The author is Deirdre Mask and the subtitle is What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power. The opening bit would have fit under “New York City fact of the day”:
In some years, more than 40 percent of all local laws passed by the New York City Council have been street name changes.
I guess that is because garbage collection, education, and policing are running so smoothly. Does any other fact so well sum up the pathology of our time?
In Paris, only 2.6 percent of the street names commemorate women, and this is expected to be a “growth sector,” as they say. I liked this sentence:
Tantner is perhaps the world’s leading expert on house numbers.
House numbers were in fact one of the more important results of the 18th century Enlightenment. For all their benefits in enabling mail, or finding your way, there was a dark side because they also made it easier to tax or imprison you, sometimes a good thing but not always.
Number streets are an especially American phenomenon, and today “every American city with more than a half million people has numerical street names. Second Street is the most common street name in America…”
Recommended, you can order it here.