Comment of the Day: Moving on from Montrose

COMMENT OF THE DAY: MOVING ON FROM MONTROSE “You wouldn’t have expected that pioneers on the plains would’ve built teepees, would you? In the same vein, developers aren’t building $700k townhomes for the indigenous bohemians of Montrose (whom cannot afford them and often do not want them or see them as an affront to their being); the townhomes are built for the West U set. You must come to terms with the geographic displacement of your people and the natural resources that once provided for your subsistence. Resistance is futile, and would only be an impetus for conflicted political outcomes, and co-opted movements that veer into misanthropic endeavors. Prepare yourselves, and move to Houston’s eastern hinterlands. To remain on your sacred ground, your only alternative is to go back to school and get your MBA, so that you can adapt to the West U man’s strange ways and speak their tongue. But I think that you should go, and be with your people.” [TheNiche, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Origins of the FrankenTuscan Style]

25 Comment

  • I’ve enjoyed this thread quite a bit. Articulate opinions on both sides.

    The FrankenTuscan style is a bit like a normalizing virus looking for a healthy, vibrant, diverse host. When countercultures build up and make cool certain neighborhoods, they are seen by developers as suddenly desirable, so the developers move in, hoping to capitalize on this cool authenticity. But rather than succumbing to the local conditions of Montrose, for instance (tattoo parlors and halfway houses and comic book stores and so on) they put a veneer of normalcy over it. Make it safe enough that yuppies with slight aspirations toward hipsterism can understand and participate. These developers market a lifestyle just cool enough that the West U set will move in, but not so cool that it veers into rebellious anti-establishment cool. As a result, what’s great and exciting about these progressive neighborhoods becomes slowly watered down, normalized, made monocultural again. This virus seeks sameness–it seeks to flatten any bumps, to smooth out any rough edges. It is insidious and impossible to resist. Montrose will FrankenTuscanified, whether we like it or not. As every cool neighborhood in the history of the world has been.

    As TheNiche said, resistance is futile.

  • I can’t ever see myself living in another area of Houston. When I get sick of Montrose I’ll get out of this city. Maybe go back to San Diego.

  • Consider moving east to the third ward, or south of TSU to Riverside. The homes are large and well built. The neighborhood is funky and affordable. You can bicycle to the museum district or downtown.

  • The people moving into Montrose townhomes are hardly the “West-U” set. Cite sources.
    Using pricing to generalize belief-systems is frankly ignorant, as any SF or NY resident could attest…or, likewise, so could someone like me who has lived in both places, not so incidentally!

    Hardly a surprise, however, that TheNiche finds another opportunity to condescend…

  • You will find as many West U residents moving to Houston’s predominently gay neighborhood with plenty of street crime as you will find affordable apartments on the Eastside. Lofts at the Ballpark will hit you up for $1,200 a month for a one bedroom. Midtown lofts are the same price, but with way more train noise. I actually looked for an apartment on the eastside when I moved inside the loop from the galleria and couldn’t afford it. It was cheaper to live on Allen Parkway across the street from the bayou and in a much nicer area.

  • But what about the “historic districts” in Montrose? Isn’t there something about “architectural integrity” that is supposed to be maintained? Maybe all those Craftsman bungalows were really Tuscan bungalows. We just didn’t know they were.

    As for preservation of the districts, well, it depends on market conditions. And thems that makes the campaign contributions gets the demolition permits. And the construction permits for their 4 story Tuscan bungalows.

    Don’t blame me. I didn’t vote for her.

  • matt: or those that give campaign contributions get their property excluded from the historic district. Claude Wynn (from the management district fame) had his montrose property carved right out of the historic zone. must be nice.

  • There are practically no townhomes in West U! It is ZONED for single family dwellings except for a few lots on the perimeters.

  • I wonder if the “original” and “counter-culture” hipsters even think about the people that they themselves displaced. Just look at the talk (and action) of settling the East Side and 3rd Ward. Once the hipsters take over suddenly it will be their neighborhood and those rich yuppies will be trying to push them out again. Kind of like what they themselves are doing now… but that would not be cool to admit would it? Change is just change.

