This concept comes from listening to radio (Fresh Air mostly) and TV interviews with both New Yorkers and show people working in New York (but not necessarily living there). A lot of these interviewees are musicians (mostly jazz) but I think the sample is pretty much everybody I’ve heard, including Garrison Keillor.
The point is that these folks will refer to specific street, like 53rd Street, and let that reference do it for what’s so special about that street. Sometimes they’ll mention several streets that way with nothing additional to give clues as to why the street is special or noteworthy.
Okay. I know about Broadway, Park Avenue, Avenue of the Americas, some of the tunnels, some of the bridges, Times Square, Central Park, Wall Street, Ellis Island, most of the airports (even the ones in Jersey) and some of the other famous locations – from movies, TV and that sort of thing. But the closest I’ve been to The City itself is the interstate maybe 30 miles north of it on my way to New England.
The question is: why does New York get a pass on having to have some additional information about why the streets (almost any street) are special? Is it that we all must know New York geography?
Are there other cities (not just USA cities) where we’re supposed to know the significance of some street or road?
London? Paris? Berlin? LA? New Orleans? Seattle? Austin? Chicago? Detroit?
If I were to say something about Lower Broad or Demonbreun or Belmont Boulevard, would any of you know what I was talking about? Or care?
Is there at least one street in your town or city that you would expect at least half the people you would mention it to to know about it?
Who knows where these are: