Ostentatiously Pretentious, or Pretentiously Ostentatious?

I have been hugely irritated by something for a reaaaaaaaaaaaalllllly long time, and you folks are the recipients of my diatribe.

Yay you..and me.

What in the name of all that is pretentious is up with a) subdivision and b) street names anymore?

We may have subdivisions names:

*Preston Oaks, Preston Hollow, Preston Hollow Oaks,  The Lakes, The Lakes on Preston, The Lakes on Preston Hollow, The Hollows on Preston Lake, The Lakes on Oaks at Preston Hollow, and The Lakes on Preston at Oaks Hollow.

And that’s just the N. Dallas area.

There are streets named:

**Arbor Trails, Rolling Meadow, Trails End, Arbor Glenn, High Meadow, Blue Glenn, Arbor Blue Trails, Glenn Rolling Meadow, and End Arbor Blue Trails.

And those may all be found in The Lakes on Oaks at Preston Hollow.

None of the above involve hollows, oaks, prestons, lakes, arbors, trails (okay, maybe trails are involved), glens, meadows, rolling, blue, or high.

This is prairie-land.  Stretching as far as the eye can see, a ‘hill’ is anything a foot above the ground.

So why all the pretense?

It irritates the hell out of me and always has.  Do we really have to think we’re so uppity, in our tract homes, to have high-brow sounding names for our neighborhoods and streets? 

Honey, as my mama says – a house is a house is a house, in Bent Tree or Bee Tree, the only difference is the price you pay.

And, for all our *creative* use of words meant to evoke the Scottish Highlands – good grief, there is actually an area here called “The Highlands”…it’s not – we suck at naming cities.

***We have:

Flower Mound – I imagine the naming went like this:  “Bob, what will we call this lovely patch of land?” Bob, looking at the pile of dead petunias in his yard his wife just removed after they died from the heat, “I know! We’ll call it ‘Flower Mound’.”  The rest is history.

Grand Prairie – it’s flat, it’s big, it’s a grand prairie

White Settlement – yes, it is named for what you think it’s named for, but no longer applies…of course.

Oak Cliff – and by ‘cliff’ we mean a rocky hill, overlooking the highway

Cedar Hill – the lone survivor, a cedar tree sits on a hill three feet high

Farmer’s Branch – some guy named Farmer cut down a branch one day……….

I’d about given up all hope of ever finding one neighborhood that was properly named, that would evoke the kind of feelings that would make me want to live there.

Until one sunny day in October one year, when I was traveling the southern portions of the Metro-OMG-does-it-ever-end-are-we-in-Mexico?-plex and I passed a big sign carved into rocks marking the entrance to the most epic and amazing and I-want-to-live-there neighborhood of all time.

Sleepy Hollow the sign proclaimed. 

The entrance was overgrown trees, shrubs that needed a trim, and even a few flowers here and there. There was ivy partially covering one of the signs.  It looked lovely, dark, deep, and creepy.

I had to see this.

I turned around as soon as I could and went back to Sleepy Hollow.

I was not disappointed as I inched my car along the twisty, turning, switchback-like roads that took me deeper into its dark recesses.  Oak and Maple and other benign-sounding monikers adorned the normal-looking street signs.

It was very quiet.  I saw not a soul, I could see birds flitting from huge oak to huge oak and it got darker as I drove further, turning down road after road, until I began to wonder if I’d be able to find my way back out of this seemingly-endless subdivision.

It was all very Sleepy Hollow-esque, but the best part was the houses.  I swear, if Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t actually design some of these homes, he was definitely an influence on the person who did.

The entire place was, in a word, awesome.

And then, I had to leave and I drove past The Lakes on the Shore of Glenn Trails, and didn’t see lakes, shores, glens (okay I did see a couple of guys, one of them could have been named Glenn) or trails and it was back to reality.

*there may or may not be subdivisions bearing these names…if there aren’t there soon will be

**ditto about the may/may not on the street names

***these are real towns…the explanation for their naming…meh…maybe

Posted on September 25, 2012, in Awesomesauce, Random Crap, Things That Annoy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Around here (NE Kansas) we like to name things after stuff that isn’t there anymore. Especially Indian tribes, but also Prairie this or that, and in one place, Corinth Paddocks (which was a paddock when I was a kid, and now is a housing development.)
    I think it’s stupid, really.

  2. From where I am currently sitting, I can reach either Slaughterhouse Road or No Hope Drive within about 20 minutes. (Slaughterhouse Road, I believe, is named for something that is no longer there, but don’t worry, No Hope Drive still has plenty of No Hope.) You may envy me now.


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