New York

NYC Assemblyman: Prevent Portmanteaux Proliferation!


Dumbo. NoLita. Tribeca. New York City is full of neighborhood-identifying portmanteaux and acronyms; some clever, most faintly ridiculous (the South Bronx as SoBro?). But Brooklyn Assemblyman Hakeem Jefferies, providing further evidence that only the dumbest people pursue careers in politics, wants local government to intercede and stop real estate brokers from "raising rents" with their stupid new neighborhood names. You want to call the intersection of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights "ProCro" in a real estate listing? Jefferies' bill would require city approval:  

"It's the Wild West in New York City right now. Brokers are allowed to essentially pull names out of thin air in order to rebrand a neighborhood and have the effect of raising rents or home prices."

And like the mythical "Whole Foods effect," there isn't any evidence suggesting that "rebranding a neighborhood" raises rents. If that were the case, why not simply rechristen East New York (EaNeYo?) and watch the Bugaboo stroller brigades snap up all the former crack houses?

With stupid ideas like these, it's no wonder the Jefferies is considering a run for New York nanny-in-chief. 

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  1. When is this country going to get serious about stronger border enforcement to keep people from escaping from New York?

    1. After Snake Plissken retires.

      1. I heard he was dead!

        1. Snake can never die, only slumber until he is needed again.

          1. I’m still waiting for them to make Escape from St. Louis.

            1. There is no escape from St. Louis.

              1. “Escape from Rochester”

                1. Wadda ya mean, the ferry to Toronto went bankrupt?!!!

                2. “Escape from Rochester”


            2. They did. It was called Wagon Train.

              1. Kind of a Star Trek to the plains.

            3. I want to get away from Judy Garland and that fucking trolley song.

    2. Rush Limbaugh would be pissed to find out he couldn’t leave. He comes up here often.

      1. Maybe he would call Plissken for help.

  2. “It’s the Wild West in New York City right now.

    I have stumbled onto a recent conclusion– epiphany, if you will:

    Politicians and liberal folk in general hate “The Wild West”.

    Why? Anything that’s “bad” in their eyes gets described as “The Wild West”.

    I always get this image of a bunch of people milling around, freely associating while they stand in the middle shouting at the top of their lungs: “We will have order, we will have perfection, we will have rules!!!”

    1. The movie was pretty bad.

      1. So, so bad. Will Smith takes yet another steaming dump on America.

        1. It’s what he does, dude. What will be his next abomination?

          1. Well, Black Sheep Squadron would probably have to be renamed if he went that way.

            1. Baa Baa Black Sheep. Black Sheep Squadron was just the syndication title.

              1. You expect a Will Smith abomination not to start by working from the syndication title?

                I dare you to knock this off.

                1. What, Will Smith is remaking the Robert Conrad battery commercial? That’s just wrong.

          2. I remember reading that they were planning to remake Colossus: The Forbin Project with him.


            1. Meh. Colossus is OK, but hasn’t aged well. I’d rather he rape that than something better. The more his rape energies are focused on things that I don’t care about, the better.

              1. Blasphemy. Colossus is kind of awesome.

                But at least they didn’t cast him as Cpt. Kirk in a terrible Star Trek reboot.

                1. I saw Colossus as a kid and it scared the shit out of me. Saw it again a few years ago and no, like any tech-heavy movie from that era, it hasn’t aged well, but it’s still pretty effective otherwise.

                  Denzel Washington has a shitty record for remakes as well. The Taking of the Manchurian Candidate 1, 2, 3 anyone?

        2. In defense of local politicians, regulators and generally concerned citizens, I’ve never heard one complain about The Wild Wild West. Just the one Wild West.


        3. I sure liked the series. Damn that Will Smith and his destructive ways!

          1. It seems that currently, he’s working on Men in Black III and Bad Boys 3, which is a blessing: he’s only continuing his own horrible garbage and not ruining someone else’s work. Bonus part: Michael Bay may direct the latter. If only there could be some kind of on set accident, involving the two of them and airplane fuel or possibly rabid wolverines. Or both.

