The Lakewood Name Game

townhouses 2By: Aaron Joseph. We have grown comfortable in our surroundings. No one can say that their parents live better off than they do. Its usually the opposite. Of course, there are many standards for comparison purposes between the two generations, but I would like to focus today upon just one aspect, that of the mundane, physical realm. We are all certainly living better off than our grandparents did. That is, in this materialistic world.
If we own a house, it has at least four, if not five bedrooms. Most houses have at least two bathrooms if not three. Some even have four and five. Let us not forget the guestroom(s), guest suite, or guest floor. By way of cars, I would not hesitate to state that most have the standard Lakewood package of one minivan (Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey) and at least another car in the driveway. Of course, there is the completely fenced yard with a huge climbing/sliding edifice that replaces the rusting swing set of a bygone era, as well as a barbeque Forman, or something akin. Never mind all we fill the 14+ rooms of our houses with. Bottom line, we are quite comfortable.
There is one area of stylish living that thankfully only some have picked up upon thus far. I’m not certain as to the reason behind the deviation between the haves and have not yet, however, with all we have come to enjoy in Lakewood life, I am wondering why everybody does not live up this little extra bit as well. Perhaps we in our infinite kindness are unselfishly saving something for our children to “be Mihcadaish” and apply as a “one-up” over their own parents when their turn arrives to buy their own place.
Amazingly, for the most, those who indulge in the above 400k real-estate market are content that their beautiful ‘humble’ abode is represented to the world with just a miserly house number. That’s right, just a plain good old-fashioned address number.
Whether it is of two digits, three or four, those numbers symbolize this house presence to the world at large. Occasionally, a house receives a nickname for the local folk to indulge in reminiscing of happy times in the community. Be this nickname for a color, a party, or an owner- present or past, or just a story of lore. But, for the world over- that number out front is for all purposes the only way how the place is identified.
It is with moot curiosity how the ever-growing population of developments around town earned this unique tradition of being named with all various appellations. From the development of Coventry and Washington to Village Place years ago, to the newer developments of Village, Forest, Sterling Parks, and the most recently advertised Olive Court, just off beautiful White Street, up near Cross.
What gets confusing however and may be a bit over the top in the opinion of this author, is the naming of triplexes and duplexes fronting the regular street. I mean, do every two or three houses with similar layouts and the same color scheme truly deserve its very own title? I’m not arguing pro or con, but if, and as the trend seems to be, since so many of these newer houses have somehow earned themselves their very own unique label, how in the world can I keep track of where these named places are?
Let me offer you a recent sampling of the newly added names to the ever-growing Lakewood repertoire of exotics who-knows-what, who-knows-where neighborhoods, and houses around town. Can you tell me how to get to: Whispering Woods or the “all new Dewey neighborhood!” How about Somerset Walk and Stamford Hill, -if I spelled it correctly. Did you ever here of Aspen Gardens or Tamarind Park or Rose Park Gardens. These by the way, are all mentioned just last week in the various circulars, and have me feeling lost in the town I grew up in- so don’t feel bad!
I cannot place my finger on it just yet, but somehow it seems that- buying a duplex in say Village Park, 5 bedrooms upstairs, 2 ½ baths, rental basement- would not be an altogether different experience if I were to buy the exact same layout in say Presidential or West Gate. Of course, location, location, location, is the name of the real estate game, but the truth is, it is the exact same kind of house- probably built with the exact same blueprints as the next one. And, when seriously looking to buy, let’s be real for a sec, you are going to ask which street the duplex is on, and all about the neighbors and area anyways. So, what’s the name really have to do with it anyways. Shem Goirem? I’m working on that one!
In the final analysis, I’m appreciative that every homeowner hasn’t yet taken to pegging up a board across his driveway declaring his home a specifically named homestead. Gee, can you imagine the originality. Good gosh, what Lakewood may sound like then! It might prove to be interesting at first—but I suppose it would become confusing, after all, it is confusing as it is. So far, it seems we are leaving this to the next generation to figure out! B”H!

