A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 04, 2007
SoLa (South Lamar Boulevard, Austin)

"SoLa” is a name for South Lamar Boulevard in Austin. Austin’s neighborhood name game began with SoCo for South Congress Avenue.

To see where all this may lead, see the New York City Neighborhoods section of this website.

2005 South Lamar
Austin, Texas 78704

SoLa offers a wide variety of women’s clothing, accessories, and gifts.

The Holmes
Thursday, August 18, 2005
South Austin, beeyotch
Several areas of South Austin have nicknames that I find rather annoying. My wife, being a native Austinite, finds these geographical monikers to be even more painful on the ears. Some aren’t in very wide circulation, fortunately, but somehow I heard of them so I’m including all of them:

SoCo: This one’s pretty popular. If you live in Austin, I’m not sure how you would have not heard this one. Refers to the South Congress area which is now populated by kitschy little stores and restaurants, but was formerly a notorious hooker hangout.

SoFi: Not as popular, always heard it pronounced “Soh-f-eye”. Refers to South First area.

SoLa: Not popular at all. Refers to the South Lamar area, which is all kinds of busy and nifty and great. There’s a store on South Lamar called SoLa that my wife really loves, and I think they were trying to get this nickname to catch on, but alas, I believe they have failed.

Which brings me to my own geographical nickname nomination. I would hereby like to suggest that the entire South Austin area be known henceforth as Saustin, complete with the “sauce” sound and everything. Say it out loud right now, see how it sounds. Try it in a sentence. I live in Saustin. My wife and my dog live in Saustin. Saustin could use a good Indian restaurant. What do people have against Saustin? See? Sounds pretty good.

Dallas Morning News
Old is new again in Austin’s vortex of vintage clothing
06:32 PM CST on Friday, March 17, 2006
South Lamar Boulevard
Taking their cue from “SoCo,” shop owners and locals will sometimes, only half-jokingly, refer to South Lamar as “SoLa,” injecting the hip factor into what is, perhaps, gradually becoming the next chic shopping district. 

Katie’s blog
Monday, October 16, 2006
Okay, calling South Congress SoCo was one thing. But, now, South First is SoFi and South Lamar is SoLa?! I also heard that the Triangle area at North Lamar and Burnet were NoBu, but I can’t find a written record of that. Yikes! 

Statesman Blogs
Posted 3.14.2007 7:33:21 AM
SoCo, SoLa, SoWe!
It admittedly took a long time for me to embrace the nickname for Congress Avenue on the south side of the river.  SoCo just sounded too much of a rip off of NYC’s SoHo. 

Ironically enough, the Big Apple’s SoHo shamelessly stole the name from the London SoHo district.  NYC abbreviated the geographical description of the area South of Houston Street in naming their artsy area. Only they pronounced Houston as “house-ton” making SoHo what it is instead of SoHue.  London’s SoHo got their name from the old hunting cry of “Soho!”.  Yup, it was prime hunting grounds for game before becoming the shopping mecca.

But our city has taken the acronym game to heart much like NYC, who then came up with TriBeCa and other shorthand names for neighborhoods.  I’ve seen more and more use of SoLa for S. Lamar. 

To make it easy and jump one step ahead of the In Crowd, I’m renaming my ‘hood as well.  Now the neighborhoods along Westgate Boulevard just South of Ben White will be known as SoWe.

Statesman Blogs
Posted 5.3.2007 3:38:09 AM
SoCo, SoLa, SoWe & Now SoFi
A few months back I blogged about the trend of shortening our South Austin street names to catchier monikers.  My SoCo, SoLa, SoWe posting made gentle fun of the hipster nicknames for S. Congress & S. Lamar while dubbing my S. Westgate ‘hood “SoWe”. 

The renaming fad is spreading.  I was leaving La Reyna and spotted a pretty pamphlet mixed in with the newspapers and apartment guides.  What was it, you ask?  A guide to the shopping, entertainment and dining to be found on “SoFi”. 

Now I am a huge fan of S. First Street businesses.  But do they really want to be called SoFi?  Let me know your opinion of this crazy name business.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, September 04, 2007 • Permalink