Designating Houston’s Little Saigon District; Armadillo Palace’s Expansion Is Here


Photo of Satellite Bar: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


5 Comment

  • Re: Little Saigon District. There’s all sorts of amusing irony here. 1) One had better be careful what they wish for. In the unlikely event that the name change directly enables the area to transition to “stylish destination”, then they’d probably have to change the name again (e.g. Chinatown -> EaDo). 2) Some local Vietnamese-Americans seem to think that naming a place after a city in their ancestral homeland is kowtowing to communists; so what, are they offended by their own names and are they offended to be Vietnamese-Americans? Or is the government which controls ‘occupied’ Saigon misappropriating its own proper name from the true Vietnamese, the patriots? I don’t really understand how this works, but it sure is funny. 3) It occurs to me that perhaps this is some sort of an extension of the territorial row which is ongoing between Vietnam and China. Certainly there will be some sizable number of Chinese nationals that would end up living in the territory annexed as the ‘Little Saigon District’, and I can imagine them being unhappy about it while certain others would perhaps be delighted by the circumstances. I don’t mean to take sides on any of this. I’ve got no dog in the fight. It’s just funny is all.

    (Also…why did the Chronicle pull demographics on “Bellaire, TX” in an article where the very subject was whether the local geography was confusing or not?)

  • What’s the parking/traffic plan for the Armadillo Palace expansion? I was in that block of Kirby last week and it was down to one lane on each side due to construction.

  • To this day I don’t understand the “Chinatown” moniker of the east side of downtown. There are a couple of Vietnamese places over there, but nothing that is purely Chinese….at least nothing that is obviously visible from the street, without looking too closely. Little Saigon makes some sense for that area of SW Houston, but what about the other Asian communities that also live and work down there? I know of quite a few Koreans, for example, who would be lumped in by this effort. Seems unfair to them.

  • @ SuperDave, the area immediately East of 59 was the first “Chinatown” in Houston, and had both restaurants and Chinese merchant businesses located there from the 1940’s onwards. Sometime in the late ’80’s or early ’90’s the center of gravity for Chinese owned businesses moved out to the SW side where we know it today.
    Midtown had the original Vietnamese establishments brought about by war refugees in the 1970’s, since then it was cheap real estate no one else wanted. Think Mai’s and Les Givrals.

  • @TheNiche — Where are these people that believe that naming a local district after Saigon is kowtowing to communists? Since Saigon was the pre-war name of the city, it’s pretty much the direct opposite.