Rising to the top

Buzzy Dallas neighbor crowned best U.S. place to live by New York Times — sort of

Buzzy Dallas neighbor crowned best U.S. place to live by NYT — sort of

Glade Parks Euless
Developments like Glade Parks have made Euless a shopping and dining destination. Photo courtesy of Glade Parks

So long to that old, unfortunate nickname "Useless." The city of Euless is now officially Dallas-Fort Worth's hottest city, having just been crowned The New York Times' best place to live in the U.S. — well, sort of.

Times opinion writer Farhad Manjoo and several colleagues recently collected data for thousands of towns and cities covering more than 30 metrics, such as school quality, crime rates, and affordability. They then used that data to create a quiz allowing readers to determine where they should live based on the criteria they select.

When Manjoo picked criteria for himself — jobs, climate change, racial diversity, and affordability — Euless rose to the top, claiming the No. 1 spot.

Another DFW community, Edgecliff Village, ranked two places behind, at No. 3. Nestled in between them was Woodlawn, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.

Those three communities were a 90 percent match for Manjoo’s criteria.

And five more Texas communities — all in Dallas-Fort Worth — tied for an 87 percent match: Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Garland, Grand Prairie, and Mesquite. (Notice that Flower Mound, Frisco, and Plano  — the usual cities that tend to steal a lot of the spotlight when it comes to North Texas communities appearing on the seemingly endless slew of best-places-to-live lists — failed to make this one.)

Both Euless and Edgecliff Village earned a score of nine out of 10 in the jobs category. Edgecliff Village edged out Euless in the climate risks column (nine versus eight, respectively), and both scored 10 out of 10 in the racial diversity category.

Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Garland, Grand Prairie, and Mesquite notched identical scores in Manjoo’s three categories: eight for jobs, eight for climate risks, and 10 for racial diversity.

Two non-Texas cities round out Manjoo’s list: Brooklyn Center, Minnesota (a Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb), and Forest Park, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb.

For the list, Manjoo sorted affordable communities by assigning one or two dollar signs (out of a possible four). All 10 communities on the list received one or two dollar signs, but Manjoo didn’t specify the dollar signs attached to each of the 10 “winners.”

Obviously, Manjoo’s ranking is subjective. If you take the quiz, your results could be markedly different from the ones Manjoo, who lives in Northern California, came up with. But in general, Manjoo’s ranking sheds a positive light on DFW’s quality of life.

The opinion piece laying out Manjoo’s thoughts about the best places to live carries this headline: “Everyone’s Moving to Texas. Here’s Why.” (As if we needed The New York Times to drive even more out-of-staters to Texas.)

“For the many hypothetical life scenarios I ran through our quiz, the suburbs around Dallas — places like Plano, McKinney, Garland, Euless, and Allen — came up a lot. It’s clear why these are some of the fastest-growing areas in the country,” Manjoo writes. “They have relatively little crime and are teeming with jobs, housing, highly rated schools, good restaurants, clean air, and racial and political diversity — all at a steep discount compared to the cost of living in America’s coastal metropolises.”

That’s the kind of glowing language you might see on the websites of DFW chambers of commerce — language that could entice even more Californians and other out-of-staters to land in the Lone Star State.

“Texas, now, feels a bit like California did when I first moved here in the late 1980s — a thriving, dynamic place where it doesn’t take a lot to establish a good life. For many people, that’s more than enough,” Manjoo writes.

But back to Euless. Anyone who's watched the business boom the last few years could tell it was heating up. The Glade Parks development, in particular, has become a prime destination for restaurants and retailers

Here's Manjoo's complete top 10 list from The New York Times:

1. Euless
2. Woodlawn, Ohio
3. Edgecliff Village
4. Garland
5. Grand Prairie
6. Mesquite
7. DeSoto
8. Cedar Hill
9. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
10. Forest Park, Ohio