Green Neighborhoods of North Texas
Sep 30, 2017 11:51AM
A pastoral, urban enclave of green elegance, Lakewood boasts genteel homes and sizeable trees on rolling slopes down to White Rock Lake. To its south is Junius Heights, a region of early 1900s homes enjoying a resurgence of urban hipness, and to the west is the almost as historical Lower Greenville, now an entertainment district of boutiques, bars and restaurants. At its heart is the Lakewood Shopping Center, identified by the signature neon tower of the former Lakewood Theater, an art deco delight.
Bountiful Green Nature
Lakewood fronts the quieter west side of White Rock Lake (dallasparks.org/235/White-Rock-Lake). Long scenic West Lawther Drive and adjacent paved path trace the shoreline with excellent vistas and occasional benches. The trail connects on the northwest tip to the White Rock Creek Trail that leads to Richardson and beyond, and on the southern spillway end to the Sante Fe Trail that extends to Deep Ellum.
With its immensely tall trees, White Rock Lake’s shallow north end is a mecca for waterfowl such as migrating pelicans, cormorants, scaups and the resident geese and ducks. T&P Hill boasts a unique playground and a picnic shelter with a fantastic lake view. The 1930s Boomerang Boathouse, restored by White Rock Rowing (whiterockrowing.org), is home to their scull storage and launching.
Off of White Rock Road, the wide watery arms of White Rock Rowing extend to the 1920s Filter Building, which they restored for rentals, and the new Sam S. Leake Boathouse that is home to several boating clubs. The nearby Plaza Soluna off the rock parking lot is a lovely place for quiet contemplation—unless the colony of bright green monk parakeets that nest in the nearby electrical tower gets raucous.
Accessible from the spillway parking lot off Winstead are trails the local Audubon chapter extols as the best birdwatching in Dallas. Wedged in a quiet area between the dam and a railroad trestle, wetlands attract waterfowl year round, as do the turbulent descending waters of the spillway itself.
Just as loved by many is the ultra-popular Tietze Park (tietzepark.org) in the center of Lakewood/Lower Greenville. Home to a rather rockin’ climbing wall, creative toddler playground, and low and horizontal bois d’arc tree, sometimes referred to (incorrectly) as an Indian marker tree. The park hosted one of the first neighborhood recycling centers in the 1980s.
Green and Growing Gardens
Lakewood loves its lawns and gardens. Redenta's Garden Shop (redentas.com) has been keeping them green for decades with plants (especially for shade), organic gardening products and landscape advice. It hosts great classes and special events, plus a creative Potting Bar for container gardens. Ruibal’s Plants (ruibals.com) offers annual and perennials with larger plants by order.
Located south of Junius Heights, East Dallas Community and Market Garden (communitygarden.org) was a pioneer in the community garden movement. First started to help Southeast Asian immigrants grow the food of their homelands, the enterprise has expanded to several locations around Dallas and offers spring plant sales. Some gardeners now sell to restaurants and make food products.
Holistic Health Hotbed
The gentleness of Lakewood and its surroundings attracts many holistic practitioners. While chiropractors are plentiful, Cafe of Life Chiropractic Care (cafeoflifedallas.com), tucked away off Lower Greenville, stands out with its robust approach to holistic health care, encompassing the patient’s mental, emotional and spiritual life, plus great community events. The Dallas location of 100% Chiropractic (100percentchiropractic.com/our-locations/texas-locations/dallas-tx) features the Webster Technique to minimize late-stage pregnancy discomfort and prepare the pelvis for a smooth birthing experience. Lakewood Chiropractic Clinic (lakewoodchiroclinic.com) also offers acupuncture.
Coleman McMurphy, of the Morningside Clinic (morningsideclinic.com), is considered a master of traditional Japanese acupuncture, as well as a modern style called Master Tung’s Acupuncture. He also practices high-level Chinese herbology. Just north of Lakewood is Acupuncture Juncture, a serene office space hosting the marvelous Jennifer Walz (whiterockholisticwellness.com), who blends reiki and aromatherapy with her sessions, and the esteemed Acupuncture by Emily (theacupuncturejuncture.com).
Lakewood and yoga have long been simpatico, and many studios grace the area, but Lotus Yoga Dallas in the Lakewood Shopping Center (lotusyogadallas.com) deeply grasps the neighborhood vibe, even offering moon flow yoga at White Rock Lake and yoga retreats in nature. Keeping urban yogis in embodied gear and classes is Yoga Mart (yogamartusa.com), now at the 3-G intersection by the spillway where Eastlake and Lakewood meet.
