Bedwick, Parkwanus and more neighborhood mash-ups that need to stop
Bedwick is the latest in a series of dumb neighborhood portmanteaus; please, make it stop.
Mon Aug 5 2013
It appears that realtors are at it again—and by it, we mean attempting to rebrand a neighborhood with the sole purpose of making it seem more attractive to incoming residents. Today, Curbed has details of apartments listed at 71 Stuyvesant Avenue—actually Bedford-Stuyvesant, but the realtors are calling the neighborhood "Bedwick," for some reason. (Curious, considering it's nowhere near Bushwick.) This comes mere weeks after we freaked out about Parkwanus becoming a thing, and RAMBO before that, and East Bushwick before that, and NoEVil before that, and…well, you get the idea.
You might argue that railing against this trend is pointless, because it's going to happen anyway—and hey, it's also par for the course. The areas that would become Soho, Carroll Gardens, Tribeca and Nolita existed long before they were given those monikers. Places change, the city evolves, and new things—and new names—replace the old ones, and it's not all bad, right?
Well, sure. But at the same time, shouldn't we be kind of mad that, by and large, realtors are the ones driving these changes? What about the fact that smushing neighborhoods together—as with ProCro, a horrifying portmanteau from Prospect Heights and Crown Heights—is not only misleading, but devalues the history of those areas? Or the fact that they just sound really dumb? Seriously: Say Parkwanus out loud, and see how dumb you feel afterward.
Luckily, few of the examples we referenced above have really stuck, and maybe Bedwick won't, either. We can only hope. (But hey, note to realtors: If you're going to make up a dumb new name for a neighborhood, at least have the decency to make sure it's geographically correct.)
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)