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Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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The rich live on better streets

Working at a job where I handle quite a few checks, in a haze of boredom I often notice the street people live on.

No, I’m not planning on stalking anyone, but I have noted an interesting social division occurring in Bowling Green: the names of the streets people live on.

Actually, it’s wrong to call them “streets.” That’s too proletarian. It’s a “drive” or a “circle” or maybe even a “boulevard” and people give them names like Foxgate or Trafalgar Bend.

Reaching for new heights of pretentiousness, people have set themselves up on two paved lanes christened with titles like Country Club Drive or Alexandria Boulevard.

There’s Larchwood Drive, where Dr. Ribeau lives in a condominium and Hillcrest Drive, where Ribeau used to live.

So what, you might be asking, is the big deal?

Well, I think it’s interesting that the largely well-to-do people who live on drives (or lanes, or circles, etc.) have not only been separated from the rest of us economically, in that they probably make a ton of money, but they have also separated themselves even more by settling in places that have such bourgeois names.

These names are so ridiculously ritzy that one finds it hard to even say them without affecting a British accent, a la Robin Leach, host of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

Say it with me: Larchwood Drive. Good. Now take a sip of that martini.

I get the impression that having a local artery of transportation that has such an upper-crust moniker as the examples I’ve given might truly factor in the selection of a place to live.

One gets the impression that a person would be less reluctant to buy a mansion located on something with an unimpressive name like State Street or Merry. No sir. It’s got to be something like Barrington Avenue or Stonesgate Circle.

I mean, Stonesgate Circle? That’s not even proper English! And it’s hard to imagine Hillcrest Drive being on much of a hill, owning to the fact that the people who started this town settled it in a friggin’ swamp.

Meanwhile, the rest of us get stuck with names like Summit or Prospect or, if you live over the tracks, you don’t even get a proper name at all! Instead, it’s just a number for you. First Street, Second Street, Third Street… it’s like the people who decide the names of the paved surfaces around here ran out of steam when they named those places.

Or, more likely, they probably just realized that’s where a majority of the students would be living and just didn’t care.

While there are certain advantages to having a street with a number for its name, like the brevity of the address you have to write out on envelopes for the mail or the place you want that keg delivered, I’m upset by the inequality expressed here.

I want a street or whatever named after some sort of animal we’ve hunted to near-extinction here or is, in name at least, a gate to something.

While there’s something to be said for the upbeat names of streets and roads like Merry, Prospect, and Enterprise, I can’t help but feel that we, as students, have largely been left behind when it comes to the name game.

I yearn to feel the intoxicating smugness that people living in places like Sparrow Lane and Champagne Avenue feel when they tell all of their WASPy friends where they live.

But with an increasing disparity between the rich and poor under the Bush Administration and my eventual employment in the teaching workforce, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever get to experience that joy unless I play Monopoly.

Then it’s Boardwalk and Park Place, along with the exotic sounding Mediterranean Avenue, for me.

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