Older Names for Houston’s Naughty Bits

OLDER NAMES FOR HOUSTON’S NAUGHTY BITS The East Downtown Management District rolled out its new EaDo identity package last month, but John Nova Lomax prefers the older and rougher neighborhood names: “The 400 block of deep Milam was a sink of vice and sin called Catfish Reef. Lower Washington Avenue was a swanky district called Vinegar Hill. A good chunk of Fourth Ward, or FoWa for short, was given over to Houston’s Red Light District (ReLiDi) and was known as The Reservation, while the toughest corner in Fifth Ward (FiWa) was known as Pearl Harbor. Mid Lane near the non-yet-built Galleria was a Mad Men-like seen of whiskey-fuelled poolside soirees that earned it the name Sin Alley. Even the Richmond Strip seems evocative compared to these moronic, truncated, New York-wannabe handles.” [Hair Balls; previously in Swamplot]

10 Comment

  • I like the old names too!

    A lot more character to them. There’s nothing wrong with admitting a strange past to a neighborhood.

    Has the Meat Packing District in NYC changed it’s name?

    New Orleans still has and Irish section of town. Not all the people there are Irish anymore, but the name has a lot of history and meaning.

    I’m all for promoting a neighborhood for redevelopment and growth, but understanding the past creates a much better story to sell it for the future.

  • kjb, I agree with you . The old names do have character. In Little League we learned you cannot manufacture a nickname and it applies to neighborhoods, too. I kind of like Vinegar Hill instead of Old Sixth Ward where I live.

  • Every time the tv stations refer to the George R. Brown Convention Center as “The GRB”, I just cringe.

  • ^Brad how true: an apt nickname isn’t one you give yourself! nor one created for branding. It grows organically through interactions & history. If our society had a stronger oral/social fabric there would be no need, and no opportunity, to rename places.

  • I never knew I use to live in Sin Alley. :)

  • My Grandmother used to call the Old Sixth Ward “The Sabine”, I later heard Bart Truxillo refer to it the same way.

  • I think it is STILL called Sin Alley!!

  • GREAT stuff at Brad’s link…

  • John Nova Lomax must have been reading threads on HAIF recently. We’ve been discussing the Chinatown/EaDo thing.