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A Lack of Imagination



I read with interest the article about Sean Armstrong wanting to rename some of Arcata's streets ('This is Our World,' Aug. 27). I've been thinking about that for years, but not for historical reasons — simply for their lack of imagination. Perhaps only Salt Lake City can boast a more mundane street organization. Arcata, though, is hardly large enough to warrant trapping its wonderfully creative citizens in this 1-2-3-A-B-C grid. When San Francisco laid out the completely square plan for what was to become "the avenues," at least it had the foresight and imagination to do the alphabet in Spanish surnames.

So, in that vein, and with the certainty that we are even more fun up here (and with a nod to whoever has already named Eye and Jay streets north of the skate park), I propose the renaming of all alphabetical streets: Eh Street, Be Street, See Street, De Street, Iiiiii Street, If Street, Gee! Street, Itch Street, Eye Street, Jay Street, Kaye Street, Al Street, Am Street, End Street, Oh! Street, Pea Street, (eliminate Q for now — we all know that Q is useless without all the U's that follow him), Are Street, Ass Street, Tea Street, You Street, Fee Street, Axe Street, Why Street, Zie Street. I realize that we will have to infringe on a couple decent-enough street names in the Greenview area to squeeze in those last few.

And numerical streets? Even more boring. Well, San Francisco paid homage to its Spanish colonization. Arcata could go one better. How about just adopting the written Wiyot word for all of the numbers. Then, simply as a matter of living here, we would all know a few Wiyot words. I don't pretend to know anything about the Wiyot language but I would venture that their words might have a nicer ring than "seventeenth," "eighteenth" or nineteenth." And at least they'd have something to do with this particular place we call home.

Alan Sanborn, Arcata

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