Dan, thank you for your recent post about Denver’s unfortunate obsession with shortened neighborhood names, because I know you’ve heard me rant about this before. I completely agree with your assessment. This is a BIG pet peeve of mine. While I’m totally fine with the original “LoDo” which appeared about twenty years ago, and the more recent “RiNo” which is pretty ingrained now for River North, I really despise any further use of abbreviated names for Denver’s urban districts. This is especially the case for “LoHi” for Lower Highland (note: I live in Lower Highland, so this gives me extra bitching privileges). This naming practice run amok makes Denver appear like we have to resort to suburbanesque gimmicks to sound urban. We don’t, so let’s stop doing it, particularly since the areas that we’re giving these silly abbreviated names are our most authentic urban areas in the first place.
Lower Highland is based on a historic name that stretches back to the founding of our great city. The addition of “Lower” to the Highland name is itself a recent trend, reflecting the newfound popularity of the area (previously, it was referred to as East Highland). But just as Lower Highland was gaining traction as the name for the distinct sub-district of the greater Highland area closest to Downtown, suddenly it became “LoHi” and that’s when the name went from classy, to cheesy.
One or two neighborhoods with the 2-letter/2-letter shortened form is sufficient for any city. We’ve reached quota. Let’s move on, shall we? From now on, let’s stick with real names like Lower Highland, South Broadway, etc. Let’s judge the success of our revitalized urban districts not by how gimmicky their names sound, but by how authentic they are as great urban places.