            If only.

            1. If Jerry Bruckheimer is going to bankroll the thing, wow…the Holy Triple Crown could achieved.

              Frankly though, Will Smith’s entropy has occurred, and it will dissipate over time.

              The primary mission now must be to stop him from inflicting his kids on the world…which he obviously is trying to do in the most insidious nepotistic ways. There is no greater imperative to the cultural sanctity of our collective future than stopping Smith 2.0.

              1. I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth
                I whip my hair back and forth

              2. Michael Bay is a vastly greater, and more current threat, dude. And he’s impossible to stop.

                1. What if Michael Bay is directing Smith 2.0 – all by themselves – in a mere six or seven years?

                  It would be worse than crossing the streams. And yet crossing the streams could be only way to stop them at that point.

                  1. Uh, ZeitGeist, I thought you said crossing the streams was bad. Remember that time you tried to drill a hole through your head?

                    And what you describe will have to be dealt with if and when it happens. The Second Coming slouches towards Hollywood to be born.

                    1. Willow gone…only Zool.

              3. When you’re even a douchier martial arts guy than Ralph Macchio perhaps your ceiling is too low to be a threat. Or at least I hope it is.

            2. See, I’d be okay if he’d not be allowed to destroy anything else. I have this awful dream where he plays Hari Seldon in an action-adventure movie called Foundation.

            3. Rabid wolverines! In FLAMES!

              1. Secretary Of Defense: Those aren’t ideas, those are special effects.

                Michael Bay: I don’t understand the difference.

                Secretary Of Defense: I know you don’t. (to guards) Get him out of here!

            4. Don’t you realize that airplane fuel doesn’t burn hot enough to take down Michael Bay?!

          2. I even liked the first TV movie. $600 people! The 2nd, not so much.

        4. Selma Hyack in a corset was a redeeming feature.

          1. Oh, for a second I thought you were going to refer to Selma Hayek.

            1. For a second I thought you were going to refer to Salma Hayek.

              1. Never heard of her.

                1. Oh, I see the difference now. Selma has a bigger ass. I’m going with Selma.

                  1. I dunno, she was cute and looked good in a corset.

          2. What pisses me off is that three of my favorite shows from the same era–Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and The Wild Wild West–were all raped and murdered for evil remake purposes.

            Fucking original films, how do they work?

            1. Coming soon, Sanford and Son, Chico and the Man, and the Green Acres movie.

              just kidding

              1. Green Acres was crazy and surreal. A remake that made no sense whatsoever might work.

                1. Hey, looks like we had the same idea. let’s get together and do this. I’m friendly with Damon Lindelof, who’s been a TV producer, but he’s too young to have seen the original 1st run. Maybe I could persuade…my thought ran to Arne Sultan, but I see he’s waaaay dead, 25 yrs. I must’ve meant Alan Spencer, I know he’s still around — same initials.

              2. Green Acres works only as a series. It could be redone that way satisfactorily — even just “resuming”, recast. In fact, the recasting of every part as if nothing had changed would be part of the shtick. Instead of a Hungarian accent, Lisa would have — oh, I don’t know, maybe a San Fernando Valley girl accent — which of course everyone but her husband would understand perfectly.

                You couldn’t do it in less than about 10 hours of TV without its appearing very crude. Could you do it on screen in theaters? Sure, but only as serial shorts, like TV.

                1. I say animate it.

                  1. Nah. Green Acres would lose all its charm as actual cartoon characters. The point was having cartoonish setups for live actors.

                    Trying to figure out a way for it to work on radio…still thinking….

                    1. No, not the show. The people. Some are even still alive.

                2. Damn the limit on thread depth here!

                3. Petticoat Junction, bitches!


                  1. Or The Beverly Hillbillies.

              3. Coming soon, Sanford and Son, Chico and the Man, and the Green Acres movie.

                just kidding

                Uhhh, about that…you might want to avoid the theaters next xmas…

                Guess which one will feature the Tokomak Bomb?

