Don’t ask me why, but I was poking through a stack of yesterday’s news last week, glancing at old newspapers. Yes, I am talking here about actual physically manifest print editions of newspapers, the kind that you have to hold in your hands to read, using your thumb and fingers to grasp the thin paper, the kind with pages so large that, to turn them, you must unbend your elbow. Faint ink rubbed onto my fingers, barely discernible in the flourescence.
As always, I perused the local section, hoping to strike some gold. And then it happened. My eyes came to rest on the story of the year:
What’s in a name? Edina is learning; Naming neighborhoods in the western suburb is turning into a perplexing project.
Here it was, my calling!
How could it come to pass that such an important bit of news had slipped my filter, which operates un-sieve-like for seventeen hours a day? How was it that nobody thought to alert me – the world’s foremost expert on Edina nomenclature (at least if quantity is the only measure) – to this important turning of events? How could I have been so blind for so long? Why was my phone not ringing? Why didn’t anybody tell me?
Well, I devoured this little bit of Star Tribune information like a Hornet with daddy’s credit card devours The Galleria. And it was good.
Apparently, Edina has long lacked proper neighborhood names. Edina has been working for some time on a project to bequeath all of its unique areas with unique monikers. Why? The hope is that having a proper name for Edina neighborhoods will build community, or as the newspaper puts it:
Dividing the city into formal neighborhoods will encourage residents to form neighborhood associations … that should make it easier to communicate with residents about intensely local concerns.
Frankly, I am torn. On the one hand, the thought of Edina having local neighborhood groups involved with “intensely local concerns” is about the most frightening thing I can imagine. It’s like Sauron getting his hands on the one ring.
|[The new Edina watertower.]|
See, for example, this discussion about the pros and cons of the potential neighborhood names from the Edina city website:
On a city website that invited residents to respond to proposed names, one man wrote that Valley Vista and Edina Valley Estates sounded ‘pretentious.’ … Another resident hinted that she’d like names that had the charm of those in St. Louis Park and Minneapolis.Enough! I can’t take all this violence and anger. It’s making me sad, deep inside. What about “Normandale Heights Heights”? “Mount Normandale?”
And then there was Reed, responding to the suggested name “Normandale.”
“Seriously?” she wrote. “You have Valleys, Heights, Hills, Knolls, Creeks, etc. but this section is just ‘Normandale.’ Have you checked the elevation here?”
… “We are higher up,” she said. "We’re more than just the ‘Normandale.’"
I’ll even work pro bono, gratis, free of charge (other than, of course, the usual 0.5% royalty each time they are uttered for profit by a realtor, which will provide this blog with but a modest modicum of financial security, and that I will pass down to my many future children so they may lead empty but secure lives similar to Nick Hornby’s character in High Fidelity).
Here they are, 42 professional derived names for neighborhoods in Edina. A great deal of thought has gone into these names. I will quarter no dissent, nor truck with lollygagging. They are non-negotiable. These are my terms:
Northwest Palm Beach
50th and Monaco
The Hair District
Anthropoloville (pronounced in the French way so the end rhymes with -ski)
|[Embrace your new names, good people.]|
St Prius Park
Edina's New Lecksus neighborhood made the headlines already!
Aaaand, Minnesota Monthly makes a map. (I like my names better though, except for "Spraytanistan.")