Neighborhood Crash Course: Montrose

Those who have never been to Houston think smog, traffic, and humidity when they imagine our beloved city. Well, they’re not entirely off point. But many people also assume that Houston is not a diverse city, that it’s a homogeneous place where everyone looks, thinks, and does that same things as everyone else.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Montrose area of Houston is the shining example of this very eclectic metropolitan area. Known for its Bohemian culture, alternative living, and artist community, Montrose is a vibrant, colorful neighborhood at the center of town. You never know what’s around the corner in Montrose. You can safely expect the unexpected and you’ll never have a dull moment.

Shopping, dining, and partying in Montrose are the biggest draws of the area. Montrose offers a unique shopping experience, with tons of thrift, vintage, and second-hand stores. You can find all kinds of treasures. People also love the many funky restaurants that features local artist work on the walls and kitschy decor. Montrose also has some of the best nightlife, such as bars and nightclubs, as well as specialty spots. Montrose’s South Beach has been named one of the best gay nightclubs in Houston for years. The Montrose Crawl is one of the most popular pub crawls in the city next to Washington Avenue and takes place on Halloween night.

Residents of Montrose are known for their Bohemian outlook and non-traditional attitudes. It has long been a popular neighborhood with the lesbian and gay community in Houston. It is also popular with local artists, who flock there for the many nearby museums and galleries.

Montrose is just a stone’s throw from Houston’s famed museum district. The district is home to the most prestigious and well-known museums in the city, such as The Menil Collection, The Fine Arts Museum, and the Contemporary Arts Museum. The famed Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational chapel in the district that features work by artist Mark Rothko and is an extension of the Menil Collection.

You’re in no danger of going hungry in Montrose. There are tons of fantastic restaurants, many with distinctive atmospheres and decor. Some of the favorites include the Black Labrador, fancy Mark’s Restaurant, and Mockingbird Bistro. Many Montrose restaurants transition to night spots as the sun goes down.

Montrose is one of the Houston’s oldest neighborhoods, and with history comes culture and character. Residents love the architecture of many old buildings and homes in the area. You’ll see restored bungalows with sweeping porches and huge Victorian mansions, although many of them are used as office buildings, historic centers, or administrative buildings for local universities. The famous Link-Lee Mansion serves as an office building for the University of St. Thomas.

The area maintains a consistently youthful demographic because it is so close to the best jobs and universities in the city. Montrose residents can easily commute to classes at Houston Universities, including The University of St. Thomas, Rice University, The University of Texas Health Center, The University of Houston, and Texas Southern University. In terms of education, Montrose residents have their pick. Due to the areas proximity to the Medical Center, one of Houston’s primary job sources, many students continue living in the area after graduation.

Montrose is a place to get in touch with Houston’s rich history, culture and diversity. It’s even been home to some of Houston’s most famous residents, including Howard Hughes, Lyndon B. Johnson, and contemporary author Daniel Quinn. Montrose residents really love their Montrose and I know you will too.

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