Marking the area’s northern border, the well-traveled Mockingbird Lane hosts many yoga and massage enterprises. A popular eclectic Lakewood building, 6162 East Mockingbird, boasts at least a dozen masseuses. Although named Thai Sports Massage of Dallas (thai-sportmassage.com), Kelly Galey runs a diversified practice with powerful intellectual and spiritual grounding.
The community-focused nonprofit White Rock YMCA (ymcadallas.org/locations/white_rock_ymca) has been encouraging a healthy, engaged lifestyle, including yoga and Pilates, since Lakewood began. On the edge of Junius Heights, the Samuell Grand Recreation Center (dallasparks.org/facilities/facility/details/Samuell-Grand-Recreation-Center-741) offers yoga, among other fitness classes, and Fitnz360 (fitnz360.com) presents yoga, Pilates, and more with a compassionate community focus.
Farm-Fresh Food and Dining
Holistic eating is easy in the Lakewood area. Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/Lakewood) is the natural health engine of the area, with a juice/smoothie bar and deli, markets for meat, seafood, and cheese and an extensive organic produce and bulk selection.
Roots Juices (rootspressedjuices.com) has a stunning array of concentrated fruit and vegetable juices, fortified waters, smoothies, energy shots and superfoods. A similar, less-extensive spread is found near the spillway at I Love Juice Bar (ilovejuicebar.com/lakewood), plus noodle bowls, soups and sandwiches.
For great people-watching, visit the patio at Unleavened Fresh Kitchen (unleavened.com) with creative wraps, soups, salads and beverages that keep people coming back. Same applies to the scene at Dream Café (thedreamcafe.com/lakewood-texas), plus a bit deeper menu that includes sandwiches and entrees. Snap Kitchen's (snapkitchen.com) healthy to-go offerings have been a welcome addition for busy professionals.
The Grape (thegraperestaurant.com) pioneered the Lower Greenville dining scene by offering continental fare with a fresh ingredient emphasis. Now the area is a locavore hotbed. None embrace it more than Company Cafe (companycafe.com) whose eclectic comfort fare is made with local and organic ingredients, plus they bake deluxe gluten-free cakes. Sundown At Granada (sundownatgranada.com) offers farm to table fare, artisan beer and oodles of hipness. The somewhat similar HG Sply Co. (hgsplyco.com/dallasmenus) has a rooftop patio and rustic vibe.
Unrefined Bakery (unrefinedbakery.com) started its empire on Upper Greenville with gluten-free and vegan breads, muffins, and cakes. Try Top Pot Doughnuts (toppotdoughnuts.com), because there is such a thing as artisan donuts; from Seattle, of course.
The jewel of Junius Heights is the Garden Café (gardencafe.net), offering literally garden-fresh organic food, with humanely produced eggs and local grass-fed meats. Fabulous dog-friendly patio and fun special events. The heart of the Lakewood vegetarian scene is the legendary Kalachandji's Restaurant & Palace, (kalachandjis.com) and its popular Indian buffet, salad bar and ultra-relaxing garden patio.
Lakewood is where jazz lives in Dallas. Balcony Club (balconyclub.com), tucked away above the Lakewood Theater since 1988, presents live jazz and blues in a lively deco setting. For a bit more relaxed scene, try Stoney's Wine Lounge (stoneyswinelounge.com), with a wide variety of wines, plus cheese, charcuterie, and chocolate. Times Ten Cellars (timestencellars.com/dallas) features wine from its vineyard and others, plus global finger foods, salads and sweets. Their late-afternoon jazz on Sundays is superb.
Spiritual and High Vibe
The building for Unity on Greenville (dallasunity.org) may be small, but since 1942 it has sheltered a vibrant congregation of spiritual seekers that foster purpose and potential in their lives. Services, classes, and many special events such as regular holistic fairs, drum circles, shamanic work, Sufi poetry and dances for universal peace.
HeartSpace Spiritual Center (heartspacedallas.org), on the edge of Junius Heights, provides emotional sanctuary and promotes oneness community. Their Sunday services shake the rafters with soulful music. The vegetarian Hinduism of the nearby Radha Kalachandji Temple (radhakalachandji.com) has been a part of the neighborhood since 1971.
Monica Blossom guides the high-vibe community of Ecstatic Dance Dallas (facebook.com/ecstaticdancedallas) in embodied consciousness every Sunday afternoon in Lakewood. The Labyrinth (labyrinthmetaphysical.com) off Lower Greenville has been a leader in the metaphysical movement for 20 years.
On the northern end of Lower Greenville is Greenland Hills Methodist Church (greenlandhills.org) and holding down the south end is Munger Place Church (mungerplace.org). Both are creative, open and affirming, embodying Jesus’s words in their social justice activities and deeply compassionate outreach.