Archive for June, 2010

Park Cities? It’s a Jungle Out There!

Posted by    |    June 28th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Crikey! You just never know what’s going to hit your inbox. Today, I got this e-alert from a neighbor on Purdue, who got it from a neighbor on Hanover, and by tomorrow I’m sure it will have worked it’s way over to Beverly Drive.

Dear All,

…I had a wonderful encounter with nature this afternoon in my back yard.  I went outside to check on my orchids, which are hanging in pots along my east fence …  I noticed that there was a squirrel on the fence, that was not at all worried about me and then looked up and about had a heart attack.

I was about to grab an orchid that had a new bloom when I looked up and saw this snake sitting on our fence.  I ran to my back porch and ran inside… to make sure that her boys were not playing a joke on me.  I quickly realized that it was not a joke and called the UP Police department -not 911 – but the 363 number and they sent over two officers.

Well, it was a 5-6 foot rat snake perched on my fence about to get that squirrel.  I was hyperventilating and about to go nuts as the police officers decided what to do.  They brought nothing to the call so they tried to get it with a shovel and rake that I had.  They got him down in my yard and he got away by scurrying along the fence…  We have not seen him again.

He is not poisonous but is mean – as told by the exterminator.  We called Critter Catchers and they told us that they could come out, but that Rat snakes are nomads and wander, so he had probably moved on.  No telling what that means.  SOOOOO – here is the number to Critter Catchers – 817-222-1101.  Call them immediately if you see him as the UP police were obviously not that in charge.  Apparently the animal control officer is off on Mondays!!!

Rat Snake on Hanover

A rat is bad enough… but a rat snake? (Shudder) This is why I left the country and moved to the city.  Well, one of the reasons, anyway.  There’s just never a dull moment in Park Cities, I tell you.

About the Author

Cynthia Smoot is a very busy girl: She spends her days developing social strategies for clients with Gangway Advertising , is the Vice President of the Social Media Club of Dallas, and Contributes as a Social Media expert for The Examiner. Cynthia and her husband are the proud parents of a 10 year-old son , dog, cat, betta fish and a colony of Sea Monkeys. She is an in-demand resource for many sites on the subject of Mommy Blogging and life in Dallas and Park Cities. You can follow her on Twitter @OhSoCynthia and @GangwayAdv

Love Comes in Tiny Packages

Posted by    |    June 24th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Mamu's Great Grand-daughters Julia, Mary Beth, Natalie, and Lauren Harris working one of her puzzles.

I love the way our town evolves. When we bought our home 23 years ago, we were expecting our first baby. We bought one of the three homes recently built on our block. All the other houses were cottages owned by older people who had bought them years earlier for less than $8,000.

What a great place to raise children. Louise Harris lived next door. She and her husband Joseph, a Dean at SMU, raised their 3 children in that house. She was the most patient, loving lady I have ever met. Many people know her son Joseph (Andy) Harris the pediatric dentist, and her grandson Nathan Harris the orthodontist. All 4 of my daughters had the privilege of going next door to play at Mamu’s (she asked them to call her by her grandmother name). She always made them a treat with one very tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream in a cake cone to enjoy while they put together puzzles her husband Joseph had carved nearly 50 years earlier. I would go to retrieve a child only to find them sitting on the floor next to Mamu putting those last pieces together. Every experience with her was a learning opportunity. The robins would come to nest in her mailbox each spring; she kept a note on the box for the mailman to leave her mail on her step so as not to disturb them.  She was all of 4’10” so she often called for help reaching necessities. As you can imagine, the precious stories go on and on. Though memories differ, all agree that her home was a place they remember with great love.

There are now 25+ children living on our block. They consider us the “old people” now. These children did not know Mamu. They did not get to experience her joy and wisdom and love but we did, so we will carry on the tradition she set. We will be joyful and loving and open. We hope our neighborhood children will grow to do the same. Thank you Mamu; your size 4 shoes are hard to fill.

WANTED: Mom-Friendly Dining Spot

Posted by    |    June 24th, 2010 at 11:29 am

WANTED: Mom-Friendly Dining Spot

This topic has been raised before but I feel it needs revisiting. Last night four moms wanted to go out to eat sans children. Our criteria were simple.
1. A quiet atmosphere
2. Price for dinner $50.00 per person or LESS (includes drinks but not tip)
3. Good food!
4. Park Cities or nearby surrounding areas

Last time we went to Penne Pomodoro in Snider Plaza. We love the food. Location can’t be beat. Price is perfect. However the noise level is extreme. You have to go after 8:30 p.m. to avoid the families with children. We often sit outside to avoid the noise but it’s too hot now.

This week we ended up at Suze at the corner of Northwest Highway and Midway. It has a wonderful quiet atmosphere. Price was within the budget set! It is just a stone’s throw down Northwest Highway. However the signature porcini papardelle pasta dish, which two of us ordered, had absolutely no flavor. We had to ask for salt and that still did not help. So now we are still looking … Any suggestions?

What’s the “Best Suburb” in Dallas? D Magazine thinks they know.

Posted by    |    June 24th, 2010 at 8:48 am

The July issue of D Magazine hits the streets today. The cover grabbed me, claiming to let me in on the “Best Suburbs in Dallas”.

So, how did Park Cities fare?

“University Park has held the top spot in our best suburbs survey for most of the past decade. This year, the economy knocked it down a few notches, as it took a hit from housing appreciation (down 15 percent in the past two years) and crime (up a bit, but mostly just compared to other towns that got better). Highland Park held steady as it has in past years, coming in No. 6 this year (same problems as UP).”

Park Cities, I got mad love for you.  You’ll always be #1 in my book.

So, what suburb took the top spot for 2010? Pick up a copy to find out. Or you could just read it online. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Viva Neo Pizza Napoletana

Posted by    |    June 24th, 2010 at 8:01 am

The owner of Olivella’s critically acclaimed pizzeria in Snider Plaza has overcome an obstacle in its life that many find to be the cause of deep-seated anger and patience issues: parking.

While we adore Olivella’s incredibly personal and unique atmosphere filled to the brim with scrumptiously authentic thin crust pizza, battling the lunch crowd in Snider Plaza is a defeating quest. The tiny restaurant is less than 900 square feet and only seats about 30. Thankfully, owner Charlie Green has expanded his vision of “Italianicity” into Victory Park with his new Neo Pizza Napoletana restaurant. Bravo Mr. Green! Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief in our cars as we speed down Hillcrest past everyone cramming into Goff’s and Chick-fil-A and head down to our free parking lot at Neo’s….too bad you all didn’t get the memo on youplusdallas! Reporter Annie Potasznik has more here.