In what other cities (than NYC) are we expected to know which streets matter?

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:

Kingston Pike?
Beale Street?
Bush Boulevard?

In London to most people, “Harley Street” would immediately mean “rich private doctors”, and “Saville Row” would mean expensive tailor shops.

Certainly other cities have well-known streets. London has Savile Row and The Strand and plenty of others.

Haight-Ashbury? Hollywood and Vine? K Street? Most people could, I think figure out which citioes those are in and why.
Some street names aren’t famous world-wide or country-widem, but if you live in the city for a while become obvious. In Boston Comm Ave. and Newbury Street and Trement Street and Charles Street all convey particular areas and associations.

Chicago has a couple, but not nearly as many as New York:
State Street (heart of downtown, where all the expensive shopping is)
**Lower Wacker **(underground and under the El, where Batman Begins chase scenes were filmed)
Rush Street (party strip - lots of bars and clubs. And hookers.)

And we have a few that are not a street, but an intersection:
Clark and Belmont (where the freaks come out to play. Lots of leather and sex toy shops)
North and Clybourn (yuppie central. Starbuckses every 23 feet. Crate and Barrel, the Container Store, Whole Paycheck)

In DC:

Pennsylvania Avenue, which everyone knows is where the chimp house is.

K Street, or Gucci Gulch, is where the folks who buy and sell representative democracy have their cush offices.

…and who can forget the Beltway, where the folks who reside outside of it deride those who reside inside it for being too liberal, and the folks who reside inside of it deride the folks who live outside of it for being too conservative.

Anybody know about Dexter Avenue?

Imagine every major city has streets that are notorious or noteworthy to one degree or another. These would be streets that have been mentioned so much by locals and the media for being roads on which popular/noteworthy establishments are, or which have a reputation for one thing or another.

Toronto has a number of them.

  • Yonge St.: The main road, the center of the city. Also (AFAIK) the longest road in the world (not counting highways).
  • Yonge & Dundas: The center of Toronto’s commercial district, home of The Eaton Center
  • Church St.: Hooker row.
  • Bay St.: Financial district.
  • The Bridle Path: Mega rich area.
  • Lakeshore Blvd.: Waterfront area (also Harborfront)

And probably more that I can’t think of off the top of my head. To locals they’re just so common that few people feel the need to use anything more than street names to provide context.

I like North & Clybourn. There’s a Borders right across from the el station!

Can’t believe you forgot Michigan Avenue! The Mag Mile!

North Halsted is the gayest street in Chicago.
Devon (d’VON): Indians and Pakistanis and curry-scented air. Mmm.
Damen/North/Milwaukee intersection: yuppies and hipster artistes drinking cappuccinos and wearing $100 t-shirts.

And what about Addison, Clark, Sheffield, and Waveland? In fact, when my parents came to visit me in Chicago, we went to Lou Malinati’s on Sheffield (by Fullerton) and when my dad - who’d been in Chicago once before, many years previously - saw the street sign, his eyes opened wide and he said “Sheffield! Isn’t that where home runs land?”

homesick now

You’re absolutely right. In fact, it should more properly be
Michigan Avenue: (heart of downtown, where all the expensive shopping is)
State Street: (heart of downtown, where all the expensive shopping used to be.)

Both of these being places you won’t find me unless I’ve been kidnapped!

Hey! Don’t give away all our secrets! :smiley:

*throws **Kyla *a hot dog (sans ketchup) and a CTA pass

And let’s not forget Bourbon Street.

No mention yet of “4th street and D”?

As well as Canal and St. Charles. Canal is big in several cities, though.

Desire is a street, right? That’s why the streetcar?

Is there a streetcar named Rice-a-Roni?

What’s that crookedy street in San Francisco? Lombardy?

And the street next to Dealy Plaza next to the school book place?

And is there really a Boulevard of Broken Dreams somewhere?

And Lonely Street?

There are many in and around Los Angeles, albeit mostly thanks to being popularized on film and in song:
[li]Sunset Blvd[/li][li]Rodeo Dr[/li][li]Santa Monica Blvd[/li][li]Mulholland Dr[/li][li]Melrose Ave[/li][li]Wonderland Dr[/li][li]Olympic Blvd[/li][li]Rampart St[/li][li]Beverly Blvd[/li][li]Pacific Coast (Malibu) Highway (PCH)[/li][li]Avenue of the Stars[/li][/ul]
and of course
[li]Hollywood Blvd[/li][/ul]

Don’t forget Gretna Green, Bundy and Rockingham. :smiley:

A few examples for London, firstly which have some particular resononce, mainly cultural or historical:

Carnaby Street
Electric Avenue
Cable Street
Portobello Road
Abbey Road
Used as names of football grounds:

White Hart Lane
Vicarage Road
Loftus Road
And used as metaphors:

Downing Street
Fleet Street

I’d suggest 16th Street for the same reason. But maybe that’s just for us local people to know and everybody else to find out.

How about Massachusetts Ave (Embassy Row).

Wisconsin Ave and M Street (Georgetown thoroughfares).

Constitution and Independance? Both lined mostly by Smithsonian Museums, memorials and other government monoliths.

About 15 years ago everybody knew about 14th street. Some people think it still exists in that form today.

What do you know? Whats up with the detour on Demonbreun?
I think most people know about Ventura blvd. If onloy becuase of the Tom Petty Song. And speaking of music, I think most people that know anything about the history of music know about Beale Street.

ANd what about al the streets in Monopoly? Arn’t they real streets in Atliantic city or Atlanta or something?

As far as “name streets” go for NYC, I wouldn’t say “Avenue of the Americas” counts, most New Yorkers don’t even call it that (referring to it instead as “Sixth Avenue”). But Broadway is synonymous with live musicals, Madison Avenue with advertising, Park Avenue for tony elitism, and of course Wall Street for finance. Few people who haven’t lived or spent time in NYC would know more obscure associations, such as East 6th St. being called Indian Row due to all the Indian restaurants there (actually run by Bengalis), or Queens Boulevard having the local nickname of The Boulevard of Death. Though 125th Street has been widely popularized by hip-hop as a synonym for Harlem.

As a New Yorker, these are the “name streets” or locations I associate with cities other than NYC based on pop culture (not counting personal experiences traveling to these places):

L.A: Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood and Vine, Rodeo Drive, Ventura Boulevard
San Francisco: Lombard Street (“that funky steep wavy one”)
Chicago: Michigan Ave., Wacker Drive, The Loop
New Orleans: Bourbon St.
Miami: “The Strip” (I’m actually not sure what the “real” street name is)
Washington, D.C.: Pennsylvania Ave., The Mall
Philadelphia: South Street (thanks to Will Smith and Boyz-II-Men songs)

I also picture Las Vegas as being one long strip of neon-lit casinos, which it isn’t of course, so it must be a particular street – but I don’t know the name.

Yep, that’s where I get the association from. And now that you mention it, also Santa Monica Blvd. from the Sheryl Crow song All I Wanna Do.

Atlantic City. And the London version includes a few of the streets I mentioned already.