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December 16, 2006



Here is an updated list of Greater New York company names and/or examples of urban entrepreneurial initiative. But sometimes naming is hampered by language barriers and confusion of those trying to negotiate the complex niceties of the English language. The initiative is willing so to speak but the syntax is weak. Here are four examples:

.Elate Moving: The Irresistible Quality of Moving Service [A bewildering truck-side ad message from a company owned by Russian immigrants. Not sure what they want to convey by Elate. It to me suggests tardiness -- not a good idea for a moving company. Surely Elation would be better, but more for a party planning or wedding planning firm. Or more likely they were inching toward Elite but didn't quite know how to get there. And the subtitle boggles the mind.]

.Bread & Butter: Habits To Be Made [It somehow sounds OK and has succinctness on its side, but what on earth does it mean? It's a NYC sandwich shop chain owned by Terence Park, of Korean heritage. Make a habit out of eating our sandwiches? But when I see the word habits I immediately think of drugs and addiction. Or Habits To Be Made might work as the name of a small garment district shop specializing in nunswear. Oy vey.]

.Lenwich by Lenny's: Sandwiches that Take a Bite of Your Craving. [But do you really want your cravings bitten into? This NYC chain had legal naming problems as Lenny's but solved them with the Lenwich moniker. The chain's chairman and CEO is a Korean immigrant nicknamed Lenny. Part of its story is explained thusly: "After catching the hearts of New Yorkers . . . Lenwich is ready to tantalize the tastebuds and crack down on the cravings of even more." The message is clear -- Lenwich is very hard on cravings. Yipes!]

.Satis&Fy: The True Colours of Events [A leading German-based international production company for professional events, conferences, and trade fairs -- although you'd never know this from the firm's name on a truck-side ad. Newly opened New York office in Brooklyn. Translation issues and grandiosity have hampered the firm's message: "The stadium atmosphere was  compromised of a gigantic presentation zone ... With our ability to translate your creative brief into an immersive experiential reality, our scenic and technical craftsmen excel at focusing your consumer's senses toward your story's key elements ... We seamlessly integrate digital solutions into existing retail doors and offer your consumers an authentic yet always mind-blowing experience of your brand's core values ... We strive to conquer the impossible." I'll say!]

Other examples manage to make more business sense, although are not necessarily free of oxymoronic leanings or complications of interpretation:

.Dental Serenity of Manhattan

.Acme Supermarkets: "No one beats our fresh fish!" [tell it to the Japanese pounded fish cake chef]

.Professor Kamoula: African Spiritual Healer, Psychic and Clairvoyant. "Are you suffering from problems that seem abnormal? Or does the whole world seem to be against you?" [can tackle the big picture, apparently]

.World renowned Lal Kitab astrologer: "Pandit ji specializes in removing black magic and spiritual healing." [an uphill fight]

And certain types of entities just somehow seem to be good candidates for creative naming:

.Restaurants and Food Shops: Breadzilla, A Salt & Battery -- Fish and Chips, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, Roc N Ramen 914, Tea and Sympathy, Hell's Chicken [does the meat need tenderizing?], The Rice Cream Shoppe

.Pet Stores: Beasty Feet, Paws Unleashed, Paws & Claws, Bark Place [do not pass go, proceed directly to dog pound?], Dog Wash-N'-Go, Citipups & Citikits, Litter & Leashes

.Nail Salons: Polished to Perfection, Dashing Diva Nail Lounge, The Lacquer Palace Hand and Foot Spa, Pretty & Polished, Ten-Tip Lounge Plus [Twenty-Tippers by special appointment only?]

.Beauty Shops: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, The Lip Lounge, Ministry of Wax, Browhaus, Blot and Pucker, Lashes on 5th [first aid kits provided?], Spa-tastic Skin and Hair, Heads & Threads, Celia's Chop and Glo [get a 'do while buying irradiated meat?]

.Liquor Stores: Slope Cellars, Vinorama, Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit, Pop & Pour, The Crushed  Grape and Others, City Sliquors, The Juice Box, In Vino Veritas, Spirits Are Willing [but will livers cooperate?], Grapes & Grains, Vino Fino, Corkscrew Cave

.Cigar and Smoke Shops: Habana Humidor, Puffs & Vapes, Puff & Blow [hair salon for smokers?], Sir Gar Bar, Cloud 9 Vapery, Pipe Dream Lounge, Gunsmoke Vape Lounge, Tremont Lotto & Hookah Plus [bet first and cough later?], Best Buzz Hookah, Smoke Signals Vape Shop

They're here, they're now, they're kicking urban ass!


Here are some current Greater New York company names:
Wigs & Plus [used to be a sex shop; name changed and ampersand got retained]
Meatball Obsession [neon sign is yellow but the EAT in meatball pulsates in red]
Teaffee: The Best of Both Brews [newly defunct; what happened to cocoa?]
Drape King: Undisputed Leader in Event Drapes
Farro To Go / Lydia's Whey
Wagwear / Bushwick Bark / Petopia / Petropolis

Ones that can't be too far off:
Moving Boxes Sold Here [pop-up store]
Numb and Number [internet cafe]
Puffs and Adders [exotic pet shop]
Guise 'n' Gaze [gay costume shop]
Rhine Whine-athons [smartphone chat bars for slackers]
Kewpie's Kuticle Kafe
Alluring Brides of Nesconset
Plus Size Warehouse of Nesconset
Trucker's Chicken-to-Go [gay roadside fast food spot]
Carcinoma Fish Farms
Holy Spirit Hospital Medical Arts Building

But then there are the inevitable signage conundrums:
Dry cleaning store: "thirty-six years on the same spot"
Medical building: "Mental Health Prevention Center"
Drugstore: "dispensing with accuracy is our pledge to you"
Bank: "save regularly here -- you won't reget it"
Bank: "...and choose your choice of bonus"
Pet store: "Pets boarded up here"

Proactive entrepreneuring lives!

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