Where The Streets Have New Names
“Somewhere In America (There’s A Street Named After My Dad)” – Was (Not Was)
I recently heard that in South Africa, in anticipation of the World Cup, the makers of tourist maps were freaking because, since the end of Apartheid, so many of the streets had had their Afrikaner or Dutch colonial names replaced by more African sounding names. It was a nuisance, yet it was still worth doing, because street names matter, and let’s face it, slave names are such a Boer. Ask people here in the San Francisco area old enough to remember when Cesar Chavez was called Army Street, some people still call it that. Around the world, you see, one of the highest compliments we can pay someone in our society is to rename a street after them. I ruminated on this all day, read a few online articles, raided a few peoples Flick’r and Photobucket pages (and asked for help from some Facebook friends), and here’s a few that I found.
I had started with Joey Ramone Place, in New York, named after the late Ramones front man.
And that street in Oklahoma City named after The Flaming Lips, Flaming Lips Alley…
Then I remembered Paul Shaffer Drive in Thunder Bay
These two don’t really count…
Mathew Street in Liverpool is unofficially named Beatle Street.
I’m sure the Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten had nothing to with London’s Rotten Row,
nor did Pink Floyd have anything to do with Wall Street.
There are, however, actual streets named after The Beatles, in their hometown of Liverpool: John Lennon Drive, Paul McCartney Way, George Harrison Close and Ringo Starr Drive.
Dave Foster suggested Frank Sinatra Drive in Hoboken…
And I then found on in Las Vegas
and one in Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs, where Sinatra had a home.
There’s a street in Nigeria, named after Jay Z
Joanne Huffa reminded me about Run DMC – JMJ Way in Hollis, Queens.
David Macmillan sent in Paul Anka Drive (Picture not available)
Max Hutchinson suggested David Grohl Alley in Warren, Ohio, named thusly for the Foo Fightin’ Nirvana drummer.
and Max also reminded me of Roy Acuff Place and Chet Atkins Place, both in Nashville, Tennessee. (no pictures found).
Shauna Kennedy suggested a few, such as Les Paul Parkway in Waukesha, Wisconsin…
as well as Tom Petty Road in Dickson, TN (photo not found), Muddy Waters Drive in Pflugerville, Texas (photo not found) Jimi Hendrix Way, in Bellingham, WA and Bachman Turner Drive in Cadiz, Kentucky. On that last note, Alison Spratt told me of a Bachman Rd, in Winnipeg (Photo not found).
Thanks for Dick Clark Street, Nashville, Loyd Elmore, but I couldn’t find a photo.
I did find one of Korn Row, in Bakersfield, California, though…
AC/DC Lane, Melbourne, Australia
And thanks, Scott McKnight, but I didn’t find pics of Presley Rd., Presley Pl., and Elvis Ln., Lanham, MD, outside of DC but I did find this one of Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis.
Stewart Mason tells me that the intersection of Mass Ave and Brookline Street in Cambridge was renamed Mark Sandman Square after Morphine’s fallen leader.
Garry Nordenstam suggested Bob Dylan Way in Duluth, Minnesota, and I found a picture of that…
but while I didn’t find one of Utopia Drive in Miramar, Florida, I did find one of Utopia Parkway, New York.
Which is also, of course on the cover of the album Utopia Pkwy by Fountains of Wayne…
Speaking of New York, last year, U2 had Mayor Bloomberg temporarily rename a section of West 53rd Street U2 Way.
Apparently the legendary Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher is well represented too, there’s a Rue Rory Gallagher in Paris, a Rory Gallagher Place in Cork City, Ireland, Rory Gallagher Corner in Dublin, Impasse Rory Gallagher in Vaucluse, France.
According to a story in the Guardian, 13 streets it in Dartford, Kent, UK were renamed in honour of the town’s famous sons, The Rolling Stones. Apparently, these include Little Red Walk, Satisfaction Street, Angie Mews, Babylon Close, Stones Avenue, Dandelion Row, Lady Jane Walk, Cloud Close, Rainbow Close, Black Boulevard, Start Street, Sympathy Street and Ruby Tuesday Drive. The Guardian quoted Leader of the council, Jeremy Kite, saying he “thought Ruby Tuesday Drive sounded a “fantastic” place to live. It is a very groovy development – a very modern, creative community and I think people will enjoy the street names. We are very proud of the Rolling Stones and it is a little bit of our history we can celebrate.”
Every city seems to have a Main Street though…
Okay, finally, Bruce Springsteen has always been so loved in his native New Jersey that they named a street after him, BEFORE he named his band…