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The Awkward Art of Neighborhood Naming

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion The Awkward Art of Neighborhood Naming

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 126 total)
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  • #89656

    Twixlen
    Participant

    I thought about tacking this to some other thread topic, but thought the title deserved its own distinction.

    It’s an interesting article in The Atlantic – discussing how cities are rediscovering the importance of tying residents to that smaller neighborhood name, how that distinct sense of place makes people happier with where they live.

    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/01/awkward-art-neighborhood-naming/843/

    Quote:
    Ask someone from Indianapolis to describe where in the city they live and they’ll probably respond with the name of their home’s subdivision or make a vague directional reference like, “the West Side.”

    Most residents couldn’t come up with their neighborhood in a city that, according to information technologist and urban analyst Aaron M. Renn, has had a weak sense of neighborhood since the city and county governments consolidated into one unified entity about two decades ago.

    And the whole article made me think – Columbus isn’t like this, I think. The people I encounter know exactly what pocket neighborhood they live in, and cling to its borders fiercely. Why is that, doyathink? Is that really indicative of Columbus as a whole, or only the nerds that I know?

    #475150

    mrpoppinzs
    Member

    It seems very popular to know the names on this board, but until recently I really only knew what 4 or 5 areas were called and lumped everyhing into them. I would say I was not alone.

    Actually, this is my flawed list if I remember correctly, I am a bit more locally literate now. This board has helped a lot with that.

    1) campus
    2) german village
    3) clintonville
    4) grandview
    5) west side
    6) east side
    7) downtown
    8) short north (which was VV and IV)

    #475151

    gramarye
    Participant

    Hah! Does someone have Cyclist’s crazy Google map of all the different Columbus districts he’d identified (in varying degrees of recognition, official and unofficial)?

    I think that Victorian Village and Italian Village have their own identities independent of the Short North (which is really a very narrow district, but has outsized recognition because of High Street). I also tend to separate the Arena District from Downtown at this point, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

    Other local neighborhoods have more recognition within themselves than to people in the suburbs, but part of the point of that article was exactly that: It can be important and beneficial to have people more aware of the smaller neighborhood in which they live inside the larger city in which they also live. Westgate, for example, has a good amount of neighborhood pride. I’ve never been there and I bet that most people in Gahanna and Reynoldsburg haven’t even heard of it, but for the point that article was making, does that even matter?

    #475152
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    The only people I know who call my neighborhood ‘Fifth by Northwest’ are people on this board.

    Everyone else I know calls it the Columbus part of Grandview or just Grandview, if they think of it at all.

    #475153

    mrpoppinzs
    Member

    I heard somewhere that realtors started popularizing the name ‘Weinland Park’ because they wanted to disassociate that area and its problems from more lucrative areas nearby. Most of the actual residents call it the SN or something else.

    (I am not sure how true that is.)

    #475154

    AmyArt21
    Participant
    #475155
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    #475156
    Snarf
    Snarf
    Participant

    gramarye said:
    Hah! Does someone have Cyclist’s crazy Google map of all the different Columbus districts he’d identified (in varying degrees of recognition, official and unofficial)?

    I think that Victorian Village and Italian Village have their own identities independent of the Short North (which is really a very narrow district, but has outsized recognition because of High Street). I also tend to separate the Arena District from Downtown at this point, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

    Other local neighborhoods have more recognition within themselves than to people in the suburbs, but part of the point of that article was exactly that: It can be important and beneficial to have people more aware of the smaller neighborhood in which they live inside the larger city in which they also live. Westgate, for example, has a good amount of neighborhood pride. I’ve never been there and I bet that most people in Gahanna and Reynoldsburg haven’t even heard of it, but for the point that article was making, does that even matter?

    Peach District was so 2010.

    #475157

    Twixlen
    Participant

    I can definitely see the value in a name, from a branding perspective – I think Franklinton is a great example of this. And there is a sense of pride in staking out a smaller chunk of a city and claiming it as offering something that is unique within the rest of the city.

    And I’d defnitely say the folks on this board are much more likely to not only know what neighborhood they live in, but have awareness of many of the pocket neighborhoods around Columbus.

    #475158

    Mercurius
    Participant
    #475159

    mrsgeedeck
    Participant

    AmyArt21 said:
    http://shop.thesearethings.com/products/columbus-neighborhoods-map

    It actually has Driving Park (where I grew up) on it, I’m sold!

    #475160

    Alex Silbajoris
    Participant

    When this neighborhood was developed in the mid-60s, there was a sign marking it as Foxcroft, but the sign went away when they widened Kenny and AFAIK no one uses that name for the neighborhood.

    The old topo maps show town names like Olentangy at Kenny/Bethel and Seagrave for Kenny/Lane.

    #475161

    Pablo
    Participant

    rus said:
    The only people I know who call my neighborhood ‘Fifth by Northwest’ are people on this board.

    Everyone else I know calls it the Columbus part of Grandview or just Grandview, if they think of it at all.

    Or Tri-Village…

    #475162

    rory
    Participant

    Neighborhood names are just evolving marketing and race and class delineations. For instance once upon a time Italian Village didn’t even have a name and wasn’t part of the Short North:

    From the 1985 Columbus Dispatch where Italian Village is not part of the Short North.

    Herderick, 27, who doesn’t mind being called a Yuppie, is an airline flight attendant.

    He could live in San Francisco, Miami or Boston. But Herderick has touched down several blocks north of Downtown in Italian Village.

    “It’s the best kept secret in Columbus ,” he said. That is what irks him.

    “People talk about German Village and Victorian Village. We don’t have an identity,” he said. “We’re right across High St. from Victorian Village, and that neighborhood seems to overshadow us.”

    And early boundaries of the Short North also from the 1985 Dispatch which portrays a public/private partnership that is no longer part of the current Short North narrative:

    The Short North is in the midst of a $10 million rebirth that Mayor Dana G. Rinehart hailed Wednesday as an example of how government and business can work together.

    “Just a few years ago, this was the worst area in the city,” Rinehart said. “This is where all the winos were and where weird things happened on Saturday night.”

    Rinehart toured a section of the Short North , a strip of N. High St. between Poplar and 11th Aves., and stopped at an art gallery, a renovated office-apartment building and a building scheduled for renovation as office space.

    @mrpoppinz, I don’t know if the realtor story is correct about Weinland Park but a recent survey indicated that the name is not in wide use and most people call it the Short North or the Short. However, if you’re up for a nice cocktail party conversation starter ask someone in the Short North Foundation or Business Association as to whether Weinland Park is in the Short North. ;)

    #475163
    murfmurphy
    murfmurphy
    Participant

    Sort of off topic, but awkward neighborhood names made me think of this. Has anyone been in, or seen, the neighborhood off of Rome Hilliard Road where a bunch of the streets are named after athletic apparel companies? There are streets named Nike Dr., Reebok Dr., Saucony Dr, Converse Ct. and Adidas Ct. My wife and I looked at a house in that neighborhood and the street names alone made me shudder and not want to live there.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 126 total)

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