When I first moved up from the city, I lived on Winterberry Circle in Cross River. The street address sounded so quaint and country-like compared to the numbered streets and avenues of Manhattan.
Driving around this part of Northern Westchester, you see all kinds of pretty suburban street names like Honey Hollow Road, Blueberry Lane, Partridge Road, Serenity Place, Pleasant Street, Deer Run Court, and Tarry-A-Bit Road.
Lots of songs have been written about street names. Bono sings about a place “where the streets have no name” in a U2 song. The Beatles sang about Penny Lane. Bruce Springsteen had a hit with Thunder Road. Songs have been written about 42nd Street, Bourbon Street, Positively 4th Street, and Electric Avenue.
In a book about street names, I read that roads in new home developments are often named after the builder’s family members. First and last names on street signs announce Douglas Drives, Wilson Ways and Lois Lanes. Nice way to immortalize a relative. Streets are often named after historical figures, past presidents, flowers, or trees. New Canaan has lots of streets named after trees—Elm Street, Maple Street, Cherry Street, Pine Street, Holly Road, Ash Tree Lane, and Apple Tree Lane.
Fun fact from the internet: El Paso, Texas, has the most streets in the U.S. named after athletes (135!). Owensboro, Kentucky, has 65 streets named after famous sports figures.
Would you hesitate to move onto a street with a weird name? I think that the name of the street would bother me enough not to reside there. Or maybe I would have all of my mail sent to the post office box.
Street names across the country range from the mildly odd to the decidedly ominous. A few fun street names include Frying Pan Road in Herndon, Virgina; Duh Drive in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; This Ain’t It Road in Dadeville, Alabama; and Hanky Panky Street in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Googling unusual street names brought a treasure trove of places I would not want to write down on my party invitations. I would be embarrassed to invite friends over to my house on Big Foot Road in Cloudcroft, New Mexico or Hairy Man Road in Round Rock, Texas. There are streets in South Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky named Booger Branch Road. I feel sorry for anyone who admits to living on Psycho Path in Traverse City, Michigan. I bet those street signs get stolen a lot!
Years ago, I remember driving around outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, trying to find the bed and breakfast where I had planned on staying. We found the street name and then drove around and around past fields of giant round hay bales, a cement factory, and an assortment of small homes, barns, and trailers. The bed and breakfast did not have a sign out front. This was in the early 1990s before cellphones and GPS. Luckily, one of the locals out by his mailbox pointed us back up the two-lane winding road. He told us to go past the cement factory but not as far as the field of hay bales. Our destination was an unassuming two-story brick house set back from the road up a long driveway.
Would you hesitate to live in a home near a cemetery? Some people would be superstitious. Not everyone wants to open the curtains each morning and gaze out of the windows at rows and rows of headstones. On the positive side, the green lawns are usually well maintained and the neighbors are always quiet!
Kim Kovach keeps her eyes open to spot unusual street names. kimkovachwrites.com