Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Funny Street Names

Let's have some fun with the names one might spot on street signs around St. Louis. I've been thinking about pulling this gag ever since I spotted Tholozan Ave. (named after one John Tholozan), a street in my neighborhood. The name instantly struck me as a great trade name for an antidepressant. I've noticed many other cool street names around town, commemorating such immortals as Goethe and Beethoven - but mostly people who are only remembered today because someone bothered to record whom the streets were named after.

The time has finally come to air my pride in a city that really knows how to turn out a memorable street sign. And so, with thanks to the St. Louis Public Library, may I recommend for your amusement...
  • Acme Ave. - Site of Wile E. Coyote's favorite mail-order company
  • Aero Dr. - The very name gives one a lift, doesn't it?
  • Alamo Ave. - Where no one lasts long, but we'll remember them
  • Aldine Ave. - Known, until 1929, as Lucky St.
  • Aloe Plaza - Not as soothing as it sounds; named after one Louis Aloe
  • Bacon St. - Not as yummy as it sounds; named after one Henry Bacon
  • Bisque St. - All right, I'm getting hungry now.
  • Blow St. - Don't laugh; it's named after Henry Blow
  • Cadet Ave. - Actually named after Pierre "Cadet" Chouteau
  • Cardinal St. - Amazingly, this street in the City of the Cardinals is named after one Jean Marie Cardinal!
  • Checkerboard Square - Named for the Ralston Purina headquarters
  • Chevrolet Ave. - Named after the General Motors plant
  • Cologne Ave. - By any other name, the German city of Köln smelleth, er...
  • Euclid Ave. - Named not after the great Greek mathematician, but for a street in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Eureka Ave. - Named not for an expression of joyous discovery by the ancient scholar Archimedes, but for the state motto of California. Nevertheless, if you find this one-block-long, unmarked street, you'll probably say "Eureka!" in the original sense of the word.
  • Frisco Lane - "Frisco," also the name of a favorite Ted Drewes flavor, evokes no less scenic a vista than the freight yards of the St. Louis & San Fransisco Railway.
  • Gas Light Square - You'll think I'm trying to drive you mad when I tell you this street was named for a theater district that no longer exists.
  • Gay St. - Would you want to live there, even if it is named after a certain John Gay?
  • Grape Ave. - A very refreshing place to live!
  • Gravois Ave. - How would you feel if you knew that one of the south city's busiest streets is named for the French word for gravel?
  • Half St. - Just because it was really narrow
  • Hydraulic Ave. - Because of the nearby Hydraulic Press Brick Co.
  • Itaska St. - Misspelled from Itasca, the lake at the headwaters of the Mississippi River, this name sounds for all the world like it means something in a Native American dialect. Actually, it was coined from the Latin words veritas caput, meaning "true source." How do you like that?
  • Iron St. - After the industry
  • Ivory Ave. - After one John Ivory
  • James Cool Papa Bell Ave. - Don't you want to live there? It's named after a baseball hero of the old Negro Leagues.
  • January Ave. - Another street in my neighborhood, surprisingly named after one Derrick January!
  • Limit Ave. - Because it was located at the city limits
  • Natural Bridge Ave. - Because (duh) the road crossed a natural-arch bridge
  • Pacific St. - Not beachfront property at all, it's named for the Pacific Railroad.
  • Palm St. - It sounds so warm and tropical, but really it's named after one William Palm.
  • Quiet St. - Mum's the word!
  • Race Course Ave. - After a track that no longer exists
  • Produce Row - Near Commerce Row and Market St. I'm not kidding!
  • Saloma Ave. - Bad taste and bad spelling come together in this street named in honor of a biblical villainess.
  • Sublette Ave. - A landlord's worst nightmare? Or named in honor of William and Solomon Sublette?
  • Teachers Dr. - If you want to avoid catching dirty looks, avoid this street in the neighborhood of Harris-Stowe College.
  • Unter den Linden - Huh? Oh,'s also the name of a street in Berlin, Germany.
  • Valentine St. - I don't know if it's a great place to go as a couple, but it's named after a Capuchin monk who served as St. Louis's first Catholic priest.
  • Vest Ave. - I hear cummerbunds are out and vests are in, but this Vest is named after one George Vest, whose memory is decidedly out.
  • Violaview Dr. - I'm really curious about what this is supposed to mean. Was this street the home of a nude string quartet that played with the drapes open?
  • Vulcan St. - Though named in honor of the nearby iron works, it still sounds like a nice place to live long and prosper.
  • Zepp St. - Notable only because it sounds funny, and it's at the end of the alphabet.
If you've spotted any doozies that I've missed, let me know! Or, if you know of another city that outdoes St. Louis in the funny-street-names dept., feel free to drop some examples in the Comments!

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