Monday, August 26, 2013

There's something to be said for living on a street with a great name

I'll be the first to admit that I have street name envy.

I grew up on Harding Drive, presumably named after the 29th and potentially most boring U.S. president, Warren G. Harding.

Actually, I've come to find out in recent years that President Harding wasn't all that boring. He was quite the ladies man, as evidenced by the four (and possibly more) extramarital affairs he carried on. And as a young guy, he was reported to be strikingly handsome.

But still, he was Warren G. Harding. And that's an awful lot to overcome.

Anyway, I lived on Harding Drive for the first 22 years of my life. Then Terry and I got married and bought our first house, which was on East 300th Street. A numbered street name. That's not even boring, it's something less than boring. East 300th Street aspires to "boring."

We lived there for 11 years. Then we moved to our current residence, which is on Miller Avenue. The only streets more white bread than "Miller Avenue" are the ones with tree names like Oak, Elm and Maple. And even then, Miller Avenue certainly gives them a run for their money.

One reason I've always wanted to be rich is because rich people seem to live on streets with incredibly cool names. Names that evoke English mansions and cool pastoral life. Names like "Fox Hunt Glen Cove Lane," "Crimson Dale Estates" and "Snobby Caucasian Equestrian Bluffs."

These are street names that say something about you. They say, "I make a lot of money and can afford to live in an area populated solely by people who look and sound like me. I own three large SUVs and hire various hard-working minorities to tend to my lawn and flower beds."

I've always wanted to live on one of those streets, but I'm starting to think it's never going to happen.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dave and Cathleen, have a cool street name: Locust Grove Drive. I like that one. I mean, if you ignore the tendency of locusts to devour everything in their path and destroy vast swathes of farmland, it's actually quite a nice name.

And by the way, who makes the determination whether a given thoroughfare is a "Street," a "Boulevard," a "Lane" or whatever? The developer/builder? The city? A contest winner?

As you'll notice if you bothered to keep track of the details above, I've lived on a "Drive," a "Street" and an "Avenue" thus far in my life. Someday I'm hoping for a "Path," a "Vista", or a "Terrace." I might die from happiness if I ever manage to buy a house on a "Knoll," a "Canyon" or (the best one yet) a "Promenade."

By the way, I cannot recommend the "Street Name Generator" highly enough. Just visit that page, pick a random word from each of the three columns, and in just a few seconds you'll have your own ritzy-sounding address!

One possible outcome from the Street Name Generator? "Umber Snake Swale." If you don't think that's 10 different kinds of awesome, then I'm not sure you and I could ever be friends.

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