Somewhere, I know there are people whose entire job consists of appropriately naming things: products, streets, television shows, etc. Sometimes that seems like a fantasy career but other times I just have to wonder what they think they are doing. My yoga studio is in Wealthy Cultured Neighborhood, which is adjacent to Private University #1. Some of the people who live there are connected with Private University #1 (since their faculty make way more than those of us at Large Urban U) but others are the upper economic percentile of youngish professionals who are establishing families. It's maybe not as wealthy as some other neighborhoods in the city, but prides itself on the university atmosphere which is supposed to waft over the boulevards, infusing everything with cultural capital equivalent to the financial capital evidenced in the large houses and immaculate lawns. (In my neighborhood, most houses have 1 or more dogs, many of which are German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Pit Bulls, often kept in the yard behind a fence to scare off intruders before they come too close. In Wealthy Cultured Neighborhood there are no fences, and no dogs visible. All you see are lawns and little signs that say "no dogs" with a slash through a picture of a pooping pooch. The security systems are silent, invisible, omnipresent.)
So, anyway, on the way to yoga I keep driving past a site of new home construction: a group of what they're calling "carriage houses" arranged around a central green space. Basically these are townhomes built over and around garages. What causes me to notice this particular site: it's going to be called Cheyne Walk. Now, Cheyne Walk, a street in the Chelsea neighborhood of London, is famous for many of its former residents -- but the one that comes first to my mind is Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who lived at #16 for roughly ten years after his wife's death in 1862 -- ten years of incredible artistic productivity in both painting and poetry. Rossetti is one of the greatest poets and artists of the 19th century. He's also famous for an eccentric bohemian lifestyle: chloral addiction, numerous mistresses, exotic animals in the house, and much carousing. Hardly the sort of association you'd expect in Wealthy Cultured Neighborhood. So I have to wonder, do they have any idea who lived at Cheyne Walk? Or is it appealing just because it's a London street name?