By John and Heather Guild
We moved to Dallas as newly married young professionals and bought our first home together in Oak Lawn; a darling townhome that served us well for many non-parental years. When we had our son, we wanted more space in a neighborhood where he could grow and thrive with other children.
Dallas is full of these neighborhoods, but for us, Lakewood felt like home.
We both grew up in small towns in the country; so the hills and trees of Lakewood felt familiar and the sense of community called back to our sense of what “home” really is. Driving around on a Saturday, it’s hard to miss a pop-up lemonade stand or a front-yard game of ball.
Combine this slice of Americana with Lakewood’s proximity to White Rock Lake, with its plentiful outdoor activities and everything else that East Dallas has to offer, and you rarely want to leave. But when the urge strikes or work calls, you are just minutes from almost everything — work or play in downtown Dallas, dressing up for a show in the Arts District, or dressing down for a show in Deep Ellum, exploring the revitalization of the Cedars or West Dallas, shopping at NorthPark Centre, or really anything else your heart desires.
And while all of the above is nice, the real draw of Lakewood is the people who live here; community focused, driven individuals who genuinely care. The personalities that bind our little town in the city together and to its history are larger than life and yet approachable and friendly. Chairs and picnic tables sit in front yards inviting neighbors to stop and chat. It’s a neighborhood where you actually know your neighbors!
Lest we paint too rosy a picture; the neighborhood has its quirks … sidewalks begin and end with no apparent reason, Abrams Road is a nightmare at rush hour, and it is a neighborhood where it occasionally feels like the official sport is keeping up with the Joneses.
And rapid development has brought increased property values and new businesses to cater to us, but risks squeezing out some of the character and diversity that has attracted that development in the first place. But this community seems to have a sense of itself and does a good job of protecting what makes it special.
Top 5 Favorite things about Lakewood:
- The generally positive “can do” attitude of our neighbors and their hard work to make it reality, despite the occasional neighborhood strife our interaction causes (we’re looking at you Lakewood Facebook page).
- The Fourth of July Parade — it’s not to be missed.
- The lake — this is Dallas’s best playground for families who enjoy the outdoors.
- The strong support of our public schools (see item No. 1, apply it to our public schools 10-fold, rinse and repeat).
- The local shops and restaurants — from Toasted to HESS to Barbec’s — we love knowing that we are supporting our neighbors when we shop and eat from local establishments; and Lakewood has plenty of them!
Heather Guild is a Realtor with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, focusing on Lakewood and East Dallas. John Guild is Senior Regional Counsel in Enforcement at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.