What’s in a Name?

Depending on where you live in the Valley, your street name could have direct ties to the area—the metal-related street names near the industrial plants in downtown Henderson come to mind—or it could have no significance at all. Odds are, your street name falls under the latter category, especially if your neighborhood was developed during the building boom of the 1990s and early 2000s. A recent story on the New York-based website TheAwl.com examines our Valley’s street names, and how we ended up with such ridiculous locations as Pillow Talk Court, Exotic Plum Avenue and Big Bird Court. This rapid expansion also brought us “Bugsy Siegal Circle,” “Jane Austin Avenue” and “Alfa Romero Avenue,” street names created so quickly that nobody thought to look up the proper spellings of the inspirations behind them. The article is both entertaining and informative—a key source is Clark County historian Mark Hall-Patton, who authored the 2009 book Asphalt Memories, which provides the origins behind many of our street names. Along with neighborhoods that have streets named after Star Wars characters, astronauts and Los Angeles Dodgers players, we also have one with Wall Street-themed names such as Capital Gains Drive and Stock Option Street. Thankfully, it doesn’t include a Foreclosure Lane. Too many of our streets could have been mistaken for that one.

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