Let’s name your neighborhood

WHAT WOOD YOU name your neighborhood? (Pun intentional).

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cartoonist. A better ambition would have been to become a cartographer – maker of maps – because they make a lot more money, and I love maps.

In grade school I would draw maps of the campus; at home my sister June and would create a true cartographical marvel for our rather large backyard (almost a half-acre), naming stands of trees and other landmarks.

Today, despite the relative decline of the Thomas Guide (I used to have two in my car at all times), maps are undergoing a renaissance. With Siri and Waze and Google Maps, we can get specific and up-to-date guidance to almost any place you can think of, along with suggestions for places to eat, sleep and visit.

On top of that, I’m noticing that “nicknames” of certain parts of cities are increasingly surfacing.  Google Maps, for example, now labels not just “Downtown Garden Grove” but also the “Grove (Hotel) District,” ‘Brookhurst Triangle” and “West Garden Grove.”

Now comes to my attention a new map from “First 5 Orange County,” which has heaped a whole lot of new “neighborhood” names on us. If you live in the area east of Euclid Street and north of Lampson Avenue, you’re in the “Stanley House” area.

If you reside southeast of Harbor and Garden Grove boulevards, you’re in the “Medical Center” neighborhood. 

The emergence of voting districts has allowed for more attention to local issues and concerns. The acknowledgment of neighborhoods could add to the richness of community life and make a city feel more like a warm collection of towns rather than an anonymous suburban sprawl.

So what should your neighborhood be called? (Be kind!) What would the boundaries be? What landmarks would there be?

Any ideas? Sent them to us at orangecountytribune@gmail.com.

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