“Lower Westheimer” – 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.
“Neartown” – This also does not exist, it’s just Montrose. This appears to have been an 80′s or 90′s era attempt to rebrand Montrose as something other than Montrose, and only appears on official documents. Even the Realtors don’t use it, and Realtors tend to be on the forefront of linguistic murderation (see: “Craftsman”). It should be scrubbed completely from the record.
“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.
“EaDo” – Seriously? No. No, no, no, no, no. The proliferation of faux New York City style names needs to stop, and it might as well stop here. You can say “Eastside,” or you can say “Third Ward.” There’s no other cutesy names to mine from (like “Cottage Grove”) because historically speaking, no one lived there.
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.
“OST / South Union” – This is another one of those names, like “Neartown,” that appears to have been an attempt at top-down rebranding when the Super Neighborhoods were drawn up. But everything west of Cullen and south of Griggs is pretty clearly “Yellowstone” (or “The Yellowstone”), and with all the development focused on Palm Center this will probably end up being the default name for the Griggs/MLK intersection, which was originally part of the South Park plats. There is no other unclaimed land to apply this moniker to, so let’s throw it out along with the rest of ‘em.
“Houstonia” – No one had ever appended the suffix -ia to this city before some Pacific Northwest wedding magazine people tried to hawk their new rag as some sort of localized version of the Texas Monthly. This term is so fake that long-time domain squatters at Houstonia.com title their page “The Leading Houston IA Site on the Net.”
This might have been okay if the magazine turned out to be worth anything, but so far it hasn’t. Recent articles mix mindless fashion pieces (“summer season just became maxi season”) with baldfaced attempts at pandering (real Houstonians say San Fi-lippy”). And if the word “Houstonia” sounds a little twee to your ears, you’re not far off the mark. The overarching aesthetic of the magazine is to twee up everything, from a “humorous” map of Houston neighborhoods which named the area out towards Lake Houston “Atisket-Atasketa,” to a recent “top 25 neighborhoods” listicle which described one ‘hood as “Where the treetops glisten and home sales have risen.” Yes, someone actually wrote that. Let that sink in for just a moment.