Monday, October 20, 2008

What's in a Name?

Apparently a heck of a lot, according to one South Bronx community activist (who shall remain nameless) who doesn't like the term "SoBro." Actually, it may even be more accurate to say he detests the nickname his South Bronx hood, asking us not to use it because it is a "moniker of gentrification."

As anyone who reads BoogieDowner knows, we frequently refer to South Bronx as "SoBro." With our main goal being changing the negative PR image of the Bronx, we just think it's better to use the name "SoBro," as people who are kinda dumb and stuck in the 70s think of fires, murders and looting when they here "South Bronx." It's also shorter and cuter looking in a sentence.

We want to here from the readers out there: Are we annoying the crap out of you every time we write "SoBro?" Would you rather us just say "South Bronx" and leave the "SoBro" nickname to the real estate agents?

With the countdown to the presidential election on, BoogieDowner wants to rally the troops with a little poll of our own. Let us know how you feel about the term "SoBro" by voting on this issue in the upper-right hand side of the page. MAYBE, just MAYBE if enough of you guys hate the nickname we'll stop using it...

Let's also get some comments going on this issue.

*Those are actually my legs - I took a self portrait of them this morning in the living room... I've been working out*

**Psych!!!! Those aren't my legs... gotcha! Sexy legs courtesy of**



InsideParkchester said...

That the contributers of the BoogieDowner's blog are very enthusiastic about blogging is clear -- the material here is well written and often times quite interesting.

Clearly SoBro was crafted from flipping Manhattan's Soho. And clearly this name change alludes to gentrification of certain parts of the South Bronx.

Personally (I think) I prefer continuing to call this part of town the South Bronx.

Partly because this allows us to remember the history of the neighborhood even though it has dramatically changed.


Anonymous said...

I don't like SoBro either. It's an annoying play off of the name of an annoying neighborhood. To me, when I read SoBro, I think it actually only stands for the "new" parts of the neighborhood. If you want to talk about it all, old and new, I like the South Bronx. Reclaim the name!

Anonymous said...

I like the name SoBro. Let's face something: The South Bronx has changed and will furhter change dramatically. The Bronx needs a new image more than any other place in the world. New nicknames for areas, new blogs (like this one), new photo books at Amazon and new faces mixed in with the old. SoBro sounds like a place I would like to live. The South Bronx sounds like a frightening place lost in the 1970s.

SoBro - sounds like happy place with some worth.
South Bronx - sounds like Afghanistan or Bagdad.

Come on Bronx... these are the times the borough has been waiting for.,, For the people living there and the new ones coming in.

Anonymous said...

I don't think 'SoBro' is the evil agent of gentrification or anything, but I still prefer the name South Bronx. With a bit of distance from the burning era, keeping a consistent name lets you think of the good (hello, hip hop!) along with the bad. It's only worth changing the name if you feel the bad permanently outweighs the good. 'SoBro' is right up there with 'Clinton' - I'd rather live in a neighborhood called 'Hell's Kitchen'!

The one positive of 'SoBro' is that, for whatever reason, it brings immediately to mind the t row of antique shops.

Anonymous said...

I prefer South Bronx too.

Don't think there's the need to change a name when the reality has already been changed.
Don't think we need to change a name to made it acceptable to suburbanites or to wasp now too poor for Manhattan.
The Bronx and expecially the South Bronx youth urban culture was able to spread all over the world, and is known also for positive and creative things. Americans just need to travel the world, then there will be no reason to change names.

Unknown said...

SoBro just sounds awkward to me. Not every neighborhood can become a portmanteau.

Before you know it you will be able to go from SoBro, north through MoHi, hit BePa and then end up in KiBri...

Anonymous said...

I only like LoCo, for Lower Concourse, because its Spanish meaning doesn't allow the moniker to be too self important.

Otherwise I think you gotta stick to the basics: it's the Bronx, or it's a quadrant of the Bronx (South Bronx, Central Bronx, Northwest Bronx, etc.), or it's a neighborhood sans shorthand (Mott Haven, Port Morris, Morrisania, Melrose Commons, etc.).

Anonymous said...

I personally don't think there is anything wrong in using it as a fun blogging shorthand (much like using the terms Bilburg, Gotham, nabe, etc.) But it would sound silly (to my ears anyway) if someone were to actually reference the term when actually speaking. Let's leave THAT to the realtors.

P.S. Matt - Aren't all the antique shops gone? The last time I was there, there was only one on Bruckner and 2 on Alexander. Antique Row as we knew it is (sadly) gone. Unless there are others nestled somewhere that I missed.