In 1624, Dutch fur traders formed the first permanent European settlement on Manhattan Island, later to be called New Amsterdam, a territory then ceded to the British by one Peter Stuyvesant, whereupon it was renamed New York. Now, nearly 400 years later, tourists and Wall Street Journal reporters are stumbling around the Five Points, brandishing maps and wondering whether the L will get them to WiNo.
It will, but you won't find WiNo (Williamsburg North—isn't that cheeky?) on a map, anymore than you'll find Rambo (Right Around the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). A lingua franca is a common language used by interlocutors who don't share a native tongue. The senseless chopping apart of neighborhoods is the cartographical opposite—no one, not even native New Yorkers teethed on H&H Bagels with generations of the city ingrained in their bones, is any closer to knowing where BoCoCa is than the selfie stick-wielding visitor fresh off the plane from Melbourne. Or maybe needless confusion is the glue that binds us all together.
The paper asserts that PLG (for Prospect Lefferts Gardens) is the latest "new acronym," but an acronym is not a portmanteau—you'd expect a publication as elevated as the WSJ to appreciate the difference. An acronym is for ease of speech. A portmanteau is a device for brokers to force associations with more attractive neighborhoods.
“It rolls off the tongue,” Sarah Burke, a regional director at Douglas Elliman, told the paper. “Even agents, when they call, they say, ‘Do you have anything from PLG?’ ”
PLG makes sense, anyway. And residents of the area say it's nothing THAT new. "It's been PLG for at least the eight years I've been there," one told me, adding that the neighborhood is the result of the old Lefferts tract. "It's not unreasonable people have been calling it PLG for a very long time."
Can you find a DIAF on a neighborhood map? I think it's adjacent to Parkwanus.