Nancy Sarnoff’s short interview with the woman responsible for naming new streets in The Woodlands is just too rich:
We use a lot of words that are just appealing, pretty images, like Peaceful Canyon. That neighborhood sold really well and I think it’s because of the name. We even did radio commercials that played off the name and it really helped market the area. Others are Racing Cloud, Amber Glow and Destiny Cove. We even have ones from Star Wars. That day I was really desperate. Nothing was popping into my head. We have lots of nautical names around Lake Woodlands like Outrigger’s Run.
Woodlands Operating Co. marketing director Susan Vreeland-Wendt confirms every cliché about the origins of subdivision street names, from the historical revisionism (“One of our presidents is Alex Sutton, and we have a street named Sutton Mill”) to the what-I-drank-for-dinner-last-night story (“I’ve been known to pore over wine bottles looking for inspiration”) — except the one about suburban names coming from geographical features that were demolished or removed so the place could be built. Fortunately, The Woodlands does carry on the proud Houston tradition of naming places after imaginary or wished-for amenities:
We’ve got Arrow Canyon, Kayak Ridge, Arbor Camp and Rocky Point.
Surprisingly not on Vreeland-Wendt’s list of inspirations: Harlequin romance novels. But she does consult the internet, because it’s full of useful resources.
- Moneymakers: 5 questions with Susan Vreeland-Wendt [Houston Chronicle]
- A random subdivision/housing development/rest home name generator [adrian.gimp.org]
Photo: Flickr user kaatiya