Where I live the affluent areas where “everyone wants to live” are Bethesda and Potomac. Bethesda is a highly urban, upscale, unincorporated area right on the Western border of DC. Potomac is an extremely wealthy suburban community featuring a lot of real big houses behind large walls on humongous plots, I mean estates.
Adjacent (or not) areas that have long been known by a different name have at some point re-branded themselves as “North Bethesda” and “North Potomac.” Neither of these areas have anything in common with Bethesda or Potomac. They’re not really even that close to them.
Nobody is fooled when you tell them you live in “North Potomac.” Sorry, but you live in Darnestown, dude. Deal with it.
“North Bethesda?!” Nope. If that’s anything, it’s “South Rockville.”
I know there’s an East, West, and North Hollywood in L.A.
Do you have examples of this around where you live?
The Chevy Chase neighborhood in Lexington, Kentucky got its name close to 100 years ago from Chevy Chase, Maryland. I’m not sure what reputation the Maryland town had back then, but it doesn’t hurt the perceived desirability of the upscale Lexington neighborhood that its Maryland namesake has a reputation for being one of the snobbiest locales in America.
From an opposing perspective, it’s fun to see snooty areas named for what are now places on the decline. New Albany, Ohio is an affluent suburb of Columbus, Ohio. Its residents seem blissfully unaware of Albany, New York’s descent into relative seediness along with a number of other upstate New York cities.
I once had a headhunter contact me regarding a job they felt I would like. Everything they told me about it sounded almost too good to be true. Then I realized I had no idea where the job was located, so I asked.
The woman said, “Are you familiar with Shadyside?” I told her I was. Shadyside is an upscale area with nice homes and a really cool shopping area. Leaning toward “hipster”, it was an area I really liked.
Turns out the job was in East Liberty, which technically borders on one edge with Shayside but is a low income high crime area.
Not quite in keeping with the OP, but businesses around where we live in MSP like to tack the name “Lowry” onto their names. Lowry Hill is a neighborhood of extravagant homes dating back to the 1800 robber barons. I’m talking mansions, in some cases. While some of those businesses border on the neighborhood, they’re not really part of it.
Some years ago “East Detroit” (a suburb just north of the east side of Detroit) changed their name to “Eastpointe”. Anyone familiar with the area will immediately recognize the association with the affluent Grosse Pointe suburb.
This might be one. Not a resident of Philadelphia so I couldn’t say for sure.
Minority residents were more likely to call a wide area one neighborhood, named “South Philly.” White residents, by contrast, divided the same area into multiple neighborhoods, such as “Graduate Hospital,” “G-Ho,” “So-So,” “South Rittenhouse,” “South Square” and “Southwest Center City,” splitting up areas by their socioeconomic characteristics and crime levels.
More to the point than my last - there are several areas near the beach in Orange County that play on the “Laguna” name. The town of Laguna has been an artsy spot for decades. When they started developing the area, that name got tacked on. Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, etc. The fun bit is that these days, the town of Laguna is kinda shabby compared to the developments in Laguna Niguel. Now the latter is the affluent area.
San Francisco is rife with this sort of thing. Lower Nob Hill (i.e. upper Tenderloin), Lower Pacific Heights, Lower Presidio Heights, Baja Noe Valley. I once lived a block above the fleshpots of Columbus and Broadway, but I was still considered to be on Telegraph Hill.
For the Seattle area, it’s anywhere near Lake Washington north of the I-90 floating bridge. Leschi, Madison Park, Laurelhurst, Wedgewood, Lake Forest Park on the west side of the lake. All you have to say for the east side of the lake is The Eastside. This is where the really rich live like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. Places such as Hunts Point, Yarrow Point, Moss Bay, Medina, Clyde Hill. Hunts Point is considered one of the most expensive places to live in the US. Plus right in the middle of the lake is Mercer Island, another pricy place to live.
Scarsdale, a town in Westchester county NY is known as a particularly affluent area, as are a number of towns in Westchester. Being adjacent to the town is acceptable I guess, next to Scarsdale sounds pretty good. People tend to name that kind of location when they live nearby.
The image of such towns may not match the reality. The town I live in has some high priced properties up in the north end of town, and the southern part is an old run down city type area. Depending on what someone knows about the town they’ll have completely different impressions.
Bethesda was mentioned by the OP. I’m not sure what was considered the border line between north and south Bethesda but the little house I grew up in is worth about $1 million and highly coveted for it’s location next to a large complex of government healthcare facilities. We lived for a couple of years right next Rockville, a couple of miles down the road. All of these locations around DC are high priced compared to the rest of the country, hard to figure what might be called down-scale there.
That would be NIH I assume? That’s solidly Bethesda IMO; it’s an “unincorporated, census-designated place” that I would describe as bordered by Connecticut Ave in the east, Bradley Blvd in the west, the DC line in the south, and NIH in the north. I would describe “North Bethesda” as the area between NIH and the Beltway. Anything north of the Beltway can’t be Bethesda, no matter how much the people who live there want it to be.
In the UK a couple posh towns are Walton-on-Thames and Henley-on-Thames. A few years ago the town called Staines (where the UK version of The Office was set) tried to change their name to Staines-on-Thames to try to get rid of their “just a bunch of industrial estates” image.
The beltway makes sense as a divider. There isn’t that much between NIH and the beltway, but those properties are all within walking distance of NIH and highly desired. The ancient elementary school I attended closed down many years ago. People told me that no one who could afford to live there was sending their kids to public school.
Dearborn Michigan is one of the most affluent areas of Detroit with a largest Arab American and Lebanese population in the nation and home of the Ford Motor company (largest employer in town). Next door is Dearborn Heights, not a desirable neighborhood, 91% white and the largest employer is the city itself.
Garden City, NY, is a very rich village in central Long Island. To its north is Garden City Park, which is not nearly so rich. There’s an area just to Garden City’s east that developers have tried to sell as East Garden City (EGC) for decades, but the residents of the less affluent Uniondale, of which EGC is really a part, have been objecting strenuously. They got the Census Bureau to remove EGC as a census tract for the 2020 census. There was a recent local controversy when Jeopardy! had a question that mislocated Museum Row in Garden City rather than (the EGC part of) Uniondale.