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Neighborhood Launches Plan To Showcase Its Culture


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Great news for the neighborhood, which I hope retains it's edge in the future. 

I drove down Westheimer to Sweetgreen from Highland Village. Even though Montrose "aint what it use to be", it's still certainly Montrose. It's eclectic, buzzy, weird, artsy-fartsy, and very much still LGBT. It's just a different experience now. I'm sure the same will remain for the East End. 

Very curious of what a culturally insensitive development would be? I searched on google but didn't find anything. 

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49 minutes ago, Montrose1100 said:

Very curious of what a culturally insensitive development would be? I searched on google but didn't find anything. 

Good question. I would assume something that doesn’t embrace or otherwise may alienate the predominant Hispanic culture of the neighborhood. But, I don’t see how this wouldn’t be intertwined with an anti-gentrification mindset (i.e., anything that threatens to displace long term residents or detrimentally impacts businesses could be deemed “culturally insensitive”).

I may catch some flack for this, but the idea that Hispanic culture should be regarded as something of a universal culture in the East End is a bit off base. Yes, the population has been predominately Latino for a very long time. Yes, there are many important Hispanic cultural institutions which have been present in the East End for a long time. But of course the area has history and culture before that, when it started as a predominately German and Irish community. Just as an example, the names of some of the oldest family-owned businesses in the area (Kopriva Body Works, Olshan Lumber, Crespo Funeral Home, Pruitt Co., etc.) reflect the diverse cultures and influences that have shaped the area.

There are ways to protect Hispanic culture from gentrification and displacement while also acknowledging the impact other cultures have historically had on the area as well. I’m not sure this initiative shares that mission.

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5 minutes ago, thedistrict84 said:

I may catch some flack for this, but the idea that Hispanic culture should be regarded as something of a universal culture in the East End is a bit off base. 

Why would you, you're right.

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2 hours ago, thedistrict84 said:

I may catch some flack for this, but the idea that Hispanic culture should be regarded as something of a universal culture in the East End is a bit off base. Yes, the population has been predominately Latino for a very long time. Yes, there are many important Hispanic cultural institutions which have been present in the East End for a long time. But of course the area has history and culture before that, when it started as a predominately German and Irish community. 

thanks for speaking up.

I'm all aboard for seeing some preservation for the current culture.

having lived here for the past 13 years the atmosphere and culture of the east end has been amazing, and I hope it remains so (cause I want to be happy here for many more years!).

if we want to preserve the complete identity, the program needs to be expanded to provide some kind of nod to the German, Italian, Irish, and Eastern European Jewish also.

Martini hardware is another multigenerational business in the area, and if you can find any historic photos of the Tlaquepaque Market, it was originally styled as an alpine village. 

all that said, the east end has always had a large Hispanic population, it's not just something that started in the last 40 years.

I am certain that the intention of the EEMD is not to exclude any particular part of the history from being recognized because it doesn't fit a specific narrative, I feel like the point is that they want to ensure that places like La Reynera Panaderia, aren't completely mowed down by places like White Rhino.

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4 minutes ago, crock said:

does the first ward not exist? or the 6th ward? how the hell is second ward "houston's oldest neighborhood"? 

I believe the first four wards were created at the same time, with the Fifth and Sixth subsequently carved out of those as the population grew. So technically, it is simultaneously as old as the other three original wards. 

But, I suspect the reference as "oldest neighborhood" may refer to the city of Harrisburg, which was located in what is now the East End prior to being annexed by Houston. 

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I think @thedistrict84 hit it on the nose. they are looking at 'when did people start living here as a settled area' not considering the incorporation of Houston (or annexation into said same).

edit: maybe Houston's oldest neighborhood needs to be changed to read "oldest neighborhood in Houston"?

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2 hours ago, crock said:

Harrisburg was waaay further down the bayou than the east end. 

The Wikipedia entry for Harrisburg notes that it was "west of Brady Island" which would be near the present confluence of Harrisburg Blvd., Navigation Blvd., and Broadway St. That would still be in the area considered the "Greater East End."

