There Goes The Neighborhood: Winnetka Heights Residents Take It to The Streets

Historic Craftsman style home in Winnetka Heights. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Historic Craftsman style home in Winnetka Heights. (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

One of the hardest things in the world is finding the perfect neighborhood and home to call yours. When I moved back to Dallas from Arizona, I wanted what I had there — diversity, architecture with character, and a place that I could grow a garden. Yes, I’m an urban gardener. Guilty as charged!

I was about to give up on my search until I happened to drive past a big old building that looked like a YMCA — stucco, flat roof, and trees. It took almost a year to make it happen, but my dreams came true in Oak Cliff.

My neighborhood is still “emerging,” but I’ve been lucky enough to have the Winnetka Heights gang adopt me as one of their own, and now I don’t plan on ever leaving my own Home Idea Factory.

Winnetka Heights is what my definition of neighborhood is, and the gorgeous historical homes with welcoming front porches are often the scene of an impromptu happy hour or engaging discussions about politics or Real Housewives. They are active in the schools, are always watching out for each other, and are very supportive of our local businesses.

What this neighborhood really gets behind, though, is the annual holiday home tour and the Oak Cliff Mardi Gras parade. And trust me, they play to win!

History and high style come together on Winnetka Holiday Tour Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

History and high style come together on Winnetka Holiday Home Tour. (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

Last year was my first year to get to know this group after I helped Lisa Stewart Photography with photos of the holiday home tour houses. We heard Winnetka Heights was entering the Mardi Gras parade, so we followed them there to see their “Wizard of Oz” float.

The Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association Wizard of Oz theme last year Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

The Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association’ Mardi Gras float theme was “Wizard of Oz” last year. (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

I have never seen anything like it — the costumes and makeup were spectacular! They could have taken the entire production to Broadway — it was that good. So good they won first place! This year their theme was “Alice in Wonderland” and it was equally as good.

Family Style on the Winnetka Heights Wizard of Oz float. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography.

Family Style on the Winnetka Heights Wizard of Oz float. (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

What is so special is that everyone is welcome at these events and there is something for everyone to do. The genuine affection they have for each other and how they come together is wonderful. The Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association has an active neighborhood watch group and they have just started having dinner parties again. And if you like prairie home architecture or want to enjoy a front porch lifestyle, this is the neighborhood for you.

Aunt Stelles SnoCones a favorite Oak Cliff tradition Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Aunt Stelles SnoCones a favorite Oak Cliff tradition Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

If you haven’t discovered the things and people that make Oak Cliff a great place to live you are missing out. The sense of history, true Texas architecture, trees, parks, some of the best restaurants in Texas — make that the country! — plus real deal taco stands, paletas carts, and of course Aunt Stelle’s SnoCones.

Winnetka Heights Home Tour 2014 Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Winnetka Heights Home Tour 2014 (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

Moving to Oak Cliff was one of the best decisions this Lifestylist has ever made. Maybe CandysDirt.com will let me give a tour sometime so you can see why you should be calling Oak Cliff and Winnetka Heights home.