To burb or not to burb…

In 2011 I will have lived in Dallas for 10 years….10 years! I am not always a huge fan of Dallas, but I do have a pet peeve: I cannot stand it when people say they are “from Dallas” or “live in Dallas” when what they mean is “a suburb of Dallas”. Plano, Richardson, Garland, Mesquite, Irving….if your mailing address does not say Dallas: YOU ARE NOT IN DALLAS. Especially Frisco. Frisco is actually closer to Oklahoma (30 minutes) than it is to Dallas (45 minutes). I have nothing against Frisco, I just can’t stand it when people who live in Frisco tell people they live IN DALLAS.

The whole 10 years I’ve been here, I’ve lived in the center of Dallas. Never outside of 635. Really, mostly within the same 10-mile radius in either the Park Cities or Lakewood. This is my neighborhood, these are my grocery stores, and this is where I know how to get around.

When I was driving the Mercedes for a year, I would often put no more than 30 miles a week on the car because everything I needed, including my work, was within 2-3 miles.

We really love how this area of town has a personality. Lakewood has a lot of older homes, a lot of people who have their own gardens but also participate in the arts downtown (which is only 5 minutes away) and in local churches. And, of course, here we are only 10 minutes from the Birth Center where Little Sir was born.

Nevertheless, we are considering the inevitable… leaving this area we love and moving *gasp* a little farther north.

Not far, just to Richardson.
I think it is only 15 or 20 miles. But the difference in environment is huge. There are fewer independently owned stores, and more chain or “big box” stores. There are less areas that are walkable from your home, more driving required.There is no White Rock Lake. We have had trouble finding good parks at all. No Farmer’s Market. No movie theaters that show only independent or limited-release films.

I think we would miss White Rock Lake most of all. We have had some good times there. We biked around it regularly when we were dating and early married. We walked around it while deciding whether/when to start a family. We walked around and around and around trying to get my labor to start when I was pregnant. And I took Little Sir out to the lake within his first few weeks of life so that he and the lake could meet!

Still… the ‘burbs are cheaper and we do need more room. We have not made a decision yet. We spent many years saying we would never live in a suburb of Dallas, so we don’t take this decision lightly…

6 thoughts on “To burb or not to burb…

  1. Meredith says:

    Well, to be honest, I think SA would suit you WAY better, BUT since that will probably never happen, I don’t know, it sounds like where you are is where you belong. The ‘burbs’ sound so boring, cliche. Pray about it, that is all I can say. We never seem to know what we need/want, only God does. love you all!!

  2. lisa montgomery says:

    As someone who never thought she’d live in the ‘burbs & now lives in *ahem* Richardson, I can tell you it’s not all that bad. Good part for us, is we’re a stones throw from 75 – so getting to Dallas is easy & usually very quick. We will be moving back into Dallas proper once we can build. But for now, it’s a small, quiet neighborhood – good for a new baby. There are a lot of parks, city pools, convenient stores. Granted, I still did a lot of my errand running back in HP when I was working & would lament with a friend in a similar situation, how we had to ‘go to town’. And I definitely drive more now than I did when I lived there… but, since my hubs had the house already, it was the best decision for us when we got married, for me to move out here. It would be hard to beat the price difference – if you were buying right now. Def will get more for your money out here, no question. It’s just whether or not you’re willing to ‘give’ on the rest. Only you guys can know.
    (But you’re welcome to visit anytime & see more for yourself!)

  3. jes says:

    Jenny, I was the same way – living in either HP or uptown or Dallas proper, and the thought of moving outside of 635 was something I swore I’d never do. And…now we’re in Plano. There are things we miss, like going to downtown’s Farmer’s Market. Like White Rock. Like Northpark. But there are other things we love up here, like nature preserves, and big backyards, and local parks.

    My advice: if you do decide to move to the suburbs, find a neighborhood you love. Try to be within a block or two of an enormous park, one that you can easily walk to. And as you explore that area, you’ll find independently owned ice cream shops, and smaller farmers markets, and new things to love about that ‘hood.

    You’re right – buying is a *huge* decision. It’s somewhere that you’re probably going to be for the next 5+ years. So wherever it is, make sure that you love it, that it’s somewhere *you* also want to be! 🙂

  4. The Dercks says:

    I can totally relate! I said I’d never live outside 635 either, Jenny, and now I’m in Allen…and love it. I can make it to Dallas in 20 minutes (with no traffic, of course) since we’re only 23 miles away, although there are some weeks that I only go in for church. We’re within walking distance to many parks, ponds, schools, shops and restaurants (although mostly big). For me, though, the best part is just feeling safe. However, you may not worry about that as much as I do…the news just scares the crap out of me. 🙂

    Oh, and don’t hate me, but I’m one of the ones that – when on vacation and whatnot – still says I’m from Dallas. Allen just tends to confuse people, ha ha.

  5. Heather says:

    Here’s another comment from someone that lives in the burbs…

    I NEVER thought I would live in Richardson as an adult, raising kids, but here I am. When my mom died 5 years ago, we inherited her home. I didn’t have the heart to sell it, so we packed up our stuff and heading back to this area.

    Having grown up here, I always thought I was way too cool for the burbs. Sometimes, I still do 🙂 I agree that you should definitely find a neighborhood that you love. The schools are good here (I have to say that since I am a byproduct of RISD) and there are some great parks. A lot of the older neighborhoods are being bought up by young families, which is really cool.

    So, selfishly, I say move here so we can hang out 🙂

    And for the record, even though I grew up in Richardson, I still think Frisco is so far north, I refer to it as “Oklahoma” anytime we head that way. (I also call Ft. Worth, “New Mexico”).

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