Chris Phelps, former editor of D Magazine, always dreamed of living in Downtown Dallas but never thought it was possible with her two children. A year and a half ago, she decided to make the move, and both she and her children have fallen in love with the urban lifestyle.
Phelps, Emma, age 8, and Jake, age 5, take frequent advantage of Klyde Warren Park and the playground at First Baptist. Jake, who is learning to read, practices his letters on the family’s neighborhood walks. This cosmopolitan 5-year-old is also in charge of telling Phelps and Emma when it’s safe to cross the street and when it’s not.
“A lot of kids don’t get that type of learning experience,” Phelps says. “But my children do. Emma already knows how to buy a bus ticket and ride the DART.”
Public transportation is now part of their daily lives. Phelps takes the DART to the gym, and they hop on the trolley for church on Sunday mornings. Phelps still drives her kids to school at Lakewood Academy and to business meetings when need be, but using the city’s public transportation makes any outing more of an experience.
“Living Downtown seems difficult to people simply because they’ve never done it,” Phelps says. “But it’s no less convenient than living in a neighborhood.”
Phelps loves the diversity of people living Downtown. Only one other young family lives in her building. Teaching her children how to interact with and befriend people who are different from them is a worthwhile education in and of itself.
But even more, Phelps feels safer as a single mom in her high rise than she ever expected. After experiencing an attempted break-in in her previous neighborhood, Phelps appreciates the security the doormen provide.
Phelps and her kids are looking forward to the development at the Famers Market and to seeing how the neighborhood is going to continue to change. Living Downtown is not for everyone, but for Phelps, there’s no place she’d rather live.
Learn more about living in DFW. Visit the Best Neighborhoods Site in DFW.
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