Another year is done. We still can’t get over the fact that Mark Cuban bought an entire town. And Lisa Loeb starred in a Geico commercial. It’s crazy to think about all that happened. Here are 22 moments that captured neighbors’ attention in 2021.

Photography by Renee Umsted.

MASK UP 

After the Texas Supreme Court blocked mask mandates in Dallas County, Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa announced the district would continue requiring masks on campuses. DISD says it will keep the mandate through mid-January.

Photography by Danny Fulgencio.

TRAILBLAZING

Work began on the expansion of the Northaven Trail. When completed, the trail will cross over Central Expressway to connect with the Cottonwood, White Rock Creek and SoPac trails.

Map courtesy of the City of Dallas.

DEVELOPMENT DRAMA

The Dallas City Council approved the zoning change of a property on Forest Lane near Nuestra Drive. A developer can now build 26 single-family dwellings on a property originally zoned for no more than nine. Leading up to the vote, City Council member Gay Donnell Willis held a meeting with community members. More than 300 people attended, and 97% of them were opposed to the change on the 3.5-acre property, which the City purchased with 2006 bond funds.

THE SHOW CAN’T GO ON

On opening night, Dealey Montessori Academy canceled The Adventures of Lewis and Clark, its long-running student production. Principal Beth Wing sent an email to families, apologizing for “a lack of sensitivity in casting this play.”

Photography courtesy of The Hockaday School via Facebook.

LIVE & LEARN

The Hockaday School Board of Trustees vote to phase out the boarding program by May 2025. All current students will be allowed to graduate. “We believe that for Hockaday’s Boarding Program to be competitive in the future, it would need to make significant investments in the program and facilities — and even with such investments, success is not guaranteed,” a committee investigating the program reported.

Photo courtesy of Luka Doncic via Twitter.

GAMERS

Neighbors Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic became the first Mavericks included on the cover of NBA 2K, a video game that was first released in 1999. They’re also only a handful of Europeans who have been selected as cover athletes. 

NEW FACES 

Former City Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates finished her stint as our neighborhood’s representative for eight years. The new District 13 City Council member is Gay Donnell Willis, who ran on a “neighborhoods first” campaign. Lee Kleinman also finished his term as District 11 City Councilman and was replaced by Jaynie Schultz, a former appointee to the City Plan Commission.

Photo courtesy of Melinda Gates via Twitter.

PARTING WAYS 

Ursuline Academy of Dallas alumna Melinda French Gates divorced her now ex-husband and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. In a May statement, the couple said they would continue to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

PRESIDENTIAL PORTRAITS 

Neighbor and former President George W. Bush released a book called Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants. It spotlights the stories of famous and non-famous immigrants who have made positive contributions to the United States.

Photography by Renee Umsted.

GROCER RETURNS 

Central Market reopened at the corner of Preston Road and Royal Lane. The store had been closed since it was destroyed by the tornado that swept through our neighborhood in 2019.

Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus via Instagram.

FAREWELL TO FURS 

Dallas-based retailer Neiman Marcus said it would stop selling fur products by early 2023.

Photo courtesy of Bravo.

REALITY CHECK 

The Real Housewives of Dallas ended its fifth and final season. Bravo announced in August there were no plans to tape a sixth season. Neighbor Tiffany Moon joined the show in 2021. 

Photo by Kim Leeson.

NOSTALGIC NEWS 

Dougherty’s Pharmacy moved from its Preston Royal location to a spot near Preston Road and LBJ Freeway. At the new spot, the pharmacy added a soda fountain operated by Neuhaus Cafe.

WINNER WINNER 

Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas alumnus Jordan Spieth won the Valero Texas Open, ending a nearly four-year losing streak. The victory marked Spieth’s 12th career win and places him in an exclusive category; only a handful of other golfers in recent decades have won 12 or more tournaments before turning 28. 

Photography by Jessica Turner.

SHOT HEARD ’ROUND THE MALL

On Memorial Day, shoppers at NorthPark Center heard what seemed to be gunshots. The mall was evacuated, crowds panicked and someone was arrested. But there was no shooting; it was only a person banging a skateboard on the floor near the food court.

Photography by Haley Hill.

GOOD EATS 

This year’s DFW Restaurant Week included about 100 participating restaurants. A few of them were located in our neighborhood: Kona Grill at NorthPark Center; La Pizza, La Pasta, Terra and Il Pastaio inside Eataly; Oceanaire at Galleria Dallas; and Primo’s MX Kitchen on Hillcrest. Restaurants donated 20% of the proceeds from each meal to the North Texas Food Bank and Lena Pope. 

Photos courtesy of Eddie Maestri via Instagram, Google Maps. Photo by Stephen Karlisch.

SEEN AROUND TOWN 

Three houses in our neighborhood received national attention last year. A Colonial-style house on Deloache Avenue was featured in the Cruel Summer TV series. A modernist home built in 1971 was featured in Architectural Digest. And a Georgian estate in Old Preston Hollow was the site of the 2021 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Neighbors were able to tour the house to see the creative work of 26 professional designers.

AWESOME ADVENTURER

St. Mark’s School of Texas alumnus Victor Vescovo received the 2021 Captain Don Walsh Award for Ocean Exploration. He and Patrick Lahey won the award for the 2019 Five Deeps Expedition and further dives “of scientific or historical interest.” It recognizes “outstanding, sustained, international contribution to the development, application and propagation of marine technology toward the advancement of ocean exploration.”

KUDOS TO YOU 

Two staff members at Hillcrest High School received district-wide recognition. Joseph Sotelo was named principal of the year and Belia Martinez was named counselor of the year.

LydaHill-Photo-HiRes-760x1024.jpg

Photo courtesy of Lyda Hill Philanthropies.

LEGENDARY LYDA 

Hockaday alumna and philanthropist Lyda Hill was selected to receive a History-Making Texan award. The honor is given by the Texas State History Museum to Texas legends whose contributions to the state and the country have been historic and exceptional.

Photography courtesy of Fancy Cakes by Lauren via Instagram.

BAKER FOR THE STARS

Lauren Kitchens, whose bake shop — Fancy Cakes by Lauren — is located in Preston Hollow, designed a wedding cake for Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani. The five-tier cake was inspired by the one Stefani’s parents had at their wedding.

Photo courtesy of Dallas Mavericks via Twitter.

HELPING HAND 

Neighbors Mark Cuban, Luka Doncic and Cynt Marshall donated more than $1.25 million to help Dallas residents recover from the February snowstorm. They supported the Dallas Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund and local organizations working to shelter and re-house people.


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