Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Commentary on Maps

Next time you are in Ferraro's at Park & Seventh, take a look at this map from 1989 and see how many of the advertisers you recognize. It's a very colorful and attractive map, but it now probably has more historic value than usefulness, due to many changes since then.

Maps were on my mind after reading the recent press release from the mayor regarding a new city map. I was able to obtain one on Monday, but I will reserve comment at this time.

My favorite map of Plainfield is the "City on the Move" one that has a map on the front and all the streets on the back, with photos of city structures bordering the tops of the 17" by 11" document. It can be folded to standard page width to fit in with other paperwork.

As a reporter, I had maps of many counties in my car so I could find my way to assignments outside the city. I have always hated driving since I learned how to do so out of necessity at age 30. Imagine my horror at finding my itinerary included the Somerville circle or the three rotaries on Route 31. I was always looking for ways to avoid the highways where everyone but me exceeded the speed limit by at least 20 miles per hour. But then again, poking along rural roads on my way to a sheep-shearing in Hunterdon County was no thrill either. Where were the people in these hinterlands, I wondered, longing for the 24/7 street action in the Queen City.

Now that I am a dedicated pedestrian and public transit fan, I don't need all those maps. And now with Mapquest and Google maps, maybe a lot of other people can do without them, although it's always good to have Hagstrom as a backup.

I was going to throw out my obsolete maps, but now that thrift is the watchword, they may get recycled as funky giftwrap.

--Bernice Paglia

5 Comments:

Anonymous GB said...

Okay, tell me I am, a cynic, but how many mistakes do you think there are on the map?

9:44 AM  
Blogger Bernice said...

Let me just say there are a lot. Take a look for yourself and give me your tally. Don't forget to include Prudence Lane and Trinity Place and that well-known Plainfield street, Out of Bounds.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out of Bounds Street? I have checked all over for it and haven't been able to find it so far.

My concern would really be about:

a) not enough people have those maps so the mayor's office can always say: "Those picky bloggers always making things out"

b) if a budget line was used to pay for these maps, which line was that? And who authorized it?

c) are these maps related somehow to the Brooklyn Bridge image that appeared in a recent budget presentation? Because if they are, well, that's it! the mayor is trying not only to sell voters the Brooklyn Bridge but Trinity Place, Prudence Lane, and Out of Bounds Street!

Let's hope voters see the catch before it's too late.

MP

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that the idea of subject-verb agreement remains a foreign concept to the individual (God help us if this is a collaborative effort!) who writes the city's press releases? In addition, someone needs to explain the proper use of commas (so many comma splices!) to this individual. The city looks incompetent when it cannot handle the simple grammar of a press release, and every release I have read is poorly written. Is the administration incapable of setting a good example for Plainfield students on how to write simple, error-free sentences?

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Out of Bounds is in Edison off Woddland Ave near the Plfd Country Club. Cute street with $1.5 million and up homes. Could not locate Prudence nearby. The closest Trinity is in Wesfield.

11:22 AM  

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