Thursday, June 16, 2011

When Naming Rights Go Wrong

Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist used to quip that you could learn a lot about a place if you looked at the names and monikers it embraced.

"Brookfield," he'd say. "No brook. No field."

My favorite was the bland Camelot Apartment complex on Madison's east side. Alongside railroad tracks and a switching yard. Camelot is was not.

And those streets in the Pabst Farms development (no Pabst ownership on land now zoned residential and commercial), in an area where the natural spas and springs gave way to development. Springhouse? Mineral Springs? Again, no.

So when I read courtesy of preservationist Eddee Daniel that Wauwatosa - - the whole city - - intends to re-brand itself as "Innovation Parkway" when the city is helping pave over some of the disappearing County Grounds, and getting a wider Zoo Interchange, and maybe Waukesha's effluent pipe connection in Underwood Creek after June, 2018, I say, "no."


Well, I can see that, given the planned UW-M Innovation Center and other research facilities there, but grafting on "Parkway" when green space is disappearing and roads are widening? No. That's trying too hard to do too much.

Besides, it's just going to confuse people. It sounds like a street running into an office park (see how the work "park" is already degraded?).

People I know in Wauwatosa like "Wauwatosa" just fine.

It doesn't need to get all 21st-century gussied up.

"Innovation Parkway" is never going to trump "Tosa."


Anonymous said...

my favorite thing is when the social darwinists use "innovation" as their euphemism for eugenics (which, of course, is another euphemism for genocide).

Me: "And how will removing welfare help [the economy improve]?"
Him: "People will have to work harder."
Me: "Well what about those who don't. What about those who can't??"
Him: "There will be a solution for that..."
Me: "What???"
Him: "Well, I just believe that if we keep innovating [blah blah blah]"

I know, I shouldn't talk to the social darwinists anymore. But sometimes they just call me up and start asking me questions.

They are so horrifyingly wrong that I just can't look away.

Anonymous said...

well, it beats the former brookfield mayor calling part of her city "schmuckville."