Elevate Difference

Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to and Living in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin

Ah, how luck changes. I once lived with my favorite person in my favorite neighborhood in my favorite city in the world: Austin, Texas. It was just the two of us. Quiet, peaceful and weird.

I also lived in what used to be my favorite apartment; it was perfect, until I unknowingly took in a flock of hungry, loved-starved fleas. Since that happened I have been fighting a constant war against these parasitic vermin. And it’s not just me. Every neighbor I know has the same problem—and many do not even own a pet, which leaves us all, for better or worse, scratching our heads and everywhere else for a solution.

And this is why I’m on a quest for a new home in a new neighborhood - one free of fleas - a space with no more inhabitants than my husband and me, with a wish that I can, once again, wear short shorts without being embarrassed by the bite marks on my legs. So, let me be the first to say that studying the Dallas-Forth Worth, Houston, and Austin Neighborhood Guide was paramount to me. As the marketers write in the cover, these guides are “designed to help you find the community that is right for you.”

It’s the first book in the series, and it’s chock full of valuable information about community publications, police departments, post offices, hospitals, libraries, schools, parks, websites and public transportation. It coverage includes the ins and outs of neighborhoods near and far, and it even speaks to the scintillating suburban areas of Dallas-Forth Worth, Houston, and Austin; fair suburbs, I raise my strip-mall purchased glass to thee! The book also chronicles the history of each different area, albeit from the perspective of a white, middle-class, male-leaning perspective.

The authors undoubtedly favor families, too, and though I have yet to help overpopulate the planet myself, I really have found its scrupulous details helpful in my new home search. The deft research deserves applause, but the book might be more enjoyable if it offered information about the shops, restaurants, and cultural aspects—you know, the things that make a neighborhood, well, a neighborhood.

While it’s not an even mildly entertaining read, the book might prove useful. So, if you’re living in or planning a move to Dallas, Houston, or Austin, it will give you an idea of your new surroundings. But you might, by serendipity, find a pub in one of the neighborhoods described and enjoy a nice beer in place of the cost of the book.

Written by: Laura Koffler, September 1st 2007

This is one of the best ways I've ever seen anyone personalize a review. I am, however, sorry about the fleas.