  • @ Udunno, Old School, and Harlon Pepper: I am not suggesting that Montrose will ever end up looking like West U. Nor am I suggesting that pricing is a proxy for belief systems. I am using the phrase, “the West U set,” as a rhetorical umbrella encompassing a wide variety of boring people, for instance, a demographic mix similar to The Woodlands or Memorial…or West U. The newcomers may or may not have taste, and that doesn’t matter. It is not relevant to my conclusion that they are boring. If you disagree, then it is my opinion that you are probably exceptionally boring. And if you find that condescending, then fuck you; I don’t care.

    @ Old School: When I refer to the East End, I’m mostly just referring to the 99% of households not within walking distance of downtown proper. (Leave it to someone from “the West U set” to price out the most expensive housing there is and draw conclusions about everything bounded by that set of freeways. Am I right, people?)

  • I might add, I just moved to Montrose. All of my neighbors (100%) are middle-aged conservatives; they barbeque in the parking lot multiple times per week to reconcile what Rush Limbaugh has said recently with their tax woes and the folly of the Federal Reserve system, and also to bitch, moan, and/or brag on their conquests of women. I love it here. These are the ones moving in and paying the bottom bracket of the rents that Cody cited. And yes, I view them as having displaced “hip” people and the “predominantly” gay population cited by Old School. There were far more gays in Eastwood when I lived there. But Old School probably wouldn’t know anything about that, being one of “the West U set.”

  • I really like reading the posts made by TheNiche because he gets to the crux of the matter and doesn’t care if folks like it or not! And I usually chuckle a lot too.

  • From SteveB:
    matt: or those that give campaign contributions get their property excluded from the historic district. Claude Wynn (from the management district fame) had his montrose property carved right out of the historic zone. must be nice.

    Now how did he manage to do that? And more importantly how did our “media” overlook it when reporting on the proposed districts? Like I said, don’t blame me. I didn’t vote for her.

  • I am always very glad when someone brings that up — have you ever noticed that the ONLY people in favor of Management Districts have been those lined up to be appointed to the Boards?? — ie those those with their lips at the trough
    And yet somehow Management Districts keep popping up……

  • I am a West U setter and I find the Niche’s condescension rather boring and predictable.

  • The Montrose Management District: a bunch of self appointed heavily conflicted hypocrites!!! All insiders tied to/supportive of Annise,the Prius Patrol mayor. Can’t wait for Annise to be out of office. She’s been in politics way too long. Another politician fedding at the trough.

  • I just want to note that the above post from Patrick was not really me, or someone I know. He was just using my “Prius Patrol” term :-)

  • I find TheNiche’s temper tantrums fun.

    But, yes, his condecension is boring.

    100% of his Montrose neighbors are conservative, though. Must be a hell of a sample size…Haha. Details.

    “…then fuck you, I don’t care.” (quote)
    -another debate win for Niche!

    (Did he then break something?)

  • overheard in vermont commons just a few weeks ago:

    prospective tenance: “so do any montrose-type folks live around here?”

    realtor: “….”

    *person overhearing conversation comes into line of sight while walking down street*

    prospective tenant: “oh, nevermind”

    whether that’s because she was walking down a street, has a tattoo or just happens to be non-white i don’t know, but it all means the same regardless. this is the future of the montrose, congrats to you houston.

  • @18 Udunno,

    I don’t get the feeling that he’s destructive. He may have stomped his feet though!!

    Go Niche!

  • @ Udunno, et al.

    I find my temper tantrums to be fun, too. Its like writing a comedy bit. I know that certain irredeemable assholes will scoff at me, but pissing them off is good fun. And besides, they were never the audience; I am my own audience. Swamplot is the interactive online porno site that enables my mental masturbation. It feels so good, you have no idea.

  • What, exactly, are “Montrose type folks”?

  • From markd:
    What, exactly, are “Montrose type folks”?

    Bohemian malcontents and misfits who are lots of fun. And they loathe the the West U types. Who should just move to West U.

  • There aren’t enough housing units in West U to house the West U set and West U isn’t allowing any additional (non-replacement) ones to get built, because that’s what West U is all about. Ashby highrises might serve as a buffer, but…well, Southampton and Boulevard Oaks, already overtaken by the West U set, don’t like that idea. And so it’s onward, to Montrose!

  • Odd, becuase I love Montrose,don’t want to change it, have my house here, and am heavily invested in the area. Yet I’m a “crazy right wing tea party conservative”.
    What’s great about Montrose is the mix of people. While that mix tends to be heavy on the more radical left, there are still a lot of others that not only enjoy what the area has to offer, but I think we had our own spice to the mix as well