                1. Fission reactors = A-bombs
                  Fusion reactors = THE DEADLY POTENTIAL OF A SUPERNOVA!

                2. A tokamak that did something other than eat electricity? Now that’s science fiction.

                  1. You take that back! [Runs away, sobbing, holding on to visions of a post-scarcity society.]

            2. What they did to Mission: Impossible was criminal from the casting of Cruise to the screwing with the Phelps character to turning it into some nightmare action movie wannabe.

              Buncha tools.

              1. It’s like making a movie where Captain Kirk is a secret Klingon or George Washington was a British spy. Was the whole time.

                I’m surprised that Peter Graves didn’t terrorize everyone involved.

                1. Now that I think of it, Mission Impossible was the start of the remake frenzy that now so encompasses Hollywood. The tip of the iceberg, as it were.

                  It’s so fitting that Tom Cruise was involved.

                  1. Absolutely no way this isn’t all a Scientology plot.

                    1. Well now MI3 was actually pretty good, despite it having Tom Cruise. The first two were absolute dreck, though.

                  2. Actually, The Brady Bunch Movie came out a year before Mission Impossible.

                2. Kirk as a secret Klingon would have been better than the Rebel Without a Clue we got.

            3. Eh. I liked De Palma’s “Mission: Impossible.” The sequels, however, are rubbish.

              1. BlasPHEMer!

  3. Gregory Smith sat up.
    “Must have been some fucking dream”, the man said as he reached out a canteen full of moonshine towards Greg.

    Greg grabbed the canteen and took a big swig. It was warm and he choked on it. Some moonshine spilled out of his mouth and ran down his chin. He wiped it off with his sleeve, thought about the dream and fought with all his might to keep from vomiting.

    “Name’s Balko”, the man said outstretching his hand, “We’re the
    reason squad.”

    1. You will be hearing from my attorneys soon…

  4. My understanding is that the rent is too damned high.

    1. The Wild West always has high rents.

    2. Obama promised to pay my rent. What’s the effin’ hold up?

  5. Reminds me of the tv show “How I Met Your Mother” episode “Dowisetrepla” where two of the characters purchased an apartment in the new hot Dowisetrepla are of NY, only to find out later that it is Down Wind of the Sewage Treatment Plant.

    1. I’m so glad I swallowed before reading that one!

    2. First thing I thought of, as well.

  6. “”And like the mythical “Whole Foods effect,” there isn’t any evidence suggesting that “rebranding a neighborhood” raises rents. “”

    The names don’t raise the rents. But they might be used to make the higher rent attractive to those who thinks the name matters.

    “”You want to call the intersection of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights “ProCro” in a real estate listing?””

    Someone might not want to pay $3000 for an apartment avertised at on the border of Prospect and crown heights. Those names have a stigma attached from the past. But ProCro sounds hip.

    Hakeem Jefferies is misguided.

    1. “ProCro” makes it sound like the neighborhood is cromagnon-friendly.

      1. It is.

        1. They’re not friendly cromagnons.

          1. But more friendly than the ones 20 years ago.

            1. I’m just waiting for the Cro cop neighborhood.


          1. Steve Smith, you so crazy

  7. Actually, this is a very real phenomenon in cities like New York. Real estate agents invent new neighborhoods out of the blue in order to distance themselves from the reputation of the areas where their properties are located. These rebranded neighborhoods then become epicenters for people who want to get in on the ground floor of emerging, up-and-coming locales. New Yorkers generally hate it.

    But, of course, that doesn’t mean there should be a law against it.

    1. So easily deceived wealthy people move into certain areas? How is this even a problem? Too many rich people in New York? Houston can take them if they’re that obnoxious. They can spend their money down here and drive our rents up.

      1. No, I think they’re perfectly happy in New York. All the tumbleweeds and whatnot down here wouldn’t be appealing to them at all. They should stay away. At all costs.

