The Walmart Heirs Could Buy Every Home in Dallas

Real estate site Redfin came out with a fun bit of click-bait today: which billionaire could buy your city?

Dallas, according to Redfin, has 330,028 homes that would cost a total of $109.4 billion to purchase. That’s too much for even the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, to afford. However, if the various heirs to the Walmart fortune pooled the contents of their money bins, and if every homeowner in Dallas sold to them, then Dallas could become the family’s private playground.

The same is true for Seattle, D.C., Miami, Portlandia, Baltimore, Austin, Las Vegas, San Antonio, and Atlanta. So if you’re the Walton family, which do you make a bid for?

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New Fitness Report Says We Need to Get in Shape, Dallas

Today the American College of Sports Medicine released its 2014 American Fitness Index report, in which you’ll find a ranking of the country’s 50 biggest metropolitan statistical areas in terms of healthy living. Washington, D.C., claimed the top spot.

The headline for Dallas is that we finished 38th out of the 50. The method by which these rankings are calculated was revised so much this year that the press release for the study advised that no comparison be made to the results of past reports. But let’s do it anyway.

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Dallas Is the 13th-Smartest (Read: Best) City in the World

The IESE Business School in Spain has released its annual ranking of the world’s “smartest cities.” The Cities in Motion Index is the result of researchers studying 135 cities based on 50 indicators along 10 dimensions: governance, public management, urban planning, technology, environment, international outreach, social cohesion, mobility and transportation, human capital, and economy. The categories are explained in more detail here.

For the fourth straight year, Dallas is No. 13. We trail only New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia among American cities. Tokyo was the big winner, also for the fourth straight year. And “smartest” is really just the researchers’ way of shying away from what they really mean. They don’t want to seem like they’re attempting to make a definitive judgment on the comparative quality of each of these places, but they are. They mean these as the “best” cities on Earth.

IESE has a nifty interactive map where you can dive in to see how each city ranks in each of the dimensions and compare how the cities charted. Here’s Dallas:

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Dallas Ranks Among 10 Worst Cities For Spring Allergies

I’ve mentioned before that this spring’s Pollen Vortex has been trying to kill me. I can’t remember a year when my allergies were so bad. Two symptoms I rarely suffer — itchy eyes and itchy roof of my mouth — have been common occurrences, and their presence would normally only make sense if I were walking through a cloud of cat dander.

Well, I was just checking out the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s list of the worst cities for spring allergies in 2014 (h/t Slate), and I find that Dallas is No. 7. We’re the worst Texas city on the list, and the biggest city in the top 10. Our pollen count, use of allergy medication, and number of allergists are worse than average.

Last year Dallas was No. 23. When our Liz Johnstone wrote about the reasons Dallas is so bad for hay fever sufferers like me, in 2011, Dallas was No. 35. The year before? No. 52.

You see what’s happening here, don’t you? The trees and plants have begun their siege to reclaim our region, then presumably the entire planet. Everybody laughed at M. Night Shyamalan, but maybe he was right.

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Texans Don’t Want to Leave

Yesterday Gallup published a poll (see the map above) of the percentages of people in each of the United States who have a desire to move from their state. Texas was on the lowest end of the spectrum, with only 24 percent of us wanting to get out. Only Montana, Hawaii, and Maine (23 percent each) residents like where they are more.

It’s not surprising to see how many Texans are satisfied with their situation. With our relatively strong economy, relatively low cost of living, and our ridiculous sense of self-worth and belief in the exceptional nature of the Land of Friends, it’s to be expected.

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Proof That the Texas Rangers Own Texas

Several weeks back there was a map of Major League Baseball fandom circulating. It was based on the preferences Facebook users had made public. It was disturbing to see how much of our country, absent a team in their own local market, had been given over to the cancer known as being a Yankees fan. It chilled me to the bone.

Anyway, several days ago the New York Times published an even more detailed look at that data, breaking it down to the ZIP code level and creating interactive maps to show the precise geographic fronts along which two or more teams fight for dominance in the hearts of locals.

The Texas Rangers (as you can in the screenshot of the map above) own Texas. Except for the swamps in and around Houston, and the lunatics out in El Paso who’ve given themselves over to the Dark Side, the team in Arlington commands almost all of the state’s territory, plus a significant chunk of Oklahoma and a corner of Arkansas.

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Outside Magazine Editors Hate Dallas. Do You Care?

