New London for the time being. It’s on the water, halfway between Boston and New York City.
A day or so out of town is what the doctor ordered. (or maybe I heard wrong). Hightailed it up to the upper east side yesterday morning to a popular delicatessen Agata & Valentina on 1st and 79th for a kosher and filling schnitzel and bitzel breakfast, then thumbed it up to (New) London.
Figured if I had to get out of town, why not go to another new place. York was york, until it was new. So was jersey, hampshire and london. They were all determined new some time ago.
Not long ago when there were more of them, New London was considered one of the most important whaling centers in the U.S. Now that we’ve killed off most of the whales, NL harbors a couple of submarines at the mouth of the Thames River.
Anyhow, came up here for a short snort of something new. Still trying to get accustomed to a new jaw. It’s kind of like a bad dream turned reality. Can’t complain, just feel lucky somehow, because I have ten fingers, ten toes, and a less-than-big mouth.
With my not so big mouth, I was discussing the concept of newness with a couple of young smart guys, Arian and Claudio, sons of my brother-in-law. As in – when does new stop being new? We’ve described places, like New Hampshire, New England and New Mexico, they were new at one time until the adjective quickly crystalized into a noun form. We discussed new this and neo that, but didn’t come to any new conclusions.
So I did something new and looked on the map of the area. Up north, way up, there is Newfoundland. Creative name. I can imagine the naming process went something like:
v1. duh, viking brother, we done ran into a new piece o land. What da ya think? What we call it? How about white earth?
v2. we are pretty far north, but try not to be so light in the head my thick norse brother. If we call this white earth, we’d be laughed out o town back in Vinkinglandia. I think we should call it big white rock.
v1. duh, viking bro, it’s not just a rock. it’s land bro. I’m not going back to Vikinglandia to tell people we discovered a big white rock.
v2. ok my thick brother, let’s go ask Lief….
v2. ah, mr. Erikson, what you think we should name this new place? My light head bro here thinks it should be white earth. I think it should be big white rock. What do you think?
Leif. does a 180 degree horizon scan and declares, we’ll name this place new found land.
v1. but ah, mr. Erikson sir, with all due respect, don’t you think that name is fairly obvious? Being that it is in fact new found land and all.
Leif. look dudes, we’ll simply peg the words together and roll over the phrase as if it’s one word. say it with me dudes. Newfoundland.
The story goes that Leif told his brothers that newness was all about stimulating nerve endings, staying fresh, keeping your arse out of the mud. And, that we shouldn’t get so hung up on names. If we can’t think of something off the cuff he said, just call it new something and move on. Hence, came to being so many new place names, like New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, New England,……
Consider this an old new post from New London, prior to heading back to New York for same old stuff.