I call 4421 Purdue a Broody Hen house. Why?

I had a salad by that name tonight at Streets Fine Chicken, and it was deelish. I asked what a “Broody hen” was, after I consumed the salad, of course.

It’s a hen that sits on her eggs until they hatch. And protects them. Apparently, hens give some sort of a warning to others to stay away from their nest when they are brooding, like fierce mothers:

Her warning means, “Stay back, this nest is mine for hatching!” Actually, we find it charming when our hens are broody–they are beautiful when they’re angry! Once a day or so your hen may emerge from her nest like a whirling dervish: all her feathers will be ruffled out so she will look VERY BIG. She will hold her wings out from her body to give herself even more apparent size. She will rise with a terrible screech, and run at anyone that gets in her way. In my head, I sort of imagine that if my hens were hatching eggs in the wild, all the to-do she’d be making as she gets up would be meant to distract anything nearby from getting her eggs while she couldn’t look after them. Also, she acts so tough, I wonder if some predators would be intimidated by her fierceness? 

Then I saw this house, on a street that just verbally reminded me of chickens. 

I know, the street is named after Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where my father actually went to college. 

And Perdue Farms is the parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness, spelled differently. See what that “Broody hen” salad did to me?

Still, I see this precious red-brick with a front porch screaming-for-Broody-Hen charmer as the perfect place to nest and protect your growing chicks.




In response to other cities’ invasive species eradication ordinances, it’s nice to see University Park (of all places) nurturing trees and other greenery in their sewers.  This unwanted herbage has been allowed to take root sneakily out of sight in sewers and gutters.  All these migrant saplings ask for as they work tirelessly, without rest or remuneration, cleansing carbon dioxide from the air we breathe is a little storm water runoff. How many of us would work so hard and live in such challenging, penniless conditions?

But seriously. How many municipal workers pass this fairly busy street each day? How many local residents?  And no one thought to alert University Park that a 1-inch diameter tree has been growing out of a sewer … for how long?  A tree with an ever-growing root system that is impacting water flow and damaging the sewer’s concrete hastening the need for repair?

I suppose I could reveal the location of this photograph, but I’m more apt to water this brave fighter than snitch.

Happy Monday.

Sure, the Park Cities is full of great houses. Some of them are extremely ornate and exceptionally luxurious, perfect for impressive entertaining. But rarely do we hear about the great, livable, easy-to-love houses that families crave. Full-featured and unfussy, this University Park listing from Travis-Lee Moore of Century 21 Nathan Grace Fine Homes and Estates is the deep breath you take when the workday is over. It’s the warm sunshine on your skin on a Saturday afternoon. It’s the place you imagine making memories with your loved ones — a true family home.
“You just couldn’t ask for a better, more complete package of greatness if you’re looking for a fantastic new home,” Moore said. “The location can’t be beat — close to innumerable shopping and dining options — and feeding into coveted Highland Park ISD.”


Readers may have no clue what you're talking about.

Readers may have no clue what you’re talking about.

As I’ve walked through University Park in recent weeks, I’ve seen the above sign crop up.  I’d already planned a column about these amateur protest signs.  After all, if you don’t know what they’re talking about, there’s no way to find out.  Kinda Marketing 101.

And what are they talking about?  Demolition of Snider Plaza? Violent gang activity around Snider Plaza?  Hearing aids for the UP City Council?

It’s the signage equivalent of the relationship trope, “What’s Wrong?”  “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.” University Park is hardly alone in planting cryptic echo chamber signage about neighborhood goings on, you see them all over, especially wherever development is proposed.

CandysDirt.com got a note today asking us to look into it.  So I did. And sure enough, it’s a redevelopment proposal tentatively named Park Plaza.



We have a new Hot Property, a $39 million estate that is the newest luxury listing in town. It is certainly the most expensive property on the market in the Park Cities, and the sale will set soaring new records. There are guest and green houses, a pool, two spas, tennis and volleyball courts, a putting green and a Party Pavilion where a Presidential Library was essentially funded. The home is NOT listed in MLS. But it is one of the most timelessly classic homes you will ever experience.

It is better than any mansion I have seen in North Texas. Any. It takes your breath away, changes your life, really, with the incredible attention to detail and the evolution of the house over one of the largest lots in the Park Cities. For as beautiful, spacious, and gracious as 6767 Hunters Glen Drive is, it casts a unique warmth, vibrance, even a whimsy seldom seen in homes of this size and stature. The home is being marketed by Dave Perry-Miller and Ryan Streiff.