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  1. What are you talking about- there are so many people living here very simply, in older or newer houses. My parents, older people with few expenses live at a much higher standard than I do. They don’t weigh every penny they spend. I have an older house. When we needed to paint, we did it ourselves. My mother will indulge in grape tomatoes or grapes! or store bought baked goods. Almost every item we buy is scrutinized – which cereal is cheaper where, stocking up on items when on sale. I haven’t bought myself clothing in years but have done very nicely at Deja Nu. Appearances can be deceiving.

  2. I don’t understand the point of the letter. Not actually living in Lakewood, but having children & aineklach there, I welcome the differentiation of the various neighborhoods. It simply helps me navigate and picture in my mind where different houses/complexes are located. Indeed, I grew up in a large out-of-town city where every “neighborhood” was identified by a name which distinguished itself as a unique area. No value judgment – just a geographic/name appellation. So, what is the big deal? LW is growing by the day and not everyone lives within a 10 block radius of BMG.

  3. I Have no clue what your point was! your begining point was true how our standards are high……blah blah blah- but then how did it get to the end about the names of developments- who cares!?!?!?

  4. this is a ridiculous point. But if i have to say- westgate (even with some of the problems it has) was the most wisely built area. It has rental and home owners in it. providing a constant fuel to the fire of people starting up and getting settled in an are who are then teh next prospects to buy when others move out. It also has shopping right there in the development. It is in fact a tramendous convenience to be able to send your 12 year old to the store erev shabbos, or during the week in a pinch to get a few things.

    my advice to all the somerset walkers, and whispering would be’s is to consider building along that model. you’ll have an easier time selling

  5. why is wispering wood’s or any of these names a materialistic thing anyways… it’s not like people are namig the streets gold digger drive. Or megusham way…

  6. Granted. The naming of every other new house that is built is ridiculous. I do not think the writer went far enough. – When people start making a Kiddush in honor of naming there homes- that is the red line!

  7. who cares whay u call the development.Just put lighted or large numbers on the address. hatzoloh & chaveirim members can’t find ur house without a legible address

  8. It is a question of flair or arrogance. When visiting friends in Napa California, I thought it was real cool that many of those beautiful farms and vineyards had names by the entrance. In the right setting the flair of a named property is unparallel. But a community wide custom in the middle of a city is only arrogance. In Jackson, you will only find named properties on some of the nicer farms and ranches. Pretty much the same can be said for Plumsted, and Manchester.

  9. when i started reading this entry i thought that maybe that was the point of his letter. how we spend so much $$$ on our houses but not on the lit up adress thing.

  10. I am living in my house for over 30 years and gosh I never gave it a name. I think I’ll do it now. How about Maple Castle Gardens or something like that? (I have maple trees, a garden and my home is my castle)

  11. to #8 you think westgate is the best place ever built, i disagree, to many people in such a small space, over crowding, there should never be another place built like this in lakewood. lakewood used to be such a simple and quiet place. well now it’s so over crowded , all these developments being built . look at route 9.

  12. I agree with hatzoloh member, however its not just the Hatzolah and Chaverim that have trouble finding the houses but also the Lakewood Police, Fire have problems if its a new street or the house is not adequately marked. So if you are asked what street you are off of or if this is a new development please do not take offense to it..they have to update their files to have that street or streets in their system.

  13. this is a complete joke. Humble abode? Come on people. a house which is clearly in the 4’s (k) with fifteen rooms? How is that humble. A humble home is roughly 1500 to 2000 sq ft. These homes are easily twice that. The new homes being built by gudz road are huge! i would like to know the sq ft of these simple, humble, abodes?

  14. there is an important function for names. you see, as you chop down these beautiful pines to build ugly townhouses, you name it whispering pines, lezecher nishmas the pines that used to live there…

    also I think the function is good for while it is a construction project since maybe there is no street name yet. once the construction phase is over and people areliving there and the street has a name you can drop the fancy name.
    Kew Gardens, which by the way has NO gardens ( I dont know what a Kew is) –we still call it Agway.
    Rose park Gardens has neither a Rose, a Park or a Garden
    Brook Hill has no brook and is quite flat.
    Pine River has no River, and I think they chopped down every last pine.
    Ocean Pointe is not anywhere near the ocean, but the houses do come to a pointe.
    p.s. i think the township should charge extra taxes for every development that has a superfluous E at the end of a word as in POINTE.
    that should cover at least the snow removal expenses…

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