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Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX

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I lived in the area for a couple years and got to know it pretty well so if anyone has questions about it I may be able to answer them.

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Guest Hi there!

I got in at UT southwestern medical school for PhD. I am interested in knowing about Dallas, the culture there... is it costly? I have a 21k fellowship and fee waiver. Will that be sufficient? any idea?

Thanks :)

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Guest aaronp808

D/FW is huge, so you can find anything you want. It can be dirt cheap or astronomically expensive. IIRC, the southwstern medical school is near or in Ft. Worth right? If so, you lucked out. I believe that particular area is moderalely priced. Downtown Ft. Worth has been revitalized and is a nice place to hang out both day and night. Downtown Dallas is still an urban ghosttown, but they are trying to change it. You will definitely need a car in D/FW. You have to take highways everywhere, even to the grocery store. And nothing is centralized, so you'll find yourself driving somewhere every weekend. So have something that gets good mileage and take care of it.

Caveat: I lived in DFW for 20 years before moving to Boston 10 years ago and I return about twice a year to visit family. So I knew the place well, and still know north dallas well, but the rest of the area may have changed a bit.

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Guest

21k is certainly sufficient. I'm living there on 18k in Uptown, notorious for being the most expensive area.

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Guest Hi there!
D/FW is huge, so you can find anything you want. It can be dirt cheap or astronomically expensive. IIRC, the southwstern medical school is near or in Ft. Worth right? If so, you lucked out. I believe that particular area is moderalely priced. Downtown Ft. Worth has been revitalized and is a nice place to hang out both day and night. Downtown Dallas is still an urban ghosttown, but they are trying to change it. You will definitely need a car in D/FW. You have to take highways everywhere, even to the grocery store. And nothing is centralized, so you'll find yourself driving somewhere every weekend. So have something that gets good mileage and take care of it.

Caveat: I lived in DFW for 20 years before moving to Boston 10 years ago and I return about twice a year to visit family. So I knew the place well, and still know north dallas well, but the rest of the area may have changed a bit.

Thanks for your reply. So car seems to be absolutely necessary.

How are the crime stats in Dallas? Is it a safe place and are people friendly? (FYI, I am a girl who has never lived away from family and an international applicant too. So I am little concerned about this)

I am also waiting for a decision from Duke. So I am comparing Durham, NC and Dallas, TX and trying to figure out where I can live happily for the next 6 years or so. :wink:

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Guest Hi there!
21k is certainly sufficient. I'm living there on 18k in Uptown, notorious for being the most expensive area.
Thats good to hear. :)

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And it's POSSIBLE to get by without a car. I know a few people who do it by living close enough to walk to work/take a direct route on DART (you can see your options at dart.org and go to "DART Trip Planner") and have a grocery store in the neighborhood. DART is safe and affordable, but I don't know anything about the UT Southwestern area.

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Guest potential cornellian

I am from DFW and live there now. I don't recommend living here without a car, but then again anyone you meet at school will have one and you'll just have to be nice to them! DART is avialable, but it can be frustrating being a pedestrian in Dallas. The streets in some areas don't have sidewalks or crosswalks. But the people are wonderful and there's plenty of diversity (including international communities) to be found in Dallas proper. Dallas has lots of inexpensive housing, compared to most cities. If you have any specific questions, just post them.

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Guest dallasite

anyone going to SMU and interested in rooming together near campus?

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I have lived in Dallas/Ft. Worth my whole life and I can tell you that you can get an okay apartment in the UT Southwestern area of Dallas for 700-800 dollars a month. Things are cheaper here than in most other parts of the country, however, I do not recommend that you live here with out a car as things are pretty spread out here and our public transportation system isn't well developed yet like in other big cities in the nation. Not bringing your car would be a huge mistake because it will just make your life worlds easier, plus, if you want to do anything cool like go to the West End or Deep Ellum or Downtown Fort Worth, you'll pretty much have to bum rides from others. Culturally, Dallas gets mixed reviews. I am not the biggest fan of Dallas, I think that the coolest thing about Dallas is getting out of Dallas and going to Fort Worth. With your fellowship I think that you would be able to live here, you just wouldnt be able to live extravagantly.