The home is sited splendidly: the current owners, John and Debbie Tolleson, bought the original property in 1991 from the the ex-wife of Dallas entrepreneur and philanthropist Mike Myers, chairman and CEO of the Dallas-based Myers Financial Corporation and president of Myers Development Corporation. In 1993 they bought the property next door, incorporating the acreage into the extensive five-year remodel of the original, circa 1946 home on the first lot. The estate that resulted from the marriage of the two lots follows the winding contour of Hunters Glen Drive.

There is architectural history, old and new, technology — two retractable roof covers! — surprises, nooks, and crannies. There is a door off the master closet — hers, of course — that leads to the balcony overlooking the great room,which features an antique hand-forged chandelier that actor Errol Flynn swung from in the 1935 movie The Three Musketeers!


Back to that closet door: it has a hidden key pad, and only the house manager and Mrs. Tolleson have the code.

The detail is the most scrupulous I have seen, and I have seen it all! From the custom masonry crafted from imported, hand-selected stone on site by a gifted Russian artisan (who later tragically drowned in White Rock Lake), to the antique millwork above the great room fireplace created by an understudy protege of the great Grinling Gibbons, a 17th century Dutch-British sculptor and woodcarver, the home evokes classic design. Gibbons is best known for his work in England, including Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral and other London churches, then Petworth House and many other English country houses. Every balustrade on the three main house staircases is custom. The ceiling in the study features criss-crossed beams centered with gold medallions. From the soaking tub in the master bath, mistress side, designed with padded shoulder rests on each end, to the HVAC vents in the floors custom designed by Cole Smith, it took not just one or two but an entire village of Type A, OCD designers and artisans to pore over every micro inch of the house and instill a branded design into every fiber. Jump for way more…




Kelli Ford will soon have a luxurious greenhouse for growing vegetables and other plants. (Photo by Nir Shafir, via Flickr)

Kelli Ford will soon have a luxurious greenhouse for growing vegetables and other plants. (Photo by Nir Shafir, via Flickr)

No matter what you’re thinking of getting your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day, you’re going to have to step up your gift-giving game if you’re going to compete with Gerald J. Ford.

The namesake of SMU’s football stadium is giving his wife a 1,500-square-foot greenhouse that will be nearly 16 feet tall. We know this because the University Park City Council signed off on the present to Kelli Ford last night.

OK, technically, the council signed off on an amendment to the ordinance governing Planned Development District 32 — a.k.a. the Fords’ 6.2-acre property — that will allow the greenhouse to be erected.

According to Harry Persaud, University Park’s chief planning official, the Fords own the largest single-family lot in UP. It’s on the tax rolls for $31,198,820, and it held the No. 2 slot in the two most recent editions of D Magazine’s biennial rankings of Dallas’ most expensive homes. (Tom Hicks’ place in Preston Hollow topped both of those lists.)

The City Council saw no reason to deny Ford’s request to build a greenhouse. In fact, they had three big reasons to approve it:


Voters across the Dallas area will go to the polls on May 9 to elect mayor, city council members, and school district trustees. If you want your name to appear on a ballot, you should know that the filing period for candidates begins today. (Photo by iStock)

Voters across the Dallas area will go to the polls on May 9 to elect mayors, city council members, and school district trustees. If you want your name to appear on a ballot, you should know that the filing period for candidates begins today. (Photo by iStock)

One way to ensure that your property values stay high is to get involved in your community. For example, you could represent your neighborhood on the city council or school board.

Of course, you’d have to convince your neighbors that you’re worthy of their votes. But that comes later. First, you need to get on the ballot. And today is the first day to file a candidacy for the municipal elections that will be held across the Dallas area on May 9.

Here’s a look at which seats are likely to be contested in the neighborhoods where our readers live and work:


Near Highland Park High School, a townhome has been decorated with HazMat bins and "Caution" tape, lampooning our recent Ebola scare.

Near Highland Park High School, a townhome has been decorated with HazMat bins and “Caution” tape, lampooning our recent Ebola scare.

Thanks to  Naheed Rajwani at the Dallas Morning News for digging down into the owner of the home that has created the most sensational Halloween display in Texas, and in maybe the whole world: He is James Faulk and from what Naheed writes, Faulk totally had Ebola on the brain when he put up the biohazard decorations in his front yard. (more…)