Neu-York.
January 10, 2008 7:40 AM   Subscribe

"An obsessively detailed alternate-history map, imagining how Manhattan might have looked had the Nazis conquered it in World War II." A project by artist Melissa Gould. The neighborhoods (Charlottenburg, Neukölln, etc.) are named for corresponding Berlin ones. Schrecklich fun. Via strange maps.
posted by languagehat (50 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, I note the motherf*kin' Nazis didn't quite manage to take Harlem. Good luck with that one, boys.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:54 AM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Her Potzdamer Platz station ("Times Square") should really be Kurfürstendamm.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:56 AM on January 10, 2008


What you can't see is that the trains all run on time.
posted by GuyZero at 7:59 AM on January 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


"There are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade."
--Rick Blaine
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:00 AM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


It doesn't seem very realistic to me that the Nazis would have changed all the street names.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:01 AM on January 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Excellent work.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:01 AM on January 10, 2008


Especially considering they didn't do that in Paris, for instance.
posted by Burger-Eating Invasion Monkey at 8:01 AM on January 10, 2008


So if I ever move to New York I'll have to get a flat in the Division Street, which was renamed to the street I'm actually living in on this map.

I have to say, Neukölln is a way better adress in New York than in Berlin. Manhattan instead of a run-down workers district.
posted by kolophon at 8:03 AM on January 10, 2008


But I don't think it's typical to completely rename every street in a conquered city. Especially not to use all the names from the victor's capital. Surely this would create a massive headache for the Reich postal authorities?

A more likely scenario would be to use new local "heros" for naming a few key things. Every communist city ended up with a Karl-Marx street, what would the Nazis want Americans to newly identify with? Surely Ford would still be kosher, what else would the Quislings of the US put forward?
posted by Meatbomb at 8:07 AM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


It doesn't seem very realistic to me that the Nazis would have changed all the street names.

Well, Wall Street keeps its name. But yeah, she went a little overboard. (Hard to resist, though.)
posted by languagehat at 8:10 AM on January 10, 2008


good luck finding a bagel!
posted by matteo at 8:13 AM on January 10, 2008 [19 favorites]


That was my biggest fault with the map, as well, the crazy re-naming scheme. Perhaps at worse, she might have just tried respelling (versus replacing) some street names in German in the same way that the Soviet Union impressed Russian on its fellow socialist states.
posted by Atreides at 8:16 AM on January 10, 2008


Hi Melissa!
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:21 AM on January 10, 2008


Thanks for this, but even more thanks for the Strange Maps site.
posted by Verdant at 8:23 AM on January 10, 2008


The numbered streets would probably have remained the same. Major throughfares, particularly "Ave of the Americas" would have probably been renamed pretty quickly, to Karl Marx or Hitlerstrasse or whatever Nazi figure needed honorary street naming. Newer streets would of course mostly get German names from that period on. But unless this fictional Nazi-American capital had a particularly overeager city planning official, I imagine that inertia would have kept a lot of English holdovers. Look at the rest of the U.S. for example. I live in California, where a large portion of the place and street names are in Spanish, but there's also tons of places out in the Midwest where place names are consistently borrowed from the Native Americans.
posted by lou at 8:35 AM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Question: Has the US been renaming streets (or other sociogeographic features) in Iraq?
posted by DU at 8:41 AM on January 10, 2008


I don't think so, DU, but remember that in Iraq, there's still at least a small pretense that the US hasn't actually conquered the place.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:50 AM on January 10, 2008


Question: Has the US been renaming streets (or other sociogeographic features) in Iraq?

Cab Driver: "Sorry it took so long, but the Cheney Expressway was backed up all the way to Halliburton Road."
Buster: "Take Condoleezza Rice Lane. It's quicker."

posted by The Michael The at 8:51 AM on January 10, 2008


Excessively America-centric post.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 9:05 AM on January 10, 2008


Man, burning this thing into the palm of my hand would be a bitchzen. Instead, I'll have to be all unbuttoning my shirt and showing my pasty, scarred physique as I say, "Doktor Jones, ve alzo have a map to zee subway station."

Not quite as cool, if you ask me.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:06 AM on January 10, 2008


How, exactly, are the Nazis supposed to have transported all these Aryan Stormtroopers to the New World in the face of resistance by the US Navy? Magic?
posted by Justinian at 9:35 AM on January 10, 2008


"An obsessively detailed alternate-history map, imagining how Manhattan might have looked had the Nazis conquered it in World War II.

Wait till you see my obsessively detailed alternate-history map of how Keith Richards face might have looked had he never tried heroin.
posted by chlorus at 9:42 AM on January 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


How, exactly, are the Nazis supposed to have transported all these Aryan Stormtroopers to the New World in the face of resistance by the US Navy? Magic?

I bet that's the alternate-history part. Still, not as unbelievable as Keith Richards having not single-handedly funded the development of heroin-exporting countries.
posted by ersatz at 9:57 AM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


What, no Bush Strasse?
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:01 AM on January 10, 2008


How, exactly, are the Nazis supposed to have transported all these Aryan Stormtroopers to the New World in the face of resistance by the US Navy? Magic?

Fuck off big zepplins and flying wings, I would have thought. Though why these alt-history Nazis didn't start their invasion by dropping a nazi A-bomb on manhattan I've no idea.

Major throughfares, particularly "Ave of the Americas" would have probably been renamed pretty quickly, to Karl Marx or Hitlerstrasse or whatever Nazi figure needed honorary street naming.

I really rather doubt nazis would have Karl Marx strasse as a road name.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on January 10, 2008


It Happened Here in London, too.
posted by Abiezer at 10:15 AM on January 10, 2008


It happened on Metafilter too.
posted by Artw at 10:16 AM on January 10, 2008


Maulbeerbaum Straße ... and Wert... Kreuz and Orange... and Klein Wasser. Each of the Funf Punkte is a finger. When I close my hand it becomes a fist. And, if I wish, I can turn it against you.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:25 AM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


How, exactly, are the Nazis supposed to have transported all these Aryan Stormtroopers to the New World in the face of resistance by the US Navy? Magic?

First they disabled the US Navy with their genetically engineered half-dolphin/half-V1 creatures, then they depopulated the city with swarms of radioactive tsetse flies that were engineered to bite only people who failed to respond properly to a pre-recorded "Heil Hitler!" salutation. The rest was a cakewalk.
posted by goatdog at 10:27 AM on January 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Lindberghstrasse, anyone?
posted by Bromius at 10:34 AM on January 10, 2008


How, exactly, are the Nazis supposed to have transported all these Aryan Stormtroopers to the New World in the face of resistance by the US Navy? Magic?

Wy, Alien Space Bats, of course!
posted by paddbear at 10:35 AM on January 10, 2008


Also, why does the Brooklyn Bridge now, apparently, lead to Potsdam?
posted by Bromius at 10:37 AM on January 10, 2008


Nazi space-warp.
posted by Artw at 10:59 AM on January 10, 2008


Surely Ford would still be kosher, what else would the Quislings of the US put forward?

Lindbergh, probably.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:20 AM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


As in Roth's The Plot Against America (a wonderful book, by the way, if you like literate alternate history novels).
posted by languagehat at 11:28 AM on January 10, 2008


Like New Yorkers would allow anyone to rename their streets...
posted by Zangal at 12:05 PM on January 10, 2008


They'd just go on using the old ones. Their response to "Ist das Wilhelmstrasse?" would be identical to their current response to "Is this Avenue of the Americas?": "Yeah, this is Sixth Avenue."
posted by languagehat at 12:22 PM on January 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


The Man In The High Castle Strasse
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:30 PM on January 10, 2008


The Edge of the American West posted a link to the wonderful and funny map of Newyorkistan. Kvetchnya! Hah!
posted by Kattullus at 1:54 PM on January 10, 2008


Sky Captain would never have allowed this invasion to happen.
posted by moonbiter at 2:09 PM on January 10, 2008


Those that are quibbling about the details ("the Germans wouldn't have blah blah blah") should note that Ms. Gould is an artist and the point was not to achieve some sort of historical plausability but to provoke thought and discussion. If she were a cartographer by trade the concerns cited might be less forgiveable, but she's an artist who works in media as small as woodcuts ("From Adler to Zilber") and as large as hillsides ("Kaboom"). I'd give links, but her site is not terribly link friendly - you'll find the mentioned work a few clicks into her portfolio.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 3:08 PM on January 10, 2008


Nazis in New York for reals (previously).
Well, Nazi lovers, at least
posted by kirkaracha at 3:21 PM on January 10, 2008


i never understood why we would rename Washington International to Reagan. GW was the founder of our Country.!
posted by lemuel at 4:06 PM on January 10, 2008


That Strange Maps site is great--thanks.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:12 PM on January 10, 2008


London would have been a more disquieting. Or better yet Moscow, that would have caused a frisson.

I get it, she's an artist, but it loses points for the sheer implausability.

That said, it's well done. I have a much treasured NYC map from 1949 with much the same look and feel.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:13 PM on January 10, 2008


Surely Ford would still be kosher, what else would the Quislings of the US put forward?

I don't think much would be kosher actually, all things considered.
posted by dazed_one at 4:14 PM on January 10, 2008


i never understood why we would rename Washington International to Reagan.

Especially after he fired air traffic controllers.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:54 PM on January 10, 2008


Ms. Gould is an artist and the point was not to achieve some sort of historical plausability but to provoke thought and discussion.

No shit sherlock. Asking how the Nazis would take NY is having more fun with a dry concept.

I say the japanese took the west coat, then the midwest fell, and the east coast just surrendered, thus all the streets are still in one piece.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:49 PM on January 10, 2008


Excessively America-centric post.

Excessively Midtown-centric post.
posted by oaf at 10:38 AM on January 11, 2008


I wish someone would do something like this for diehard DC comics fans. I'd like to see an attempt to figure out where Metropolis and Gotham are in relation to one another and New York as well as Fairfax, Star City, Fawcett City...

Oh woah. Cool! Thanks LanguageHat!
posted by ZachsMind at 9:18 AM on January 12, 2008


« Older A Weekend At Virgilio's   |   Esperanza Spalding Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments