Under the Houston St Viaduct. Taken by Amanda Popken

Kayaking Under the Houston St Viaduct, 2013. (Photo: Amanda Popken)

This Wednesday you’re invited to join a discussion about the Trinity.
A river that has defined our city for over a century.
Yet its place in our lives still remains little more than afterthought.

Millions of taxpayer dollars funded a very extensive plan:
To build, beautify, and manage this park — has anyone actually read it?
Years have passed applying for approvals, securing bonds, political wars, a design contest, expert opinions and decades later we have:
A few more trails, fewer trees, stunning bridges, and a death-defying rapid.


Fair Pension 1

By now you must have seen the glossy brochure that appeared in mailboxes about February 1 from a group called “Taxpayers for a Fair Pension”. It is co-chaired by the former mayors Ron Kirk, Laura Miller, and Tom Leppert.

“The future financial health of the City of Dallas is now in your hands.”

Which reminds me: Leppert finally sold his Preston Hollow house and moved. Next post, stay tuned.

The campaign was a real head-scratcher for me when I first heard of it. On the surface, it looks all “Kumbaya”-ish with the union of three former mayors, the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas Citizen’s Council, the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Stemmons Corridor Business Association, MetroTex Association of Realtors, the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, TREC, the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, even the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

Wow, that’s a lot of “kumbaya.”


dallas housing market

Is it the squeaky wheel that always gets the grease, or the constant calls to 311 that get the attention of code enforcement?

Same difference, right? Well RentCafe did an interesting bit of number crunching and decided to decode just what areas of Dallas had the most squeaky wheels. While some neighborhoods of East Dallas had an abundance of snitches, other areas that fell under neighborly scrutiny might surprise you.

Jump to see the full map and breakdown, and find out if you have a few neighbors doing some over-the-fence inspections in your Zip code.



Ryan Shea (second from right) with clients at last year’s pie party.

Every American looks forward to two things at Thanksgiving: Pie, and that awesome nap after pie.

And when it comes to pie, Realtor Ryan Shea has been giving them away for the past four years to his clients through his annual appreciation party. Shea, who usually gives away as many as 75 of your favorite pies — pumpkin, pecan, and apple — during his pie party, and will be doing it again on Nov. 22.

This time, though, he’s hosting his party at the home of designer Charlotte Comer, whose eponymous interior design firm has turned heads throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth region. And to add a charitable spin, all extra pies will be donated for the Thanksgiving meal at the Dallas 24-Hour Club, a nonprofit that provides transitional housing to men and women starting their lives over free from alcohol and drugs.

“It has been a lot of fun to provide this party for my clients, to get together with them and do something fun,” Shea said. “For whatever reason, we always end up with extra pies, so I thought it would be a good idea to pass them on to the people at the Dallas 24-Hour Club.”

It’s definitely a sweet gesture for both Shea’s clients and the brave men and women facing an uphill battle against substance abuse and homelessess.



Are we getting one of these or no? (Photo by Dave Stone/Flickr)

It all started with one neighbor in the Preston Hollow/Midway Hollow area excitedly telling others via social media that a cashier at Central Market told her that 100 percent, no doubt about it, the Sunfresh Market site on Northwest Highway and Midway Road that was one of the sites H-E-B (also the parent company of Central Market) picked up was absolutely going to be an H-E-B and that only one site Uptown would become a Central Market.

Alrighty then. I filed it on my list of things to look into on Monday and continued my weekend chores.

But then another neighbor posted an email she got from H-E-B corporate, asking for an update. The email – which was signed by the H-E-B/Central Market director of public affairs Mabrie Jackson – said, “While no announcement has been formally made regarding all of the real estate H-E-B/Central Market acquired from Sunfresh, I can tell you that you will be very pleased around the end of summer 2017.”

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. This sounds intriguing. So I fired off my own inquiry to Jackson to see if I could confirm this and maybe get a few more details.

“I have no details finalized on all of the Sunfresh properties to share, but I can confirm that the properties purchased were being considered for our Central Market format only,” Jackson said. She also told me to check back after Thanksgiving.

So I guess those tea leaves are a little clearer?  If you combine both emails, the picture that emerges is that something is happening next summer, and that ain’t nobody getting an H-E-B (probably – I mean, that could be a bit of misdirection, I suppose, to keep things vague).  Stay tuned, I guess, for more exciting news after Thanksgiving.



KPMG Plaza just signed its sixth tenant, though this company already knows the building in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. Teknion Corporation, a company known for its innovative take on modern work spaces, will be relocating its Dallas-Fort Worth office and showroom to the 16th floor of the 18-story, 500,000-square-foot office tower, but it was the HALL Group’s own space at KPMG Plaza at HALL Arts that Teknion furnished:

“Our relationship with Teknion began when they furnished our office space at KPMG Plaza last fall, and we’re thrilled to have them now join us at the building,” said Craig Hall, founder and chairman of HALL Group. “They are on the forefront of designing what the future of office space will look like, which is something that we strive to be developing, as well, so there is a great common interest between our two companies.”


North Texas Giving Day

If you’ve thought about giving to a nonprofit, there is no better day than tomorrow.

North Texas Giving Day is an online fundraising event that makes it easy for people to donate to a variety of North Texas nonprofits in one day. Last year, they raised a record $33.1 million for 2,020 organizations. This year, more than 2,500 area nonprofits have registered with the Communities Foundation of Texas, which founded the event in 2009.

Part of what makes this event special is the matching funds: This year, there are $25 million to match or partially match many of the donations made tomorrow. That means your dollars go further to help out some truly wonderful nonprofits in the local work they do.


Tiny Homes Unlocking at Hickory Groves

Mayor Rawlings joined with city leaders and the people who made the dream of homes for some of Dallas’ chronically homeless a reality. Photos: Lisa Stewart Photography

At today’s unlocking of the Cottages at Hickory Crossing, Mayor Mike Rawlings stated that “The answer to homelessness is homes.” It’s such a simple-sounding statement that, in truth, could not be more complex.

The Cottages at Hickory Crossing are being billed as “the first of its kind housing community,” and will provide 50 tiny homes designed to shelter some of Dallas’ most chronically homeless. A lofty goal, but what are its chances of succeeding? This Lifestylist® took a close look at this community and had some thoughts of her own.