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Hello,

I got an offer in UT-Dallas (1.5k/month). I was wondering what's the living expense of Richardson? And is it possible to go around just by using the UTD bus and DART?

Thanks

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Hello, I will be attending TCU in the fall, unfortunately I am coming from over 1000 miles away. I wondered if anyone knew of a decent complex around SW Fort Worth I should look into? also is there certain parts of town I should not look for housing in? I found a relatively cheap duplex, only to later discover it was one of the only areas with a giant red blip on the map for violent crime in Ft Worth! Anyway, any help at all would be appreciated.

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To the poster who is considering UTD... I did not go to UTD but I used to live a couple blocks from the campus on the border of Dallas/Richardson. Firstly, there are a number of apartment complexes in the area that are pretty affordable. I used to live in a sizeable townhouse for about $600 a month right down the road, and I'm certain you could find smaller places that are even cheaper. Just make sure you stay away from ANY apartments on McCallum Blvd. There is one small pocket of VERY crummy, crime-infested apartments in that area, and it's located squarely on McCallum. However, the vast majority of the area around the UTD campus is really nice. It's mostly upper-middle class suburbs, so it's pretty quiet and pleasant. And given that the university is there, it's been made to be affordable to students and young people, so I have no doubt that you could easily live on your stipend.

As for your second question, as much as I hate to say it, you would probably be better off with a car in the Dallas area. There is a grocery store and several shopping centers within walking distance of UTD, so you could easily survive without a car. But Dallas as a city is a massive urban sprawl, so most people end up doing LOTS of driving. In order to enjoy what the metroplex has to offer, you'd most likely need a vehicle. The DART system is adequate but far from ideal. The DART Rail system that runs north and south is very useful, but the bus routes that connect east and west are troublesome, time consuming, and not aesthetically impressive. So you wouldn't necessarily *need* a car, but it's tough to really get acquainted with the city without one. Hope this helps!

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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone is familiar with Texas Christian University's comp/rhet program. They have offered me quite a nice package to study in the doctoral program, but I'm not sure how the program compares to more prestigious ones. Any thoughts?

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To bring this topic back to life:

SMU is currently my top choice for grad school this fall. Many people have mentioned that it's impossible to get around the city without a car, but what about near the SMU campus? I've heard that in the immediate area it's a very expensive place to live, and I was wondering how far from campus most (grad) students life, what the commute is like/ is it possible to bike/walk? Any other thoughts.

Thanks

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I went to SMU for undergrad (06-10) and thought I'd put in my two cents. I didn't have a car for most of the time at SMU but I also had really awesome friends that would take me with them to the grocery store. There is a Tom Thumb that is by school, along with some other stores...but it's really not much and I honestly forgot the little area it's called, it's by the law school. Yes, the immediate area, Highland Park, is probably not the cheapest area to live in. I don't know where most of the grad students lived but most UG students lived off campus. The commute isn't bad, and I really wouldn't recommend biking or walking. On campus, a bike could be useful but once you're off campus, you can't go too far unless you're willing to risk your life due to getting hit by a car or a heat stroke in the summer. Walking is also something I wouldn't recommend off campus. Even around campus, things can get shady i.e. by the 7-11 so I would be a little more diligent at night. I would highly recommend a car, the parking situation isn't great but it's not terrible on campus.

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My advice is to bring a car if there's any way for you to do so! If you don't own one or just can't, sure, you can make it work as a pedestrian in Dallas. But it ain't easy. The Highland Park/University Park area near SMU is quite walkable (though brutally expensive as far as I know), but you'd really be hemming yourself in by counting on that area to meet all your needs. Plus there are downright sketchy neighborhoods bordering the nice areas near SMU.

As for transit, the DART rail is a pretty nifty option, but its service area is extremely limited. And the bus system is lousy. It's actually very extensive, but the routes are a mess. In my experience you can't get anywhere on DART buses without tranferring two or three times.

