Name That Neighborhood: An Old Neighborhood Suddenly Becomes Cool, Creating an Identity Crisis

Name That Neighborhood
Charlotte Magazine, January 2016

“YOU MEAN THE little houses across Park Road?”

When a neighborhood like mine doesn’t have a name, unfortunate things can happen when people make up their own. This one, a prime example, came courtesy of a woman in Myers Park. Although it was short on charm, I couldn’t fault its accuracy. Most of my house could probably fit into a Queens Road home’s foyer. Still, Myers Park is a lofty standard by which to judge square footage. So I laughed and said, “Yes, that’s us. The little houses across Park Road.”

Then I thought, This place really needs a name.

This is an unusual problem to have in Charlotte, a city that loves its neighborhoods so much that their names double as adjectives. People don’t just live in uptown, South End, or Ballantyne, they are uptown, South End, or Ballantyne. Our neighborhoods provide fodder for T-shirt slogans (“Plaza Midwood: Hipsters in the Ghetto”), and they’ve even inspired a line of Ella B. Candles signature scents. (The scent of Dilworth? Gardenia and lily of the valley. NoDa? Tuberose, musk, and patchouli.) Our neighborhoods don’t just house us. They brand us.

My neighborhood doesn’t have a T-shirt. It has no signature scented candle. For those, it would need a name.

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