As in any major city, many of the streets are often named after famous people, heroes, political leaders, kings and queens, artists and writers. In some cases, one does not even have to be deceased to get a street name, providing there are sufficient political connections to attain that honor.
(Of course, in my adopted home town of Philadelphia, one might surmise that "Street Road" is an example of such modern-day political patronage, and that it was named for former mayor John Street. Not so. Its name actually dates back to my time, in the late 17th century. For most of its existence, it was known as "the street road," because back in those days, "street" meant "paved road." However, while this road was constructed in 1737, the paving was not completed until 1911, according to one account. I must say, however, that having a thoroughfare by this name must be rather confusing. Why not name it "Street Street"? Or "Street Avenue"? Has anyone ever considered "Road Street"? But I digress.)
Finding Franklin Street
Back to the topic at hand: In all modesty, in my case, it can be somewhat unnerving to suddenly encounter a street named after myself – until I realize that I am here in the future, in the year 2014, where most of my friends, acquaintances, and fellow patriots of the 1700s have been similarly recognized.
I would wonder, however, whether there is ever any thought as to the appropriateness of a particular name in relation to the specific neighborhood that it graces? For example, does Revere Street allow horseback riding (remember Paul Revere’s midnight ride)? Does Washington Street cross Delaware Street? Do the residents of Adams Street consume a great deal of ale?
And as for my own named thoroughfare, what would be an appropriate neighborhood? One that includes a number of printers, newspapers, or journalism establishments? Or perhaps some scientific laboratories where there are a great number of inventions being worked on? Or, in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capitol, I would think that an area which has a lot of foreign embassies, where diplomacy is the order of business, would make for a wonderful “Franklin Avenue.”
No kites allowed
Then, on the other hand, I can imagine a setting where there are a lot of overhead electric lines (good connection!) but because of this, flying a kite would not be a very wise undertaking, for the safety of the children concerned (bad connection!). Alas, one can’t have everything.
In any case, I do have to admit, seeing my name up on a street sign does give me a sense of pride and accomplishment. My work has not been for naught!
Your humble servant,