Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

In defense of the East Side

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Monday, November 2, 2009

Again, I am watching all of the comments regarding the school boundary discussion on the east side of Plano. Some of the comments show a distinct lack of knowledge about this neighborhood. Here are just a couple of the misconceptions:

They're all Mexican and they get the paper in Spanish.

Hey, we have some good Mexican restaurants here. And some of 'em are darned nice. Take a look at this shot outside of Aparicio's:


While there is a large Hispanic population here, we don't all speak Spanish. And I know a lot of Hispanics that would be offended by that remark.

It's full of gangs, crime, and crack houses.

Wow, how do I even justify that remark?

Downtown Plano, TX

Get your crack here, folks. All right, I'll admit that it gets "Kinky" at times:

Gettin' "Kinky"

Does that look like a crack house or gang banger land to you? Yes, we do have crime. But if I believed every negative news article I read about the other side of town, I'd be convinced that they were all white collar criminals and high-dollar prostitutes whose high school sons took steroids. I certainly know that's not the case. Sure, there have been a few white collar criminals busted over there, and a couple of high-class prostitution rings. And a suicide linked to steroids made national news a couple of years ago. Does that justify painting the entire area with a broad brush?

This neighborhood isn't new and shiny. There are probably more rental houses per square mile than on the other side of town. But there seem to be fewer foreclosures, too. One reason people buy houses here is that they're affordable. We love our neighborhood. I get sights like this:


And this:


And this:


That's a farm next door to Plano East Senior High.

We also have a shiny new elementary school:


We're not perfect here, but we're not the low-life scum that some people seem to associate with older parts of cities everywhere. My neighbors are computer programmers. They work in banks. They work for landscape companies. They stock shelves at the store. They're accountants. They're geologists and geophysicists. They're from all ethnic backgrounds. We're a diverse neighborhood. Oh, and we have trees. Lots of trees.

Come visit and see for yourself. We don't bite.

If you'd like to see more pictures, check out my Plano Flickr set. Most of the pictures are from the east side of town.


Filed under: Life            


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