The Menil Collection: A Fourth Ward cultural jewel.

Yes, EaDo is lame.

I’ll give the mysterious blogger behind “Keep Houston Houston” that one. In fact, I beat him to the punch by four full years. Back in January of 2009, very shortly after the name’s introduction, I went on the record thusly:  

Those of you who have been witness to the genius on display in the re-branding of Houston neighborhoods in recent years -- NoDo and Midtown come to mind -- will doubtless be unsurprised by the districts' new name: EaDo.

Get it? It's East of Downtown? It's one of them right fancy names, just like one of them-there NoLitas, SoHos and TriBeCas they got in Noo York.

In my article, I noted that the neighborhood did need a name of some sort, because it wasn’t really Third Ward. It doesn’t feel like Third Ward today and it didn’t before it got condofied. Calling it Chinatown or even Old Chinatown today might cause tourists to miss out on our real-live, thriving Chinatown ten or 12 miles down the Southwest Freeway, so that’s no good either.

KHH thinks it should simply be known as Third Ward.

Now, some might argue that this isn’t actually Third Ward. These people are wrong. If you want to see what is and isn’t the Third Ward, walk into Ninfa’s on Navigation and scope the map they’ve got hanging up front by the waitstand. Now find the area to the immediate east of Downtown. See what ward it’s in? Yep. You in the Tre, homie. You too, Eastwood.

First, he's wrong about that. Some of what is now EaDo was in Second Ward.

And if you scope that same map, downtown is clearly within First Ward, and Montrose is clearly in the Fourth. Yep, Montrosians, you in the fo’th, homies.  You too, Hyde Park. Let’s ditch our most iconic neighborhood name in favor of reverting to an archaic political designation, and use offensive language while we’re at it!

KHH dude also has a bone to pick with “Washington Heights.”

Again, this does not actually exist. There are legitimate grounds for nitpicking over what to call the small finger of the original Heights plat that extends south of IH-10, but this is a miniscule area – and in any event, if it’s part of The Heights, then it is simply The Heights. If you live off Washington, you live off Washington. If you live in an area covered by another historical name, like “Rice Military” or “Cottage Grove,” that works too – although I’ve always tended to look askance at people who use sub-neighborhood names. It’s as if they’re too elitist for general neighborhood or street names. “Oh you live in Avondale? Tell me more.” However, Washington Heights is right out.

Nice Monty Python reference, but what the the Sam Hell is wrong with Washington Heights?  And what’s wrong with Cottage Grove and Rice Military? Both are time-honored names describing areas that have slightly different feels. Until quite recently, saying you lived in Cottage Grove unequivocally branded you as a barrio dweller, so there was no elitist cachet to it whatsoever. (Today, vestiges of barrio remain, like the La India Taqueria and the pack of pitbulls that attacked me on my bike a few weeks ago, but Cottage Grove is getting condofied at a gasp-inducing pace.)

Neither Rice Military nor Cottage Grove was in the Houston Heights. Both lay outside the historic wards.  So what “general neighborhood name” should these effete snobs adhere to if not Washington Heights? Should they go around telling people “I live kinda near Memorial Park but south of the Heights”? Should people in First Ward and Sixth Ward say they live "off Washington," the same as people out near the roundabout? KHH dude apparently thinks so.

He also lays into Neartown, which is pretty unnecessary. Nobody uses it except Neartown Little League, to whom it’s pretty useful, as in their case, the league’s boundaries extend beyond Montrose (which by his logic, should be rebranded Fourth Ward), in to River Oaks, and all of Upper Kirby.

Which is a name I’m sure KHH thinks should be junked, as he writes that “Lower Westheimer” should be swept in to the dustbin of history:

This does not actually exist, it’s just Montrose. Or “The Montrose” if you wish to rebel against popular linguistic conventions without going full retard.

Sigh. Lower Westheimer has a feel that differs slightly from its surrounding area. It's been in use for decades.

And again, with the offensive language ... "Retard," really?

And as we've already shown, by his logic, neither Montrose nor “the Montrose” exists. They are both Fourth Ward. Why KHH dude refuses to “look askance” at these elitist, sub-neighborhood-name-using snobs is beyond me.

And let's make one last grasp at getting his drift.

Apparently every neighborhood that was once in a ward should use its ward name, except for those who live "off Washington." By extension, we suppose, people who live in areas built outside of the historical wards should shun their sub-neighborhood names like Oak Forest and Sharpstown and use things like "off Ella" and "off Bellaire" instead.  "Lower Westheimer" is identical to Courtlandt Place as both are in Montrose Fourth Ward. 

And trust me, “Houstonia” grows on you. 

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