median income is not generally a round number. However in a small city if everyone is rich the I suppose it could be $120,000.

      Also the cost of living in your city has nothing to do with the city’s median income.

      • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

        No of course cost of living has little to do with median income. But cost of living determines how far that $ will go.

    • Xanadude

      Adjust for cost of living. Housing is actually pretty cheap (land, however, is not, which is why you’re going to see lots of McMansions with zero lot lines), fuel costs are minimal, and we are the eatingest out area in the country, so lots of competition means lower costs in that area.

      • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

        Yes I was wondering what housing prices are like. Cheaper housing lets you live more extravagantly in other ways for sure.

      • K

        No kidding on the eating out! I’ve been to our company’s office in Carrolton many times and I have never seen so many restaurants! And some of the biggest churches I’ve ever seen in my life! The one across from the office is affectionally called “Six Flags over Jesus”.

  4. Excellent overview and vignettes!

  5. Stephanie

    LOL Tamara.
    No excuse for a grown woman to go on TV with a feces & Fart obsession.

  6. Lovie

    I just moved my family back to my home town to help with aging parents. My husband, kids and I spent a few years living in North Dallas. Simply put, those were the best years of our lives! Dallas is magical! There’s a vibrancy and energy that I’ve not found anywhere else. I’m glad to be ‘home’ because my family needed me. However, I still shed a tear for our home, friends, community and shopping. And dammit, I miss Central Market! It’s the most amazing grocery store.

  7. My company has a corporate office in Irving. I don’t mind business travel at all when I have to go there! #expenseaccounts

  8. Snowflake

    Dallas, and the suburbs surrounding it, is a very small world. Once you meet and establish relationships with people who are likeminded and share the same values, you begin to learn that most everyone you know knows all the other people you know. Even if these friends run in different circles. The reals stick together. And, the crazies do to!!

    I’ve had the opportunity to live in Highland Park (in a garage apt where most poor grad students live), in Dallas proper (loved!), and now the faraway place of Plano. I have to say that each has its definite benefits.

    Please, please do not judge us on these crazies, just enjoy the ride!

  9. BeerWenchinTX

    Xanadude are you a native? I am and from Plano to boot. Lol! Dallas is a great place to live and Texas has no state income tax. We also have a ton of restaurants and get chains like In N Out etc before other areas like Houston in Texas. We have gambling a short distance away. Tons of museums, including the Perot, great parks and awesome food trucks! I actually haven’t watched the RHoD yet but it is on my DVD and I’ve read the recaps. I actually kind of wish Courtney Kerr was on it. She was the only one on that show I kind of liked and she did do a great job of showing the restaurants of the city. Yes, Southport is in Parker and MUCH smaller than it looks on TV. But, the barn is really cool and a great place for parties! Also, I’ve never heard of the Mad Hatter party….. Don’t be impressed unless these ladies go to the Cattle Barons ball. Lol!

    • Xanadude

      Not Dallas born but here 30+ years.
      Thank you for bringing up no State Income Tax. Thats actually is a huge plus.
      Yep, gonna cover gambling in the Dallas Proper post either tomorrow or Wednesday (tonight is recap night)

      • BeerWenchinTX

        Have a great recap! So, not a native but got here as soon as you could? I’ve lived here all my life except my college years in Austin. Maybe someday we’ll run into each other! Go Stars! :)

    • TexasWaborita

      No state income tax, but they make up for it with the high property taxes!

  10. JoJoFLL

    Fascinating Xanadude! I love Dallas. Thank you!

    Where is the Mansion On Turtle Creek? Went to a cocktail party there once. It was swank.

    • Xanadude

      Definitely swank. It’s in Dallas proper but is kind of hidden in this beautiful area adjacent to Turtle Creek so unless you’re looking for it you may miss it. Pricey pricey pricey but worth it worth it worth it. Ive been in both sides of the Mansion experience – working an event and relegated to the staff areas and then being a guest. You appreciate the elegance when you see what goes in to making it elegant, you know?

  11. Lime Brain

    Xanadude, how do you handle all tornado threats? I have a friend who moved there and I’m to afraid to visit. The people seem very nice, but it seems every morning on the news, there is some horrible weather event going on over there.

    • BeerWenchinTX

      Honestly, the weather has been super bad this year. It isn’t normally this severe. Yes there are tornadoes sometimes but not like what you are thinking.

      • Xanadude

        This year the weather has been wonky, but you learn to live with it. I’ve only had, like, one REALLY scary incident where we had to hunker down in the tub (the suburbs were hit a little harder, but, again, it’s not like we’re Oklahoma and get hit with a tornado every other week).

