The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Street Names

I like "circle," because it provides actual information. You're not going to say to yourself, "Maybe if I just follow Van Buren Circle I'll get to the freeway." I would like to apply this principle to other street names, giving us "Harding Road That Winds Around a Lot Then Comes to an Abrupt End at the Cannery," and "Coolidge Speed-Bump-Infested Road That You're Going to Have to Go Down at Fifteen Miles an Hour Because the Residents Got Tired of High-Schoolers Laying Rubber at Three in the Morning." A

"Lane" is a nice word, but I think it should only be applied to two-way residential streets with lots of trees and endearingly asymmetrical chalked hopscotch squares on the sidewalks. And it can't be used in Los Angeles. There are no lanes in Los Angeles, unless you count Car Pool Lane. B-

Now this is just trying too hard. "Crescent" is for city planners who find "cul-de-sac" too vulgar. What are they trying to evoke here? The silvery autumn moon? French pastries? A wrench? I don't know that I've ever seen a crescent-shaped street anyway. Aren't crescents supposed to be fatter in the middle? I think the word they're looking for is "Arc." D

I generally think of Avenues as where you put the car dealerships. In fact, if I were designing a city, I'd just stick "Car Dealership Avenue" near a major freeway and that way everyone would know where to go for Crazy No-Down-Payment Dealin' Days without having to use Mapquest. Maybe I'd divide it into "West Car Dealership Avenue" and "East Car Dealership Avenue" just to add a bit of challenge. C-

I admire "street" precisely because it's so boring. "We're on Tyler Street. Don't get all worked up, it's just a street." It's an antidote to living in a society where, in an effort to make boring things sound interesting, words become less meaningful by the day. For instance, one would expect "Beanie Baby Headquarters" to indicate the place where Beanie Babies go to receive instructions and get debriefed, but judging from the signs on about two dozen local stores, it now just means "A place where one can buy Beanie Babies." A

More by Lore Sjöberg Back to The Shuttlecocks Homepage