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4 hours ago, thedistrict84 said:

The Wikipedia entry for Harrisburg notes that it was "west of Brady Island" which would be near the present confluence of Harrisburg Blvd., Navigation Blvd., and Broadway St. That would still be in the area considered the "Greater East End."

through a bit of sleuthing, there is a historical marker at Lawndale and Broadway for Harrisburg.

https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7160427,-95.2782058,3a,15y,80.36h,91.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1su7sjTzbnUyd7dYFYLhdsjQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

gotta wonder if they were building 225 now if they would have spent a few years doing some archeology first.

this is very much a part of Houston's East End.

Edited by samagon
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I agree with most of yall, but i will counter just because. That other cultures (including a majority of their population) that were there before left the neighborhood a long time ago. Who replaced them? Who has provided for much of Houston's growth in population and culture since the 70/80s in this particular hood? Who is now trying to gentrify the neighborhood? I'm sure the East End District can come up with some good ideas. Good topic.

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20 hours ago, thedistrict84 said:

I may catch some flack for this, but the idea that Hispanic culture should be regarded as something of a universal culture in the East End is a bit off base. Yes, the population has been predominately Latino for a very long time. Yes, there are many important Hispanic cultural institutions which have been present in the East End for a long time. But of course the area has history and culture before that, when it started as a predominately German and Irish community.

Let me start by saying I agree with you overall as one of those Hispanics living in the area.

HOWEVER... the argument is usually presented in a disingenuous way. One counter example is Texas overall. Most White Texans are oblivious to Texas (Tejas, or Tejas and Coahuila) history prior to 1836. They often don't recognize that over the last 500 years, Texas was part of Spain or Mexico for over half of that period. Do I need to get started on the history of Native Americans in the state going back millennia. BTW, drinking margaritas on Cinco de Mayo doesn't count as recognizing Hispanic history or culture just as it doesn't count when I drink Guinness on St Patrick's day.

My point is that there is usually a double standard when something is too Hispanic, too Black, too Asian, etc. It is just as irritating when I see people whine and loudly complain about affirmative action (mostly benefiting minorities and White women), but all of the sudden they get really quiet about legacy admissions (mostly benefiting White men).

I know you are probably well intended and I don't get a negative vibes from any of your comments. Again, I agree with your view. I just think that should be the case across the board not just regarding the East End.

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2 hours ago, EastEndHeritage said:

Most White Texans are oblivious to Texas (Tejas, or Tejas and Coahuila) history prior to 1836. They often don't recognize that over the last 500 years, Texas was part of Spain or Mexico for over half of that period.

I have often made the argument that everyone in Texas should be bilingual for exactly that reason - Texas was part of Spain and Mexico for longer than it has been part of the United States. And I say that as someone who can get by in Spanish but falls far short of fluency.

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7 hours ago, EastEndHeritage said:

Let me start by saying I agree with you overall as one of those Hispanics living in the area.

HOWEVER... the argument is usually presented in a disingenuous way. One counter example is Texas overall. Most White Texans are oblivious to Texas (Tejas, or Tejas and Coahuila) history prior to 1836. They often don't recognize that over the last 500 years, Texas was part of Spain or Mexico for over half of that period. Do I need to get started on the history of Native Americans in the state going back millennia. BTW, drinking margaritas on Cinco de Mayo doesn't count as recognizing Hispanic history or culture just as it doesn't count when I drink Guinness on St Patrick's day.

My point is that there is usually a double standard when something is too Hispanic, too Black, too Asian, etc. It is just as irritating when I see people whine and loudly complain about affirmative action (mostly benefiting minorities and White women), but all of the sudden they get really quiet about legacy admissions (mostly benefiting White men).

I know you are probably well intended and I don't get a negative vibes from any of your comments. Again, I agree with your view. I just think that should be the case across the board not just regarding the East End.

Thank you for your response. I realize the inherent tendency to come across as disingenuous when a White man such as I comments on a topic such as this. I don’t disagree with your main point, and I think it helps reinforce my point a bit. I think we can agree that emphasizing or prioritizing one culture and even indirectly being dismissive of other cultures is not the best approach. You can believe that and still see the need to protect the Hispanic cultural institutions which are important to the East End.

As a native Texan, I fully realize that the state has had a heavy Spanish influence for centuries due to its status as a colony under Spain and subsequently a state/territory under Mexican rule. But even acknowledging that and backdating that influence to colonial times, emphasizing Spanish culture is dismissive of the unique Native American cultures which existed before the Spanish arrived. That’s why the best approach is acknowledging the influence each of these cultures have had on the area. Yes, Hispanic culture has undoubtedly had the largest impact, but the others should be considered as well.

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this isn't directly related to the East End of Houston, but in San Antonio, there is the Institute of Texan Culture. 

if you are interested in learning about all of the various cultures that have had a hand in shaping who we all are as Texans, it is an amazing museum.

there is also the Texas Folklife Festival, it isn't as spectacular as it once was, but it is still a great opportunity to sample food, dance and how various cultures uniquely influenced Texas all in 3 days, and it is run by the Institute of Texan Culture. I used to represent the Netherlands, wooden shoes and all.

https://texancultures.utsa.edu/featured-event/texas-folklife-festival/

it was canceled last year for Covid, the website says they want to come back, and I hope they do, and I hope they can find a way to make it as spectacular as it ever was, even as small as it has gotten in the past few years, it is still an amazing cultural experience.

I hope they can get the festival back up and running after all this stuff is over, and I hope everyone gets the opportunity to go, if not to the festival, then at least to the Institute of Texan Cultures.

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6 hours ago, thedistrict84 said:

Thank you for your response. I realize the inherent tendency to come across as disingenuous when a White man such as I comments on a topic such as this. I don’t disagree with your main point, and I think it helps reinforce my point a bit. I think we can agree that emphasizing or prioritizing one culture and even indirectly being dismissive of other cultures is not the best approach. You can believe that and still see the need to protect the Hispanic cultural institutions which are important to the East End.

As a native Texan, I fully realize that the state has had a heavy Spanish influence for centuries due to its status as a colony under Spain and subsequently a state/territory under Mexican rule. But even acknowledging that and backdating that influence to colonial times, emphasizing Spanish culture is dismissive of the unique Native American cultures which existed before the Spanish arrived. That’s why the best approach is acknowledging the influence each of these cultures have had on the area. Yes, Hispanic culture has undoubtedly had the largest impact, but the others should be considered as well.

Man, nobody should have to be worry about giving their constructive opinion be it a minority woman or a White man. I hope I didn't come across the wrong way.

As I said, I agree with you. I was just expressing a general sentiment I have experienced growing up when people say something is too much of something, it is usually in a negative connotation. I was born and raised on the border and way too many people from outside the area flat out told me it is too "Mexican" or too "Hispanic" for them. In my teenage years, I moved to Oak Cliff in Dallas and over there people said it was too Black. Then I went to college in Waco, and over there the complaint was people were too religious, uptight, or a bit backwards. Neither was a panacea, but I enjoyed all of three despite any perceived shortcomings.

With that said, I agree more should be done to highlighting the German, Irish, and polish ancestry of the area. Also not sure why Houston doesn't highlight more the original Chinatown was located in East Downtown.

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6 hours ago, samagon said:

this isn't directly related to the East End of Houston, but in San Antonio, there is the Institute of Texan Culture. 

if you are interested in learning about all of the various cultures that have had a hand in shaping who we all are as Texans, it is an amazing museum.

there is also the Texas Folklife Festival, it isn't as spectacular as it once was, but it is still a great opportunity to sample food, dance and how various cultures uniquely influenced Texas all in 3 days, and it is run by the Institute of Texan Culture. I used to represent the Netherlands, wooden shoes and all.

https://texancultures.utsa.edu/featured-event/texas-folklife-festival/

it was canceled last year for Covid, the website says they want to come back, and I hope they do, and I hope they can find a way to make it as spectacular as it ever was, even as small as it has gotten in the past few years, it is still an amazing cultural experience.

I hope they can get the festival back up and running after all this stuff is over, and I hope everyone gets the opportunity to go, if not to the festival, then at least to the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Thank you for sharing. I was not aware about the institute or the festival, but I will definitely add it to my list for the next time we are in San Antonio. I have to admit I have taken San Antonio for granted most of my life and mostly treated it as a pit stop in the way up to North Texas or the way down to South Texas. I appreciate the tip.

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