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.
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.
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!