Comment of the Day: The Downtown Turnaround

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE DOWNTOWN TURNAROUND “I’ve always thought it was a little strange that the entire country has adopted a geographic reference specific to Manhattan to refer to the place in a city where the tall buildings are. Elsewhere in the Anglophone world, the terms ‘city center’ or CBD (central business district) are used, which makes a lot more sense. In Houston we’ve gone a step further: we refer to a place 5 miles WEST of ‘downtown’ as ‘uptown,’ and the place immediately SOUTH (ok, southwest) of ‘downtown’ as ‘midtown.’” [Angostura, commenting on Comment of the Day: Downtown Is on the Edge] Illustration: Lulu

15 Comment

  • Unrelated, but I dig the work by the new graphics person on staff.

  • Lulu’s illustrations remind me of the ones from The Way Things Work.

  • Let’s not forget that 10 miles West ‘downtown’ is City Centre and that South Houston is East of Southeast Houston.

  • On the plus side, both “downtown” and “central business district” are great euphemisms for the human genitals and pelvic region.

  • New York City is the center of the universe, it’s the most powerful city in the most powerful nation in the world, it’s influence is immeasurable, so it’s not surprising that newer American cities would be influenced by NYC geography, case in point Houston and its NYC geographical references.

  • Has nothing to do with NYC or north/south. like any other major city on a river (OK bayou), uptown is upriver and downtown is downriver. Look at NOLA for a prime example.

    Don’t ask me to explain midtown though.

  • Of course Houseton is a follower in this big-city business. And thank you anon.

  • Stupid Hipsters and they’re whining and nagging observations about everything

  • @6

    Well maybe it’s about Buffalo Bayou then.

  • Give me a break, Houston didn’t name the Galleria Area Uptown because of Buffalo Bayou! Yes, New Orleans has an Uptown and Midtown and guess what–Uptown is actually Uptown and Midtown or (Mid City) is actually Mid City. Houston named the Galleria/Post Oak, Uptown, fairly recently, just like Midtown is a new invention and it’s all because developers like the cashe (ie NYC sophistication) and have forced the name on us, believe me they never thought of that filthy Bayou when naming them.

  • Further to what C says: My personal reaction to hearing the roll outs of Uptown!!! and Midtown!!! were pretty much the same as when I first heard about EaDo…

    (*PBS narrator voice*) “This new neighborhood name is brought to you by the letters W, T, and F.”

  • I have slight reservations on whether it was based on NYC “sophistication” I have to agree with CREOLE’s comment 10 …. it is all about marketing.

    As “Midtown” is now defined as being south of downtown along Main, I pity the poor owners who have long had the Midtown Tower along I-10 near TC Jester. I guess a name change is in order? Nawwwwww …..

  • Today I noticed that a road sign near I45 in Gulfgate directs you to the “Central Business District”. First time I’ve seen it called that here.

  • i don’t mind midtown’s name. it is in between the medical center and downtown. about half way along the rail between the two, the only rail we have. and in 100 years, the area between the dt and the med center will all be built up. Gotta have some vision guys.

  • Angostura must not be very familiar with the rest of the United States – plenty of cities refer to their CBD’s as ‘downtown’ and their shopping districts as ‘uptown.’ Did it originate from NYC? Maybe – but who cares? Billy Joel’s 1983 Uptown Girl didn’t just appeal to people on Manhattan Island.
    This is a lot of hullabaloo about nothing.