As far as I could ever see, the only advantage to living on Tanglewood Circle was that it was within easy staggering distance of a restaurant known as the Hitching Post, which featured Timmy Donohue, the most heavy-handed bartender this side of Joe, the upstairs man at Sardi's. I saw some of the biggest two-fisted guzzlers in town order highballs and say to Timmy, "Heavy on the water, and make it a tall glass."
I think the fathers of Saratoga Springs, New York, should change the name of the street that runs past their historic kraal. Union Avenue is so mundane. Does it come from the Civil War, or is it in honor of the Teamsters? Make the change, and consider Antiquity Row, my first choice.
In Louisville, it's time they took down the Central Avenue signs outside Churchill Downs. Central Avenue reminds me of the original name of my old high school (which is now a prison, which is another story, even though we always knew it was a prison). Is there a street in Louisville named after Matt Winn, or Bill Corum? Wouldn't it be apropos if Churchill Downs was situated at the corner of Winn Way and Corum Place?
While I'm monkeying, I can't monkey too much with Pimlico. At the corner of Hayward and Winner Avenues, it might not be in much of a neighborhood, but at least one of the streets suits the venue. The Fair Grounds, on Gentilly Boulevard in the Big Easy, gets a pass as well. Gentilly, genteel? The genesis of one might not jibe with the other, but it's close enough. Atlantic City Race Course's address is another that's apt: Let's hear it for Black Horse Pike, on the outskirts of the Boardwalk.
What's always puzzled me is Santa Anita. West Huntington Drive? West Huntington Drive when Baldwin Avenue, Lucky Baldwin's Baldwin Avenue, is available, running right along the fence that encloses the barn area? Give West Huntington Drive back to Arcadia, and switch to Lucky Baldwin Avenue (the full name). Lucky Baldwin was Santa Anita before Doc Strub was Santa Anita. All that stationery with West Huntington Drive in the executive offices? One industrial-size shredder, please.
For Del Mar, make the address Jimmy Durante Boulevard. Oh, they've already done that? Of course. And nothing was more fitting when the Hilton Hotel, across the street from the track, had a valet-parking sign in front that said, "Reserved for Mrs. Jimmy Durante."
Hawthorne Race Course, in Cicero, Illinois, is located on South Laramie Avenue, and that works for me. Word association again. Laramie. . . lariat. . . lasso. . . Laramie, Wyoming. Surely at one time there were more horses than people in Laramie. But I still wish that Sportsman's Park, Hawthorne's neighbor, was still around. I would nominate Al Capone Alley for Sportsman's mailing address.
What about some of racing's organizations? The Jockey Club, prim and proper at East 52nd Street. The pinkie extended when you sip your demitasse. East 52nd Street's been there long enough. Make way for Uppity Way, and throw in a penthouse number in the bargain. The Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau is based in Elkton, Maryland. What, Milquetoast, Maryland, wasn't available? Leave the TRPB in Elkton, there's not much to be done about that, but change the street name from Fair Hill Drive to Snoop Road.
Not far down the road from me is Hollywood Park, which gets its mail at South Prairie Avenue. One of the cross streets is Kelso. South Prairie? Kelso? A mismatch hardly made in heaven. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Go directly to the shredding room. The new letterheads will be there the first of next week.