When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

29 September 2005

Only in New York

Signs that greet you as you enter and leave town are a major preoccupation for civic-booster types.

In my hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, for years, as you came into the city on U.S. Highway 70, there was a big sign that said "Welcome to the City of Oaks!"

And it seemed that every small town on the "blue highways" and back roads of North Carolina had their "welcome to town" and "y'all come back now, you hear" signs, usually paid for as a group effort by the likes of the local Kiwanis and Rotary plus a handful of the more middle-class churches, where your better sort of local small businessperson might be in the vestry.

Here's how we do it in New York City... at least, in Brooklyn:

The naches that I'm feeling right now...I'm kvelling!

"Oy vey," [Brooklyn Borough President Marty] Markowitz said, is an original Jewish "expression of dismay or hurt."

"The beauty is, every ethnic group knows it," he said, and motorists seeing it know it means "Dear me, I'm so sad you're leaving."

He also proudly recited from some of the other signs — from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Belt Parkway — that welcome motorists to the borough:

"Not Just A Borough, An Experience"; "Name It...We Got It"; "Like No Other Place in the World"; "Believe the Hype."

"Oy Vey" Traffic Sign Goes Up in Brooklyn (AP, via Yahoo)

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