    2. It’s been going on at least 50 years from my experience, and I’m sure much longer. I grew up in Bronx Heights — an area which had never been known by that name before, and never since. Googling “bronx heights” now shows it’s being applied to an entirely different section of the borough.

      Only by Googling “bronx heights improvement” (from the Bronx Heights Improvement Ass’n) did I get a hit,…..member.php , that appears to apply to my old neighborhood, and that in fiction and probably applied a bit anachronistically (written 1970 probably from recent past experience and applied to 1940 which is probably before its time).

  8. Prevent Portmanteaux Proliferation!

    Alliteration is so pedestrian, Michael.

    1. You should’ve used assonance in your criticism.

      1. You’re an assonance!

        1. You’re not doing it right.

          1. Think of the damages that Wu-Tang owes aspiring Buddhist martial artists who moved to Staten Island in search of a master.

            1. Better.

      2. Always asking about assonance acts against authentic and accurate accounting.

  9. Trust the NY Times to:

    1. Write the whole article and not mention something simple like, oh, the mechanism the bill would use to stop people from creating these names.

    2. Write the whole article without once stating the obvious fact that the notion is ludicrous.

    1. Objectivity is never pointing out the obvious.

      1. Obvioustivity?

        1. No portmanteaux! Damn, can’t you read the article!

          1. Your first mistake was using French.

          2. PortmantNo?

            1. “Port” means a place where ships dock.

              “Man” means a male human or sometimes all humans.

              “Teaux” is some obscure language’s word for castles.

              So, clearly, “portmanteaux” means a castle where a man docks his ship. In other words, the vagina.

                1. That would be just porteaux. No man, you see.

                  1. Who does the shitting, then?

                    1. One of the great, unanswered questions in philosophy. Trying to answer it got Socrates killed.

                    2. Self-realization, ProL. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, “…I shat what?”

                    3. The original real genius.

    2. 1. Write the whole article and not mention something simple like, oh, the mechanism the bill would use to stop people from creating these names.

      2. Write the whole article without once stating the obvious fact that the notion is ludicrous.

      The NYT reports, you decide.

      Besides, it’s:

      1. Regulation
      2. It’s vaguely suggestive that this is a good weapons in the War On Gentrification.

  10. What about the historic neighborhoods of BloMe, NutSak, the Chodes, KnobLic, RimJob, CircJerk, and BuKake?

  11. Oh. When I saw the title of the blog entry, I thought it was going to be about the threat handbags posed as terroristes used them to smuggle weapons.

    Well, all right, then.

    1. I thought it said Portmeirion, where they shot The Prisoner.
      Strangely enough, control over neighborhood nicknames sounds like a Prisoner episode.

      1. Don’t they shoot prisoners all the time in Afghanistan?

  12. the South Bronx as SoBro?

    Cool South Bronx, Yo.


    1. Brighton Beach as BriBe?

  13. For as much as Chicago gets shit on for being a nanny state (and rightly so, mind you) I think New York is catching up in a hurry. We may have banned foie gras, but at least we haven’t tried to ban salt, require fast food chains to post nutritional info, or infringed on the First Amendment rights of real estate agents to sucker folks into paying too much for a condo in West Bucktown.

    1. WeButo? Did I pay too much?

      1. Depends on whether you bought before or after 2007.

  14. I would assume that even in New York, most people actually find out where an apartment is located before they rent it. I don’t even know what else to say.

    1. Where’e the challenge in that?

  15. Reminds me of Hunter Thompson’s campaign pledge to rename Aspen “Fat City.”

    1. He almost won too, good times.

  16. What about Just East of West Side? Aka JEWS?

    1. That’s already in Park Slope, dude.

      1. Park Slope would be more like New Babiesandlesbians.

  17. It’s Democracy, stupid!

  18. Rents in NYC are sky-high because of rent control, and the city’s hostility to new construction.


    1. Shush…don’t throw rational thought and understanding of basic economics into this thread.

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