Comment of the Day: Bordertown

COMMENT OF THE DAY: BORDERTOWN “Don’t tell the people who live in NoMO or River Oaks Terrace that they don’t actually live in River Oaks. They get mad. I call it Montrose, except for when I lived there a few years back. Then I called it River Oaks — but I meant it ironically, of course.” [Mel, commenting on Comment of the Day: Report From That Neighborhood South of the River Oaks Shopping Center That Nobody Knows What To Call]

20 Comment

  • Ha! When I lived in what is now Empire Cafe’s back parking lot, HCAD had it listed as River Oaks. They’ve changed it now.

  • odd anyone would want to be associated with river oaks, stereotypes and all.

  • Before we bought in the Heights, we lived in a duplex over there– it really is a great walkable neighborhood– we walked everywhere! We walked to the movies, Posh Kroger, 3 Brothers, the bank, Walgreens and Blockbuster. We were close enough to Westheimer that we felt safe walking home late at night. It was great. And, it is zoned to awesome schools. As much as I love my current neighborhood, I do miss the convenience of “NoMo” and think about moving back, someday. The only downside was that each and every one of those streets is a main throughstreet. There are pockets in the Heights that are like that, but the entirety of “NoMo” is an expressway, 24/7.

  • Well the cutesy little street signs call the Northern part (maybe more as I did not drive around) “Vermont Commons”. I thought it was also known as Hyde Park but calling it River Oaks? Laughable.

  • This is my neighborhood. Depending on who I’m talking to, it’s either:

    1. near Westheimer and Shepherd (if I’m talking to an in-town regular Joe);
    2. near Shepherd and West Gray (if I’m talking to an in-town someone with money);
    3. Montrose area (if I’m talking to a suburbanite);
    4. Halfway between downtown and the Galleria (if I’m talking to someone with only a vague knowledge of Houston); or
    5. Close to Downtown (if I’m talking to someone who knows nothing of Houston).

    There are lots of ways to describe it, but I never, never, never use the words River Oaks or River Oaks Shopping Center. Never.

  • Bernard that’s so true about describing it differently to different people. I either live in 3rd Ward, near U of H, near the Museum District, or just outside downtown, depending on who I’m talking to…

  • @Bernard Precisely.

  • I always thought that calling that area (which is and always has been part of Montrose) River Oaks was just a real estate agent’s ploy to sell property to people who knew nothing about Houston (e.g., empty nesters from Kingwood).

  • Bingo, Bernard.

    Lived around there, too.

  • Neartown has been a great name for east of RO/not-quite-Montrose since the 1970s. It fits especially well for 098ers.

  • I thought the name Neartown was coined by people who were embarrassed to admit they lived in Montrose, when it was apparently “uncool” back then. :-)

    (By the way, I live in that very area you’ve been talking about, and I just call it Montrose since it *is* part of Montrose.)

  • I lived in that area from ’68 to ’72 and to my knowledge, it was never called “neartown”.
    There was no neartown, midtown, uptown. It was only downtown.

    It was just called what it was. Near Westheimer and Shepherd, or Off Richmond, etc.

    Also, it was just “Montrose”, not ‘the Montrose’. Where’d that come from??

  • Neartown is the proper name for the grouping of Montrose area neighborhoods.

  • Neartown was the name coined by the developers who wanted to completely change Montrose from bungalows to Condos, from being known as a gay community to one where straight families might live.

    Not a good name, it was steeped in controversy when it was coined.

  • To be fair, I think some people call it “River Oaks” because Houstonians have absolutely no sense of place but most everyone knows where River Oaks is in general. Additionally, River Oaks and Vermont Commons share a zip code (77019) and a border road (Shepherd).

    What do you expect from a city where the newscasters can’t even be bothered to be more descriptive than Southwest Houston, Galleria area, Clear Lake, or Up Near the Big Airport when talking about major stories?

  • “Neartown” was in use prior to the toadstool townhouse invasion. The Montrose Addition is sometime shortened to “The Montrose.”

  • PYEWACKET2, I hear ya. I still have to halt a quizzical expression when I hear “the Montrose” – makes me think of “the Bowery”, thanks to a musician friend of mine who once sang at a Paddy’s Day gig:

    “The Montrose! the Montrose!
    They say such things and they do strange things
    On the Montrose! The Montrose!
    I’ll never go there any more!”

  • NoMO is homphobic. Why not east river oaks Earios?

  • #17 Houstorian,

    You are obviously talking about a different era than that about which Hellsing and I are talking.

    Late sixties/early seventies was not a snooty time. More earthy.