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.

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Entry from February 23, 2008
LoCo (Lower Congress Avenue, Austin)

LoCo (Lower Congress Avenue in Austin) is just below SoCo (South Congress Avenue). “Loco” is a Spanish word meaning “crazy,” and the unofficial neighborhood nickname has received mixed reviews from Austin residents.

“LoCo” received a boost when the nickname was featured in a story in the homes section of the February 24, 2008 Austin American-Statesman.


Wikipedia: Congress Avenue
Congress Avenue is a major thoroughfare in Austin, Texas. The street is a six-lane, tree lined avenue that cuts through the middle of the city from far south Austin and goes over Lady Bird Lake leading to the Texas State Capitol in the heart of downtown.

Congress Avenue south of Lady Bird Lake is known as South Congress, often abbreviated to SoCo, and is an increasingly popular shopping and rental district. It passes the historic Travis Heights neighborhood, the Texas School for the Deaf, and St. Edward’s University as it passes south out of town.

15 July 1996, Austin (TX) American-Statesman, pg. B1:
Several people wanted to call the area LoCo, as in Lower Congress. But I didn’t go with that one because I didn’t want a bunch of locos calling up and ...

27 June 1998, Austin (TX) American-Statesman, pg. A12:
Street slang. As Austin attempts to get in the trendy urban spirit of abbreviated neighborhood nomenclature, the term SoCo has entered the lingo. An echo of SoHo, the artsy Manhattan area “south of Houston,’’ SoCo refers to the up-and-emerging neighborhood along South Congress just south of the river.
(...)
Probably the next part of Congress Avenue to go trendy on us will be the quirky segment just past Oltorf that constitutes Lower Congress. Make that LoCo.

Astro Fishing Blog (December 22, 2005)
The Golden Slipper is located on the “Tex-Mex-istan mile,” along South First Street (SoFi?), conveniently sandwiched between uber-trendy Lower Congress (LoCo?) and soon-to-be-trendy South Lamar (SoLa?). 

Southwood Neighbors
Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:59 pm
Re: [SouthwoodNeighbors] Fwd: SoCo? So Expensive....TRY LoCo!!! 
I know that in spanish...loco means crazy....So I guess we are all the crazy neighborhood?  I have seen and heard our area called SoFi or SoFir....  I am guessing LoCo means..Lower Congress?  I know that where that hotel and apts(just past the Wendy’d) used to be across from that car rental on So Congress that they will be building condos. 

Austin (TX) American-Statesman
HOMES
It’s called LoCo, and it’s getting a redo
By Amber Novak
SPECIAL TO THE AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Sunday, February 24, 2008

In late 2006, Mitchell Testa and his son Brandon took a drive around Austin to scout out potential real-estate investments. Their first stop was the South Congress Avenue, or SoCo, area, and they were floored by the high prices.

“What does the surrounding area look like?” Mitchell, who lives in Houston, remembers asking his son.

The quest led them south of Ben White Boulevard to the Lower Congress area, increasingly known as LoCo. A stone’s throw from South First Street, the Testas located property in what they believe to be the next explosive neighborhood in South Austin. It was a development opportunity they could not pass up.
(...)
LoCo is still in its infancy as a label and is mostly undefined. In the real-estate world, LoCo can be anywhere from Interstate 35 west to Manchaca Road and from Ben White Boulevard south to Stassney Lane. This includes the neighborhoods of Battle Bend and Southwood.

As with any new nickname, time will be the arbiter of its acceptance and boundaries. But whether the dozen subdivisions just south of Ben White Boulevard are lumped together by a common name or not, they share certain traits by virtue of location that real estate developers and agents are getting excited about.

The area’s proximity to downtown might be obscured in home buyers’ minds by the presence of Ben White Boulevard, but the distance from Stassney Lane to Lady Bird Lake is only four miles. It is also a great location to reach main thoroughfares without getting bogged down on side streets. MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1), U.S. 290, Texas 71, Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) and Interstate 35 are all easily accessible. It is home to a medical complex around South Austin Hospital and to Austin Community College’s South Austin Campus. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year on Capital Metro’s South Central Transit Center there.

LoCo also has an Austin cache of its own. Hill’s CafĂ© began operating out of 4700 S. Congress Ave. more than 60 years ago and offers live music five nights a week. Casa Maria on South First Street features mariachis, and South Austin’s folk-art masterpiece, the Cathedral of Junk, resides in LoCo. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, February 23, 2008 • Permalink