This blog is part of a special series featuring winners of Downtown Dallas Inc’s Live Like a Local contest, which asked for locals to submit mobile friendly, self-guiding experiences on the Guidrr app that showcase their #mydtd journeys. Sarah Webb is featured today, along with a link to download her free, winning fitness/health experience: The Ultimate Guide to Deep Ellum
Successful blogger, sports fan and pizza lover Sarah Webb didn’t always live in Dallas but she’s really made the city her own with her recently launched Instagram called @dallaslovelist.
This Virginia native relocated to Texas for work about four years ago, from Knoxville, Tennessee, where she spent many years. She attended The University of Tennessee as an undergrad and then began working in marketing for a local company there.
“I decided I needed a bigger city, and narrowed it to Chicago and Dallas. Dallas won,” says Sarah. “But boy was it hard to meet people. It took me a full two years to make friends, I tried everything – meetups, events, bars, alumni clubs.” For her, the turning point was her move to a downtown neighborhood she sees as a small town inside the big city – Deep Ellum. While she no longer lives in the area (she since has moved to Oak Cliff), she credits the Deep Ellum community with finally making her feel at home in Dallas.
“Deep Ellum changed my life,” says Sarah. “I could walk everywhere. I had no problem going by myself to a bar for a cocktail. Ater that I had a lot more success with making friends.” What made it unique for her is the contrarian culture of the neighborhood. “The difference between Deep Ellum and the rest of Dallas is that it’s so casual and accepting – doesn’t matter what clothes, purse, shoes you have, and whether your hair is done or if you have no makeup. They welcome you with open arms, to listen to music, or have a beer. All walks of life come together and have one big party in Deep Ellum.”
This is why Sarah chose to make the neighborhood the subject of her entry into the Downtown Dallas Inc. Live Like a Local contest. “I loved that I could show off Deep Ellum. And, I feature the places I really enjoy in my guide to the neighborhood,” she says.
“All walks of life come together and have one big party in Deep Ellum.” ~ Sarah Webb
Her new Instagram account spins off a long term career as a successful spots blogger, around a site for which she already has a national audience. “I wanted to do something different in Dallas, something more local and relevant to people like me seeking authentic experiences,” she says. For me, the @dallaslovelist account is all about combining cool things I love like food and street art, or fashion and parks. I’m a lifestyle blogger at heart.” While she only launched the new account this June, she’s already seeing a spike in followers.
We asked Sarah how she finds her way around town, often solo. She admits: “Especially when I first moved here, I brought my two dogs (Veenie, a Jack Russell and General, a beagle) and my camera with me everywhere. This made me feel I had a purpose. My camera and my dogs were a crutch and my wingmen, I could start a conversation or just feel comfortable being somewhere on my own.”
Her advice to locals who want to have a better experience in Dallas: “Don’t be afraid to do something by yourself. Start a conversation. Just do it.” For those who prefer to explore with a boyfriend or girlfriend? “I tell everybody that my boyfriend is pizza,” she jokes. “I’ve never met a pizza I didn’t like.” (ps: One of her favorite pizza joints makes it into her Deep Ellum guide, available for download for free on the free Guidrr app.).
On her explorer’s histlist? Spending more time at the State Fair, and in Lower Greenville, while getting to know her new neighborhood Oak Cliff better. “Coming from two smaller cities, it amazes me there is something to do any night of the week in Dallas,” she says. “Sundays for Cowboys, Tuesdays for Jazz, Thursdays for happy hours and events. There’s something every night. I had never been in a big city with this many experiences before. There’s always somewhere to explore in Dallas you have never been.”
Thanks for being a #mydtd ambassador, Sarah, and we look forward to more of your local experiences launching inside the Guidrr app.Download Sarah’s Deep Ellum guide here (inside the Guidrr iPhone app) to explore Sarah’s #mydtd