As Eric Nicholson has pointed out, the editors of Outside magazine have declared Dallas the “least outdoorsy” city in America. And while only the extreme fringe of civic boosters would claim that Dallas can compete outdoors-wise with cities like Portland or Seattle, how can they claim our city is the absolute worst?

Eric ran through the criteria that Outside used and demonstrates that the numbers don’t add up:

Curiouser still, Dallas’ Green City Index and Park Score put it firmly in the middle of the pack among U.S. cities. Among the five “least outdoorsy” runners up, Dallas has the highest Green City score, besting Cleveland and Detroit by enormous margins and squeaking by Charlotte (Memphis and Fresno, Outdoor‘s two other worsts, aren’t even included on the index). Dallas’ Park Score ranking (26) is one spot behind Cleveland, tied with Detroit, and better than Fresno (50), Charlotte (47) and Memphis (42).

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The 35 Richest Neighborhoods in Dallas-Fort Worth

The little town of Westlake, north of Fort Worth, boasts the highest average annual household income ($526,590) among all North Texas neighborhoods. That’s good enough for 12th richest in the nation based on an analysis by geographer Stephen Higley who’s ranked the top 1,000 based on 2006-2010 Census Bureau data.

The very top of the list is occupied by ritzy suburbs of New York, D.C., Miami, and Los Angeles. Only Chicago has an inner-city neighborhood in the 10 richest. “The Golden Triangle” of Greenwich, Conn., outdoes everybody with a mean household income of $614,242.

Here’s the entire list of the 35 Dallas-Fort Worth neighborhoods that appear in the Higley 1,000:

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Fort Worth, Dallas Top Forbes List of Best Cities For Investing in a Home

Forbes worked Local Market Monitor, a company that tracks home prices and economic factors in more than 300 housing markets, to put together a list of “Best Buy Cities.” These are the top 20 places where you should want to invest money in a home.

No. 1? Fort Worth-Arlington. No. 2? Dallas-Plano-Irving.

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If You’re Looking For Love, Facebook Says to Head to Fort Worth

The Wall Street Journal and Facebook have teamed up to rank the best places in the U.S. for single people in search of romance. They took social network relationship data from the 50 cities with the most Facebook users, and Fort Worth came out looking pretty great for relationship seekers. It’s in the top five for “likelihood of a relationship” and the top five for number of single females to single males. Overall it’s ranked fourth-best spot for singles in the country, behind only Colorado Springs, El Paso, and Louisville:

This is a rare city with both a lopsided proportion of single women and a high rate of forming relationships. Adjacent to Dallas, Fort Worth is home to a large population of Mexican immigrants.

Meanwhile, Dallas finishes in the middle of the pack, the 23rd-worst place to find love.

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Texas Cities Are Rocking Along, Sure, But Don’t Count California Out

The Milken Institute’s annual report on the best-performing cities in the United States was released last month. These are based on factors including job and wage growth for the past year. Dallas-Plano-Irving performed well, up to No. 7 among large cities for 2013 (from No. 14 in 2012). Fort Worth-Arlington fell to No. 16, down from No. 10 the year before.

Texas as a whole is well-represented high on the list, with Austin No. 1, Houston No. 8, San Antonio No. 12, Corpus Christi No. 17, and Laredo No. 22.

But, for all the California bashing that certain of our state leaders are fond of engaging in, the San Francisco and San Jose areas are No. 3 and No. 4 in the rankings. Last time I checked, those places are in the Golden State.

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The Best of D Magazine Bests, 2013

Look, you can act all superior if you want. You can harumph and wear that superior smirk on your face as you insist you’re far above such shallow concerns as caring which restaurants make it onto a magazine’s best list. You claim that the only publication you read regularly is The New Yorker, and that you read it cover to cover every week, so you’ve not got the time to bother with such silliness of finding out who lives in the city’s most expensive home. You can do all of that sure, but we know you’re lying.

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Dallas County is More Catholic, More Religious Than Most Its Neighbors

The other day the Washington Post ran this post featuring several maps created from data of the 2010 Religion Census, the work of the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. The maps show the level of religious participation and diversity in each of country’s counties. Here’s what we learn about Dallas County.

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In Texas, We’re Temperamental & Uninhibited

The conclusions of a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology have been making their way around the World Wide Echo Chamber the last couple days. Researchers surveyed thousands of Americans in each state about their levels of openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness, and lumped regions of the country together into one […]

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