Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Street By Any Other Name

In New York, the City is broken down into Boroughs and the outlying suburbs are broken down into Towns, or Villages. Within those neighborhoods, there are streets, parkways, avenues, lanes, etc... Sometimes homes are named, as an additional identifier to their address. In the heyday, one might have directed one's driver to drive one to "Utopia" for a white tie dinner. The location was just known. (Does anyone actually know the street address for "San Simeon" in Los Angeles, CA or "Biltmore Castle" in Asheville, NC? ) The mail's gonna get there. Sometimes the name is humorous, like "Casa Collapso" for a too-big money pit.

There are also subdivisions with names, and they evoke real or imagined levels of success, inclusion or exclusion. "The Enclave." What sign for "Nob Hill" doesn't have some kid's spraypainted "S" as a preface?

Here in Charlotte NC, acres upon acres of former farmland and mill houses are being bought up, razed and built up into subdivisions. Within them are massive homes, apartment homes and patio homes or condos and apartments. There's a bit of a glut (buyer's market!), and you wonder if the tag lines in real estate magazines and on the signs might seem a tad desperate.

*Close to Work. Close to Play. Close to Perfect.
*Experience Life in the Circle (Circle at South End)
*New Management, New Attitude. (What about the first buyers? Old Management, Bad Attitude?)
*Hip To Be Square (Elizabeth Square)
*Your Invitation to the Exceptional
*A Country Feel With Big City Convenience
*You'll Feel Right at Home in Unparalleled Elegance
*Designed With You In Mind (Me? Really?)
*We're Unique To Meet Your Needs
*Real People. Real Living.
*Discover a Lifestyle Full of Options
*Dedicated to Exceeding Your Expectations
*The Links at Citiside (Um, there is no golf at this location.)
*Living Right Just Got Easier
*Just Blocks From the YWCA Without the High Prices!
*Start Living Your Legacy Today!
*Lease It! Live It! Love It!
*Where Your Journey Ends and Your Dreams Begin.

I thought of one...
"Wheelchair Run at Colostomy Bay...You've Got Life in the Bag!"

I found my home, no fanfare, no signs or slogans, no a subdivision that was built 8 years ago. Nice and quiet, no salesman telling me, "Well, Dale, what you're gonna love here Dale, is the clubhouse slated to be built in 2013, and Dale, the Olympic size swimming pool with a Lazy River and 2 story slide!"  I stopped listening when he told me my name three times.

And gimme a regular Road, Avenue or Lane! The street names all end in Acres, Cove, Creek, Run, Trace, Terrace, Circle, Square, Meadows, Hills, Loop, Path, Alley...  I would personally draw the line at GULCH.

I love my home, and my little neighborhood, but I do wonder why my street is called a Boulevard! It's a weighty moniker for a normal sized tree lined street, with sidewalks on either side. Boulevards are wide, multilane arterial thoroughfares with medians containing above average quality landscaping and scenery, according to Wikipedia.

In France, frequenters of Boulevards were knows as boulevardiers. I haven't seen anyone in a top hat jog past my house, but I'll keep a look out.

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