One of the surest ways to know an out-of-towner is if they pronounce it “HUE-stun” instead of “HOW-stun” Street. But have you ever wondered why we don’t say it like the Texas city? The Times recently received this question from a reader and turned to Gerard Koeppel‘s book “City on a Grid: How New York Became New York” for the answer. According to Koeppel, “Houston the city is named after Sam Houston. Our street was named after a fellow named William Houstoun, who was a prominent Georgian, from a long line of Scotsmen.”
We’re kicking off a fun new series called A New York Minute, where we ask influential New Yorkers spitfire (and sometimes very random) questions about their life in the big city. Want nominate yourself or someone you know? Get in touch!
Gerard Koeppel is an author and historian of New York streetscapes and he’s lived in NYC his entire life (he was actually born in a Manhattan hospital that’s since been replaced by a high rise condo). Gerard just released a brand-spankin’ new book yesterday, “City on a Grid: How New York Became New York,” and between talks at the Museum of the City of New York and book signings, he was nice enough to answer some quick questions about his personal New York experience.