The Village, where the witches are green

One of the things about spending time in Boston is that I spend a lot of time riding the T. So I often look at the map, which contains wondrous exotic place names. I’m not sure I want to visit these places, because the reality could never measure up to the enchantment conjured by such evocative words as Alewife, Wonderland and Braintree.

If life were indeed a fantasy, I would very much want to go to Wonderland, named for the charming yet sadly short lived amusement park of that name early in the 20th century. But I am not at all sure I would want to visit a place that has a Braintree. I would indeed like to meet the Alewife one day, but I have no idea what she would be like.

Seeing it all through the eyes of a visitor, I realize that my own home turf — Greenwich Village — must look hopelessly exotic on a map. What sort of folk be they (I can almost hear a would-be visitor wonder), who live in the Village, where the witches are green.

By the way, I should send a shout-out to Neil Gaiman, who used a similar idea in his wonderful BBC teleplay and then novel Neverwhere, which posited a parallel world in which the names of stops on the London Underground, such as “Knightsbridge”, “Earl’s Court”, “Hammersmith” and “Blackfriars”, were literal descriptions.

One Response to “The Village, where the witches are green”

  1. J. Peterson says:

    I’ve heard of visitors to Silicon valley making a side trip to Redwood City, expecting to find majestic groves of trees.

Leave a Reply