Mondays are hard, y’all, especially if you’re a parent. You get two days of no alarm clocks and late night shenanigans and then you have the blaring wake-up call that is a cranky kid who can’t decide if he wants Snoopy or Star Wars underwear and has a mental breakdown over what cereal to have for breakfast on Monday morning. And people wonder why I’m ambivalent about three-day weekends …
By the time 5 o’clock hits, most parents are hitting the liquor cabinet. *hiccup*
So isn’t it thoughtful that Uptown Dallas, Inc., along with other nearby neighborhood organizations, wants to get a bunch of urban-dwelling families together for a bit of commiseration over cocktails. It’s just one of the ways that the neighborhood organizations hope to foster a more tight-knit community of families in hopes to end the misconception that urban areas can’t be family friendly.
But why bother with families at all? Uptown Dallas Inc. is working toward increasing diversity in the area.
“We want to be attractive to diverse groups of people, diverse demographics,” said Amy Tharp, executive director of Uptown Dallas. “There are young families who want to live in urban areas, and we want to provide a community for them.”
Tharp said she’d like to see a better mix of residents. Uptown is home to an estimated 13,000 people, with most between the ages of 25 and 34, according to a 2012 demographic study. It’s undergone a real estate boom, with more high-rise apartments and new office buildings underway.
Most of Uptown’s residents are young professionals or empty-nesters. The neighborhood has few school-age children — only about 1 percent of Uptown residents are between the ages of 5 and 17, according to the study. And there’s a sharp drop-off, from 10 percent to 1 percent, once children reach age 5. That indicates that people move out before kindergarten.
Tharp said she noticed the drop-off and started to worry about it.
“The natural question is ‘Why are people moving out at that point?’” she asked.
The organization has already launched an early childhood PTA to help create a pipeline for elementary school success. It’s a formula that has had dramatic results in some areas. Schools aren’t a major concern for the empty-nesters and 20-somethings that make up the largest slices of Dallas’ urban demographic pie.
Of course, do you need any other enticement than a free drink and complimentary appetizers? Me neither. Head to State & Allen from 5-7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, to sip away the day with fellow downtown Dallas dwellers. Want more? Join the Uptown/Downtown Dallas Families group on Facebook. Naturally, kids are welcome.