John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
How much fun would it be to have a Denzel Washington Heights, a Linkin Park Slope, and The Street Formerly Known as Prince?
In all fairness to the man’s talent, there should be a Rodney Dangerfield Street in New York, with people spitting on the sidewalk and cursing and otherwise giving him no respect. But until that day comes, we can imagine the existence of such a wonderful road with Renaming NYC, a map that enriches the city’s place names with jaunty celebrity references.
“People don’t remember history, so we renamed NYC places for celebrities and products. As one does,” writes NeighborhoodX, a real-estate startup that’s also had carto-fun with San Francisco and L.A. Aside from Brooklyn’s Rodney (Dangerfield) Street, than are more than 200 altered appellations, from Flushing Meadow (Soprano) in Queens to (Bea) Arthur Avenue in the Bronx to Manhattan’s (Denzel) Washington Heights, Jay (and Silent Bob) Street, and (The) Times (They Are A-Changin') Square.
From the inclusion of that last Bob Dylan ditty, it’s clear Renaming NYC ventures beyond acting into music—there’s also (Right Said Fred)erick Douglass Boulevard, (Linkin) Park Slope, Taylor (Swift) Street, and (The Street Formerly Known as) Prince. It also gets sexy with (Ashley) Madison Avenue and Poly(amory) Place, nerdy with Avenue C (++), and bookish with (James) Fenimore (Cooper) Street and (Jeeves and) Wooster Street.
Have fun exploring: