One evening, my girlfriend and I were walking down Fifth Avenue, by Sunset Park, when a tourist asked us for directions. He was looking for a hotel near Times Square, and didn’t understand he was in the wrong borough—and thus in the wrong grid of Forty-Something streets. Turns out that tourist went on to land a job with the department of transportation, as the city agency recently had the same problem.
A stretch of 40th Street in Brooklyn, near Sunset Park, was renamed Finlandia Street in 1991, to honor a time when the neighborhood boasted a significant Finnish population (and part of the community was called “Finn Town”). When someone recently called 311 to report that the Finlandia Street sign had gone missing, the department of transportation set out to rectify the situation. Except they went to the wrong borough. And misspelled the name on the sign.
A sign for “Filandia Street” mysteriously appeared on the corner of Seventh Avenue and W. 40th Street in Manhattan last week, the Times reports, mystifying neighbors and passersby. It was removed by Friday, and should turn up in Brooklyn soon—maybe even with correct spelling!