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Old 09-15-2013, 11:48 PM
 
10 posts, read 21,465 times
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Hello:

I am a 51 year old, single African American professional. My company is contemplating a move to Texas from Sacramento CA due to the business climate. I would like some advice with respect to Dallas vs Austin in the following areas:

1) I grew up in the Northeast and moved to CA 2 years ago. I am very concern about the attitudes that I will encounter with respect to Race both in terms of dating and day to day encounters. What should I expect? I tend to date educated women of various races.

2) I prefer urban living where I can live in a nice neighborhood that is walkable to good restaurants, clubs, etc. Can you recommend areas that I should look into, typical rents/ condo prices for a 2 bed/ 2 bath apartment, and how a single, middle-aged African American might fare in the dating scene?

3) what is the nightlife/ social and cultural scene?

4) Any good, upscale health club suggestions?

5) Summer and winter weather

I appreciate the assistance!

Bob
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
2,172 posts, read 4,248,304 times
Reputation: 2425
Welcome to Texas.

The issue of African-Americans in Texas has been brought up many times on this board. If you do a search on the topic, several threads should come up. But, in short, Dallas has a larger African-American community than Austin and, by extension, a larger African-American middle-class community. Dallas (along with Houston) is often rated as one of the best cities for African-Americans by the likes of Black Enterprise magazine. :: BlackElectorate.com ::

While the image of Texas is conservative and cowboy, the reality of urban Texas is far more complex and varied. While North Texas overall is politically red, Dallas County voted Democratic in the last presidential election by a fairly wide margin. But even in red Collin County (where Plano, Frisco, McKinney, and Allen -- four of the hot suburbs for people relocating), there's a growing number of African-Americans, Hispanics, and large Asian communities. You can't judge Texas by the often distorted image of stereotype.

As for where you should live, do you know where your office is going to be? The Metroplex is a lot larger than the Sacramento area, and there are toll roads, so you don't want to be commuting from Cedar Hill in the south to Plano in the north or from Southlake in Tarrant County to downtown Dallas every day. That can be very expensive.

What area of Sacramento are you living in now and do you want something similar here? In terms of walkability and being close to things to do, Uptown is the obvious choice but it skews pretty young, apartments are expensive, and it's pretty white. But that doesn't automatically mean you wouldn't be happy there. I'm AA and lived there when I first got here and enjoyed it at the time. Uptown Dallas - Home

Just north of Uptown is the Knox Park area (more commonly called Knox-Henderson) which is a bit quieter and skews slightly older. In either Uptown or Knox, you're right near the Katy Trail, a running/cycling/walking trail that runs from near downtown up to near SMU.

There's an increasing number of people living downtown and in Deep Ellum (just east of downtown, a historic neighborhood that was important in the history of the blues back in the day), if you're looking for more of the loft experience. You have access to public transit and an increasing amount of cool restaurants and shops. The area went through a downturn a few years back but now seems to be on the upswing again. Deep Ellum, Texas

North Oak Cliff, just southwest of downtown, might be for you as well. It's a racially and economically mixed community that's undergoing pretty intense gentrification right now. It's also one of the prettier parts of the city, with more of a rolling-hill terrain than the flatness of north Dallas. And if your job is downtown, your only 10 minutes away. It's also the home of small but popular shopping area, The Bishop Arts District. The Bishop Arts District - Home

The black middle class community traditionally has been in southwestern Dallas County (southern Oak Cliff, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, DeSoto) but chances are your office is going to be in the northern part of the Metroplex.

If your job is in Plano and you don't want a long commute, you might look at the area around the Shops at Legacy, which would put you near restaurants and shopping.

I suggest renting first before buying so you can decide where you want to live and you should realize that property taxes are higher here than in California. (Sort of negates the lack of a state income tax, if you're a homeowner.)

As for meeting other black professionals, there are black professional meetups through meetup.com, which -- like all meetup.com groups -- can be hit or miss but you might meet some interesting people who can in turn introduce you to others.

As for weather, since you live in Sacramento you know something about hot summers but it can be hotter here for a longer period of time and it doesn't cool down at night. Springs and falls are the best times of year (though spring can be rainy and it's tornado season) and winters can be nice, though there can be the occasional cold snap with ice and a bit of snow. But this isn't California, where two hours in one direction, you've got gorgeous mountains, and two hours in the other, you hit the ocean. The Gulf is 4-5 hours south and to see real mountains, you need to head to far west Texas, New Mexico or Colorado. So, get ready for a much plainer landscape.

You asked about health clubs, there are tons of health club options around, just depends on what you're looking for (CrossFit, Gold's Gym, etc., they're all here.) This is Dallas, where shopping is a religion. There's no shortage of people here willing to sell you something.

In terms of Austin, I've never lived in Austin but have visited a lot. If you're into the outdoors, Austin beats Dallas hands down (The Hill Country is nearby; cycling culture is huge). But my impression is that the black community there is less visible and less integrated into everyday life than in Dallas or Houston, as this article in the local paper underscores. http://www.statesman.com/news/news/l...rofessi/nSpjg/

Last edited by TrueDat; 09-16-2013 at 06:14 AM..
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Blah
4,153 posts, read 7,645,038 times
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1) Dallas is very diversified and home to a decent sized African American population. Texans in general are friendly and respectful of other people.

2) Dallas is a large area and best to live relatively close to home. So we really need a general area for your work.

3) Dallas has several pockets around th area with nice social night life scenes, Uptown and Knox/Henderson comes to mind.

4) The area is filled with fitness clubs but I'm not really sure about upscale clubs outside of Equinox or mayb the Downown YMCA (Platinum members only).

5) Summers can get into he tripple digits and every once an a while, maintain tripple digits for weeks and even months...straight. It's gets chili in the winter, dropping to freezing but rarely snows. Word of warning, Texans are horrible when it comes to driving in bad weather conditions! It's best to just wait it out if it really rains o stay home if it snows.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:26 AM
 
66 posts, read 101,027 times
Reputation: 82
When I first moved to Dallas, I was part of an interracial couple (I'm white, he's black) so I was fairly aware of evaluating the scene. We're about your age.

There are a good number of racially mixed couples and there is lots of dating across racial "lines" in the Dallas metropolitan area. I rarely had the impression of people being uncomfortable or unfriendly around us. The only time we experienced any sense of disapproval, it was subtle and from African American people (but that was rare).

Depending on where you work, you might also want to consider living at or near the Shops at Legacy in Plano. It's a walkable area with lots of restaurants, bars, a few nightclubs, and it caters to a wide range of ages. Lots of grown folk are out there partying.

It's kind of an area joke that Uptown is where people live before they get married. The Shops at Legacy is where they live after they get divorced. :-)
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,947 posts, read 18,681,510 times
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I think my area is about 25% professionals that are AA. Takes a decent income to live here in Las Colinas and I'm not recommending it, just saying if the burbs are like this, it just gets better in the city; we are an "inner ring" suburb. Can't imagine you would have any difficulty fitting in just about everywhere. You do realize that Dallas is a minority majority city, dontcha?
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Blah
4,153 posts, read 7,645,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPlano View Post

It's kind of an area joke that Uptown is where people live before they get married. The Shops at Legacy is where they live after they get divorced. :-)
I'll have to remember that one
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:21 AM
 
480 posts, read 770,942 times
Reputation: 623
Please, you will be just fine. Plenty of everybody in DFW. All in all, Grand Prarie, Arlington, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Desoto, Lancaster and South Dallas are largely older established large AA bases (south Irving too). But if you are looking for new, upscale, then Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Plano all having growing AA numbers. Most of my friends live in Frisco and Little Elm.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:38 PM
 
390 posts, read 570,167 times
Reputation: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueDat View Post
I suggest renting first before buying so you can decide where you want to live and you should realize that property taxes are higher here than in California. (Sort of negates the lack of a state income tax, if you're a homeowner.)[/url]
I can't speak for Sacramento, but my LA friends laugh at me when I try to talk about 'high' property taxes in Texas.
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