What Makes Highland Park So Special?

We posed that question to several notable Highland Park residents in advance of Sunday’s Centennial Celebration. Here are their responses:

Editors-in-chief, Arts Editor, Wick, Peter, Wylie Theater“Great teachers. Super police officers and firefighters. The people who serve Highland Park are the very best, including the checkers at the Tom Thumb.”

— Wick Allison, founder and editor-in-chief of D Magazine

rsz_beecherl_will“The police, fire, and town staff make this town special because of their dedication to serving the citizens of Highland Park.”

— Will Beecherl, Town Council member

rsz_gina_ginsburg“To us, Highland Park still represents some of that ‘small town feel’ — where fences do not separate neighbors, and the town village is a common gathering place. Not only are our schools top-notch, but our small group of police officers keep us safe and sound.”

— Gina Ginsburg, Dallas County’s representative in the 2014 Mrs. Texas pageant

rsz_hunsicker_harry“The lemonade stands. Every year, I see at least a three or four groups of kids, young entrepreneurs, selling homemade drinks along the streets of Highland Park. Where else in the world would you find that? Highland Park is a small town in the middle of a big city. So you get Norman Rockwell with the amenities of a large, urban area. What a wonderful place to call home.”

— Harry Hunsicker, novelist and former executive vice president of the Mystery Writers of America


rsz_clay_jenkins“Highland Park is a small town in the midst of a big city. It’s kid-centric, family-focused, and civically engaged. Highland Park is a well-led city, and its leaders were strong partners in ending the West Nile Virus epidemic of 2012.”

— Clay Jenkins, Dallas County judge


rsz_miller_tincy_dandra_and_dee_simmons“Highland Park is such a special place to live. It reminds me of a small-town surrounded by a big city — friendly and safe environment, wonderful place to raise children, with a great public school system. Also, the beautiful flowers, such as the azaleas our town plants every year, are awesome!”

— Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, State Board of Education member


rsz_img_2810“I grew up in Houston and moved here in 1987. When I think about all my time in Highland Park and the different people I have met, I realize that what makes it special is that even if you have lived here one year, 10 years, or 50-plus years, it is the kind of town that embraces everyone. It is a wonderful place to raise a family, with the most active grandparent population at school events that I have ever seen! The generational tradition is endearing and strengthens the values inherent in the town atmosphere. I love being part of Highland Park, and I can’t forget to mention our great trees!”

— Jennifer Nash, mother of two Duchesses of Highland Park in the Tyler Rose Festival


rsz_nixon_larry“Decade after decade, you make friends, and you keep seeing the same people through the long term. As we’ve had children and they’ve grown up, they’re friends with some of our friends’ children. It’s kind of a special ingredient.”

— Larry Nixon, Town Council member


rsz_reaugh_daryl“I have great appreciation for Highland Park’s enduring architecture, green spaces, and generational residency. Or to put it in plain-speak from a rurally educated Canadian: I like the mansions, trees, lawns, and families. Can’t think of a finer community to raise my girls in.”

— Daryl Reaugh, Dallas Stars broadcaster

rsz_reeves_jennie“There is a transformative quality that occurs once you live in Highland Park. While many of us were raised elsewhere, we seem to ‘come home’ here. There is a spirit of belonging to this community and its culture of protective care. I believe the park land and the many public spaces of natural beauty are one key to the special aspect of Highland Park. There exists a ‘pride of place’ here and, especially in its long-time citizens, a respect for the visionaries who wisely developed the land in the early 1900s.

“I think there remains a ‘developer’s dream’ — that we can still contribute in creating a unique, worldly, yet small-town-like community, while supporting the entities and needs of our town, as well as the surrounding city of Dallas.

“We are not an island, but a good neighbor. That’s the spirit!”

— Jennie Reeves, co-founder of La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas

rsz_lela_rose-1“My children love coming to visit Highland Park as much as I enjoyed growing up in this precious town. The family-friendly neighborhoods allow for children to play freely and imagine endless possibilities. As an adult, I love coming back to see the architecture change and love knowing that the attitude and quaint character remain the same.”

— Lela Rose, fashion designer with a namesake boutique in Highland Park Village


rsz_wrubel_lucy“Highland Park is the last neighborhood. It’s a little like living in a movie or a time warp. I love when Stella and I hit Tom Thumb and everyone says “Hi, Stella!” when we walk though the door. I love the Fourth of July Parade. I love the sound of kids playing Marco Polo at the HP pool. I love the summer memory of riding my bike through Turtle Creek, catching tadpoles and discovering fireflies. And I LOVE the fact that my 8-year-old is doing the VERY same thing. Highland Park is my home.”

— DJ Lucy Wrubel, who will perform at the Centennial Celebration


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One thought on “What Makes Highland Park So Special?

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    I grew up in the Park Cities and feel fortunate for doing so. I remain close friends with those I went to school with over 40 years ago. The schools were awesome and I am grateful for the lasting friendships. However, I respectfully disagree with the lady from Houston who says that HP it is the kind of town that embraces everyone.


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