    • Lime Brain

      My friend just texted me that they are under a severe tornado threat right now. I turned on the weather channel and it looks like it is going to be bad and with hail 4 inches wide.

      I’m wishing all you guys living in that area or anywhere else being affected by it good luck that you get through it safely.

      I just can’t deal with tornados. I’ll take a hurricane any day.

  12. I really enjoyed reading this post!

  13. FGF

    I’m a Fort Worth native, currently living in Mid cities, and this is the best description I’ve ever seen regarding the FW/Dallas rivalry. I don’t watch the show but I was hoping they would cast someone who lived in Prosper, Tx. It’s a little outside of Dallas but my God are the houses spectacular!! Deion Sanders has a real mansion and lots of land with cattle out there and it’s gorg!!

  14. Jen

    Great piece on Dallas! I live in the Houston area, I see some similarities on the show but not many (the McMansions with neighbors within literal arms reach for example).

    • Xanadude

      I’ve heard of house built where you literally cannot open your window fully for fear of hitting either the “privacy” fence or your neighbor’s wall.

      Zero lot lines need to be outlawed. I have spoken.

      • Lovie

        We had a lovely home in a beautiful neighborhood. That said, you could open a window, lean out and spit on the house next door.

  15. mamacita

    Very good description of the Dallas metro area. As someone who travels to Dallas to shop and eat out there is such a variety of options to choose from. Kudos to you Xanadude.. I enjoyed your overview..

  16. BKSweetheart

    My in-laws are from San Antonio and BIL and wife & kids live in Plano. We visit every year for the holidays. I love Texas.

  17. Lisaj

    If this is the fancy life then sign me up! Same size houses and relatable furnishings, closets that look like mine? I’d fit right in! Thanks for the geography lesson!

  18. Jim

    I lived in Dallas from 2000-2010. And the only nice thing I have to say… DFW Airport is indeed the best international airport I’ve ever seen. When flying out, you park directly in front of your gate, check in, go through security and board right by your gate. When returning, you pick up your bags directly across from your gate. Why every airport isn’t designed this way, I have no idea.

    And that’s the only nice thing I have to say about the place I lived for 10 years. I couldn’t wait to leave and I will never return.

    • tamaratattles

      Oh, James. What are we going to do with you? Are you happy where you are now? You don’t seem happy, James. I worry about you.


      • Jim

        My apologies for being so negative. I might be able to think of a few more nice things to say about Dallas if I try real hard. 😉

  19. Rach

    I absolutely love Dallas. I’m from London but I first visited Dallas in November 2012 and loved it. I have returned a few times. Such a great city. I need to catch up on RHOD as I haven’t seen one episode yet.

  20. Interesting reading – thanks for the perspective Xanadude! I’m not caught up on this franchise, but am interested in it and giving it a chance – your blog report makes the HW dynamic even more intriguing!

  21. Miele

    Right. And a median doesn’t indicate how far above and below the numbers stretch. It’s entirely possible the lowest income in the area is 115k and the highest in the high eight/low-nine figure range. As a point of contrast, the median annual income in Hong Kong is about 178,000.

  22. G.

    I really enjoyed this backgrounder. Any thoughts on racial-and-economic diversity? I’m disappointed to see yet another RH franchise segregated by race. Really, Bravo, you can’t/won’t integrate and/or can’t pull in upper-middle-class-strivers and/or the genuinely wealthy in most locations? You gave up after Joyce?

  23. TexasWaborita

    I don’t see anything wrong with Plano overall, unless LeeAnne was referring to East Plano. If LeeAnne wanted to throw good shade she should have said it was getting a little Mesquite, Garland, or Balch Springs up in there. And is Garland really a nice suburban city? Maybe just the Fire Wheel area.

  24. I’m completely clueless about Texas so I really appreciate the info. But more importantly, this post reminds me how much I enjoy your writing! So glad you’re back, Mr X!

  25. Cat

    Thanks for sharing your insight!

    The D/FW feud sounds a lot like the feud we have here in Kansas City, the War Between The States. So silly. Missouri residents now actually want to pass some stupid law prohibiting KC Kansas residents from supporting the KC Chiefs, and other teams.

    So stupid.

    I have only been through Texas once, on my relocation from California to Florida. I never realized how big Texas was, until I had to drive through the state.

    You guys have great BBQ, that’s for sure. It’s different from KC BBQ, but, hey, who can pass up good BBQ? Not me! :)

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