By Kinzie Morgan Mallott

When my husband and I got married, we lived in Austin, just off of South Congress. We spent several years there, but as our family grew, our condo … didn’t. 

We loved our neighborhood, but houses in our ZIP code were well out of our price range and the feel of the neighborhood was also changing rapidly. My little family headed to the ‘burbs of Central Texas. We didn’t live there long before my husband received a job offer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

My immediate response was not something I’m willing to put to print, but I warmed to the idea under the condition that we look for a home in Arlington Heights.

I’m not from the neighborhood, but my father spent a portion of his childhood living on Ashland Avenue. My grandfather taught biology and coached at Arlington Heights from 1967-1970, and my grandmother attended TCU and took her first teaching position at Kirkpatrick Elementary.

My grandfather’s career eventually took our family out of Fort Worth, but my dad remained sentimental about Arlington Heights. When I was a kid, any time we came to Fort Worth, he would drive us through the neighborhood and reminisce. I have always been charmed by the architecture of the homes, Camp Bowie’s bricks, and the shops and restaurants that border the neighborhood. It’s a neighborhood that felt just familiar enough to ease some of the discomfort and newness that moving can bring. 

We moved in during the summer of 2017. The day we closed on the house, we went down the street and celebrated at Uncle Julio’s. One thing we love about the neighborhood is the ease and accessibility of great restaurants. The walkability of the neighborhood might be its best feature. 

We are able to walk to Lucile’s, Kincaid’s, Original Mexican Eats Café or across Camp Bowie to sit on the patio at Roy Pope. Favorite date night spots are Winslow’s Wine Café and Hotel Dryce. During the snowpocalypse in February 2021, my neighbor and I bundled up and escaped, mad-mom-style, to The Showdown for Happy Minutes, the 365 days a year 15 minute window from 3:00-3:15 pm when beers are just $1.25. 

I love that Fort Worth is a city with a strong maker culture. We’re a city with room for innovation and it’s exciting to live in a neighborhood that’s home to many small businesses that showcase the entrepreneurial and creative spirit here in Fort Worth. Shop Small Fort Worth, You Are Here, Hale House, Grow Plant Shop, Tot-to-Teen, and Chieffalo Americana are just a few of the many unique small businesses in the neighborhood.

Fort Worth is staunchly and unapologetically unlike any other city, and yet, in many ways, it reminds me of what living in Austin was like before so many of the small, quirky businesses on South Congress were bulldozed and replaced with sleek glass buildings filled with well-known chain stores. 

I love raising my kids in this neighborhood. There are many families with young children and a strong sense of community. We have three parks within walking distance (Thomas Place Community Center, Wright-Tarlton Park, and Sanguinet Park), which adds a healthy balance to our visits to Blue Bonnet Bakery and Curly’s Frozen Custard. 

Both of my children participate in the two-way dual language program at South Hi Mount Elementary, one of the best elementary schools in FWISD. South Hi Mount is everything we wanted when looking for a school for our children. It’s diverse, inclusive, rigorous, and full of educators who go above and beyond to ensure that our kids are not only learning, but that they feel valued, safe, and happy while at school. 

While our neighborhood has been a source of great joy and excitement, it’s also been a refuge. Living here is about more than the charming architecture and walkability — it’s about the people. When our son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes shortly after his third birthday, we came home from the hospital to a basket of comfort items, groceries, and words of encouragement at our front door. 

Other neighbors opened their homes, fed us, and dried our tears. When my father-in-law passed away and we were unable to attend his services because of COVID restrictions, more cards and goodies showed up on our doorstep. Last year our garage burned down, lawn equipment and all, and our next-door neighbors enlisted themselves to care for our yard. 

My daughter’s first sleepover here in our home was on her eighth birthday. I had a house full of giddy girls and most of them traveled less than a block to get here. Through tears and celebrations, we have been so well loved.

Arlington Heights is more than a neighborhood — it’s a community. My community.

Kinzie Morgan Mallott is a public school educator in a Fort Worth area school district. She and her husband,along with their two kids, moved to Fort Worth in 2017.  

To tell the story of where you live, please send your essay to hello@fortworthreport.org and Managing Editor Thomas Martinez at thomas.martinez@fortwortheport.org.

Arlington Heights

Total population: 3,307
Female: 49% | Male: 51%

Age
0-9: 9%
10-19: 11%
20-29: 20%
30-39: 16%
40-49: 15%
50-59: 9%
60-69: 10%
70-79: 7%
80 and older: 2%

Education
No degree: 19%
High school: 14%
Some college: 25%
Bachelor’s degree: 28%
Post-graduate: 14%


Race
White: 46% | Hispanic: 49% | Black: 4%


Click on the link to view the schools’ Texas Education Agency ratings:

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Bob Francis

Bob Francis is business editor for fortworthreport.org. He has been covering business news locally and nationally for many years. He can be reached at bob.francis@fortworthreport.org