Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An Arlandria by Any Other Name...

It didn't take long for someone to raise the issue last night. My wife has mentioned it at least a dozen times and I noticed a sigh of relief on several faces yesterday when a Hume Springs resident who's been there since the beginning (almost 60 years) brought it up. Many people seem to think the name itself doesn't really roll of the tongue and carries negative connotations.

Should Arlandria really be called Arlandria? Arlandria has such a negative stigma associated with it from non-residents that I think it's at least worth considering. If a name change were suggested to re-brand the neighborhood away from the negative perceptions of the past, what actually makes sense? This is completely a what-if discussion. Here are a couple of ideas, feel free to add your own in the comments:

  • Four Mile Village - wrapped around Four Mile Run Park, this emphasises the park and hopefully promotes additional green space (other similar names include Park View, Four Mile Park, Stream View, etc).
  • North Del Ray - promotes us as a neighbor and almost a part of the hugely resurgent Del Ray much like Potomac/North Potomac in Montgomery County
  • Potomac West North - Arlandria literally is the northern portion of Potomac West, so this probably makes the most sense geographically
  • Sunnyside - A portion of Arlandria that just has a positive ring to it.

Tell me which you like or if you have better ideas... or if you think it's a terrible idea to change it. I only bring it up because there was more support from a wide range of people than I expected for a rename.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like North Del Ray. It helps orient city staff who seem to have forgotten where it is.

Anonymous said...

My hubby and I both like North Del Ray. The "Del" incorporates the Latino flavor of the area. "North of the Ray"

Anonymous said...

Sunnyside sounds too much like a calculated marketing ploy to me. Same with Village.

Anonymous said...

"negative connotations" like what -- brown people?

Nick Partee said...

The idea was brought up by an African American woman, so I doubt she raised the issue with race in mind. The negative connotations involve the historically high crime rate, segregation, flooding, etc. The flooding problem was fixed by the Army Corps of Engineers, the segregation is obviously long gone, and the crime rate has fallen substantially over the years. Re-branding the area through re-naming is just one way to go, but maybe the fastest if it were executed well and people reach out to the community about the idea, first.

Anonymous said...

why not "chirilagua" then? let's see what "connotations" that brings up for you.

John said...

Honestly, I love the Arlandria name. It's consistent with the "geography-mixing" naming of other areas in South Arlington (Shirlington amd Fairlington), for one. Two, I think that as the neighborhood redevelops, the stereotypes associated with it likewise redevelop. I can remember when U St, 14th St., and Adams Morgan in DC all had their own stereotypes which have since evolved as those neighborhoods have evolved.

Rather than try to re-brand Arlandria, why not celebrate what it is (at least IMHO) -- a funkier, ethnic alternative to Del Ray?