Tuesday, January 4, 2011
[For previous entries, click the "Most Gothic Place Names" label under Features in the right sidebar.]
First, my apologies: in my eagerness to get down to "Florida" in the wintertime (or perhaps I'm just alphabetically challenged), I skipped right over Delaware last week. But the little state neighboring my native Jersey has plenty of terrific names to offer. There's Slaughter Beach (a real sand trap), Cripple Creek (dire spot for divers), Long Point Landing (cue the Psycho music), Locustville (even the playgrounds are plague grounds), Six Forks (all the makings of an angry mob), The Blades (whose residents would fit right in with the folk from Six Forks), Woods Manor (sounds like the setting for a Charles Brockden Brown novel), Stones Throw (glass houses be damned), and Cave Colony (pirate hideout? haunt for Ketchum-esque cannibals?). It would take an incredible appellation to outdo these choices, but I did find one in...
Shady Side. The name captures the sense of dangerous duplicity inherent in American Gothic--the dark underbelly of the superficially bucolic. This town sounds like its entire area falls on the wrong side of the tracks; a haven for confidence men, and a hotbed of illicit activity. A place where every resident has his/her shady side, and is proud of it.