It’s time for one of our best neighborhood traditions — the Fourth of July parade. We Woodrow Wildcats are always the last to leave the post-parade party at Tokalon Park. Hint: Highland Park, we know how to throw a successful kegger.

But Parkies in Deep Ellum aside, everyone comes to East Dallas. We’re hotter than a firecracker. We have been discovered, like movie star Anne Sheridan, who was found in a Hutsell on Tokalon, not Schwab’s Drugstore in Hollywood (the other one).

Rents have doubled. Don’t tell the tax man, but home prices have doubled. New construction is popping up in Vickery Place — Knox/Henderson. Power Properties, which has been purchasing and renovating our now chic “Las Vegas Bizarre” ’50s and ’60s apartments will soon have competition. Grenadier, developer of properties in Uptown and the new Live Oak Lofts, has posted plans on its website to redevelop 15 Gaston Avenue apartment buildings. More than 400 units.

My favorite name for one of these complexes, which were still cool when I was a kid, was the “Stardust.” Especially after the “S” fell off.

As an owner of rental properties, I can personally attest to the heavy demand. I get so much pleasure out of telling obviously clueless callers, “If you like Plano, this property is not for you.” Whether these East Dallas arrivers are attracted by our schools, architecture, sense of neighborhood or place, proximity to work, or are just jumping on the bandwagon, I say “Welcome.”

There is a downside for the natives. I have had reports and have experienced a few outbreaks of attitude — especially in Lakewood. Some attribute this to the army of attorneys who have descended upon us … or neophytes from North Dallas. Snobbery is not the Lakewood or Wildcat way.

I know an attorney who also happens to be a judge (and a younger Wildcat than I) who is well off, lives in a Lakewood two-story Tudor, travels extensively, but does his own yard and drives his old pickup to Home Depot. So, here I present some East Dallas etiquette:

We add on to the back of our houses, not the front. Tear-downs are frowned upon. We paid less for our houses, so we have money to do other things. Don’t be surprised if the neighbor next to you in the little two-bedroom bungalow is a multi-millionaire. You may find us in Lower Manhattan or Lower Hyde Park at Nobu — or on Lower Greenville, breakfasting at Nick’s. We are well-versed in musicals.  Most of us have at least an acquaintance with another language. We may wear jeans, we may wear a tux, or both — with boots. We drive older Suburbans than the Parkies, but they’re paid for. As Alexis on “Dynasty” once said, “anything can be leased.” We are taught to be polite and friendly. Don’t be mean to service people — they may be your neighbors or go to school with your kids. And finally, showboating is for musicals, not for the shores of White Rock. Unless you’re talking Bonnie Barge.


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