Manhattan's street grid can leave little room for a geographic area to express itself as a self-identifed neighborhood. The exception is through a neighborhood name. The area above 96th Street on the Upper West Side has been trying for years to come up with a neighborhood moniker to convey how great and unique it is, and it keeps failing. This is why people aren't allowed to pick their own nicknames. Following are some attempts at naming the area between 96th and 110th Street and why they haven't stuck.
· Bloomingdale: Long before the store and in the 19th Century, the name Bloomingdale was too strongly associated with the insane asylum on the current grounds of Columbia University.
· SoHa: South of Harlem was an attempted non-starter. A district manager of the local Business Improvement District claimed that it was an affront to neighbors to associate the area with Soho in any way.
· Upper Upper Manhattan: Trying too hard. Sounds like a speech impediment.
· SoCo: South of Columbia (University) made some people queasy, like aligning the whole area with the acquisitive Ivy was a giant shot of nauseating syrup.
· Manhattan Valley: a favorite of major media outlets and realtors whenever property values are on the rise. Maybe because it tricks the brain into hearing Manhattan Value?
One resident told DNA info that after tiring of having to explain that he doesn't live in the 70s or 80s when he simplifies and says he lives on the Upper West Side, he came up with other alternatives: "The Pre-Columbian, ReBeHa (for Rectangle Below Harlem), Riverside Park North, Riverside North, and Candelaville, in honor of architect Rosario Candela, who designed several residential buildings on West End Avenue and Riverside Drive." All of those make us nostalgic for Upper Upper Manhattan. So readers, have any suggestions for what to rename the area between West 110th and 96th Streets?
· From Bloomingdale to SoHa: One UWS Neighborhood's Quest for a Name [DNAinfo]
· Neighborhood Names [Curbed]