|Like at ThinkGeek, for instance.|
Anyway, another development he predicted decades ago was that Plano, Texas was going to turn into just another decaying suburb within 20 years. Which seemed pretty inconceivable at the time. Back in the 1980s, when I lived there with my family, Plano was among the brightest, shiniest, most embarrassingly prosperous places in the country. Even if you've never been to Plano, you can get a pretty good approximation of it by watching any John Hughes Brat Pack movie. Plano was just like the idealized suburban Chicago of Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club, only with ugly brick ranch houses instead of charming Colonials. Seriously, you couldn't walk through the halls of my high school without bumping into some douchebag who looked like James Spader.
|Who usually was busy ignoring someone who looked like Jon Cryer.|
But Plano has in fact become an aging suburb with aging-suburb problems. Even though it still has a considerable population of the wealthy and beautiful, along with all the amenities wealthy and beautiful people crave, the number of minorities and economically disadvantaged residents has grown considerably. Many of the neighborhoods that were considered top-tier when I was a kid are now decades old and have been abandoned by their original occupants in favor of newer, flashier, more exclusive subdivisions. Meanwhile, the neighborhoods that weren't top-tier are even older and less desirable. Plano has experienced a huge amount of physical sprawl, and there is an ongoing struggle to balance resources between upgrading the older parts of the infrastructure and maintaining the standards demanded by those in the newer, wealthier areas. Typical big-city problems, but pretty jarring in a suburb that was named the richest city in America in 2008.
I'm not going to knock Plano or my experience living there. I'll let Plano native Lance Armstrong's biography do that. Personally I've chosen not to live there, but I know many fine people who do. There's a lot to like about Plano, and a lot to dislike, depending on your perspective.
|Actor and Tony Romo brother-in-law Chace Crawford |
thinks it's a great place to smoke weed, for example.
The Haggard name looms large in Plano history. The family settled there before the Civil War and owned vast tracts of land that now comprise large parts of modern Plano. You'll find the name on schools, parks, streets; the word "haggard" even describes how actor and Tony Romo brother-in-law Chace Crawford looked in his mug shot after he was busted for smoking weed there (see above).
And smack-dab in the middle of crowded, sprawling, hyper-developed Plano, at the intersection of two busy streets, are 120 acres of peaceful farmland populated by hay fields, cows, and llamas. Haggard Farm is the single biggest undeveloped piece of land left in Plano. I would dare say that every single person in town knows it well. A large proportion of them probably moo at the cows when they drive by. Or maybe that's just me.
The thing is, Haggard Farm is universally beloved. Whether you appreciate its history, enjoy having a little oasis of grass and livestock in the center of suburbia, or marvel at what must be its astronomical monetary value in a city where a one-acre lot can list for $825,000, it's a very cool place.
And it's about to be turned into a subdivision.
The Haggard family has decided to finally give up its wonderful, historical, charmingly anachronistic suburban farm to developers. Plans are already on the table to turn the land into 400+ homesites, plus areas of retail. Thank goodness. If there's anything Plano needs more of, it's places to shop and poorly built zero-lot-line McMansions.
|Remember, your turret-to-chimney ratio must be |
approved by the homeowners association.
|My guess is they're pooping machines.|
(These are not the Haggard llamas. There is no full-scale replica of Machu Picchu
on Haggard Farm. Although I'll bet one of the new McMansions will have one.)
If the nearby Chili's starts serving llama fajitas, I'm going to be pissed.