Also keep in mind that it gets very, very hot in Dallas as early as May and can stay that way into October. Walking around in 103 degree heat can be not only exhausting but also downright dangerous. Plus the DFW metroplex is the definition of urban sprawl. If you really want to experience the city, you'll need a vehicle to get out and about to visit the places worth visiting. There are *lots* of fun things to do in DFW, but none of them are remotely close to one another. So to reiterate, bring a car if you can. You'll be glad you did. And congrats on SMU! Great school with a nice campus in a beautiful neighborhood.

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Dear all,

Can anybody comment on Dallas and Fort Worth, TX. I'm considering to go to UT Southwestern, Dallas for PhD. But, don't know anything about the city.

First of all, what kind of social activities are going on the city? I'm a jazz and classical music lover, would love to attend the concerts and live performances. So what about the night life and musical events in those cities? Although I do not expect Dallas to be like NY, but at least it's not a town, is it .

Best,

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Dallas is a fantastic place for night life and musical events. There's the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, currently conducted by Jaap von Zweden, who is amazing. There are always concerts to go to, whether you prefer a venue like the American Airlines Center, the House of Blues, or gritty bars on Elm Street. I'm not very knowledgeable about the jazz scene, but I'm sure that there is plenty. Insofar as night life goes, Dallas is perfect. When I don't already have a plan of where I'm going to go for the night, I usually check out GuideLive. GuideLive has almost all of the info anyone would need about this kind of stuff, music, theatre, dining, nightlife, sports, and other things are all included in this subsection to the Dallas Morning Newspaper (which you can access online for free). They have all the info on what's going on, where the good restaurants are, etc. Coming from the biased perspective of a Dallas native, it is a phenomenal place to live.

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The Dallas/Ft Worth area is HUGE, so there are always concerts and events going on. Shopping, restaurants, museums, you got 'em. You could probably find any "scene" there you could think of.

That being said, the traffic is terrible. The crime is terrible. The pollution is terrible. The scenery is terrible. I hate to be so negative after ohsnap's positive, but I hate the place. Nothing but concrete in the big city, nothing but cookie cutter suburbs surrounding it.

Just my two cents. Take any opinions on a place with a grain of salt, though, because everyone perceives their surroundings differently.

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Hello. I have an amazing offer from UT southwestern Medical center Biomedical sciences PhD program. The University offered med park apartments are quite costly. Can anyone know where I can look for off campus arrangements (a studio or one bedroom apartment) so that its not very far away from the medical center. Can anyone give me any idea about the price of housing in Dallas?

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When I visited Dallas, there seemed to really not be all that much going on downtown. Is it as dead as it seemed, or was I just there are the wrong time?

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From a lifetime resident of the Metroplex:

Everything in Uptown near the Medical Center is expensive. You can go a little further north and find things a bit cheaper, but I don't think there is really a great solution.

Downtown Dallas isn't really the cultural center. It's there for business and sporting events. Uptown is basically Dallas's theater district, and you have all the UT-Southwestern students there. Deep Ellum (east of downtown) is the historic music district that rotates between being terrifying and awesome depending on the year. Lakewood is where you go for jazz, the Balcony Club in particular. That's northeast of Deep Ellum. And Lower Greenville is the primary general entertainment/bar neighborhood, northeast of downtown and north of Deep Ellum, and where the SMU students hang out.

I've never found the traffic, crime (no firsthand experience myself), or pollution to be that bad, but I'm probably used to it.

In general, Dallas housing is cheaper than a lot of other big cities, because it's got the most expansive, sprawly suburbs imaginable to beef up the supply. That said, it's still expensive on an absolute scale, particularly the closer you get to Downtown and Uptown. The suburbs have nicer, cheaper places that people get away with having because everybody has a car, and the northern suburbs themselves have an increasing amount of businesses themselves.

I'm not too happy about the general suburb-focused nature of the Metroplex, and I'm moving away in five months. I don't like having to have a car to do everything.

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