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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

Wondrous Words Wednesday 11th July 2012

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‘WONDROUS WORDS WEDNESDAY‘

is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we have encountered in our reading.

It is hosted by Kathy, over at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

You can either stop by and leave a link to your own ‘mystery’ words of the week, or just browse the eclectic mix of words that others have discovered, there is always a great selection.

Don’t forget that Kathy and the rest of us, all love to read your comments  as well, so that we can visit and share your words of the week!

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Once again this week, I am almost certain that many of you will know of the two phrases which I am sharing, although both they, and the word which is new to me, will probably be of interest to followers from outside the USA.

I had great fun checking them out, so that I could fully appreciate the use of them in my reading experience.

My book this week is ‘Skin Games: A crime drama’ by Adam Pepper.

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1. THROGGS NECK

Growing up in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx …

Throggs Neck (also known as Throgs Neck) is a narrow spit of land in the southeastern portion of the borough of the Bronx in New York City. It demarcates the passage between the East River (an estuary), and Long Island Sound. “Throggs Neck” is also the name of the neighborhood of the peninsula, bounded on the north by East Tremont Avenue and Baisley Avenue, on the west by Westchester Creek, and on the other sides by the River and the Sound. Throggs Neck was largely exempt from the severe urban decay that affected much of the Bronx in the 1970s.

Throggs Neck is at the northern approach to the Throgs Neck Bridge, which connects the Bronx with the neighborhood of Bay Terrace in the borough of Queens on Long Island. The Throgs Neck Lighthouse formerly stood at its southern tip. Historically, the correct spelling is with two “g’s,” and while NYC Parks Commissioner and Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Chairman Robert Moses officially shortened it to one “g” after deciding that two would not fit on many of the street signs, residents continue to recognize the traditional spelling.

There is some fantastic additional information about the history of Throggs Neck if you click on the Wikipedia link above.

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2. CUCHINA (CUCINA)

Mama Libardi’s Cuchina is an Italian restaurant on the southeastern most point of Tremont Avenue

CUCHINA (CUCINA) … Cucina… pronounced ‘Cuchina’, the Italian for kitchen or a place where food is prepared.

I could probably have guessed at this one and got it right, but I just wanted to make sure of my facts.

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3. MEATPACKING DISTRICT

Then the 3 amigos are going into Manhatton to check out that new club in the meatpacking district

MEATPACKING DISTRICT – Wikipedia

The Meatpacking District is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan which runs roughly from West 14th Street south to Gansevoort Street, and from the Hudson River east to Hudson Street, although recently it is sometimes considered to have extended north to West 16th Street and east beyond Hudson Street.

The area’s decline began around 1960s, as part of the general decline of the waterfront area. Containerization of freight, the advent of supermarkets which changed the distribution pattern for meat, dairy and produce from a local- or regionally-based system to a more national one, the development of frozen foods and refrigerated trucks to deliver them, were all factors, but meatpacking continued to be the major activity in the neighborhood through the 1970s. At the same time a new “industry”, nightclubs and other entertainment and leisure operations catering to a gay clientele began to spring up in the area.

In the 1980s, as the industrial activities in the area continued their downturn, it became known as a center for drug dealing and prostitution, particularly involving transsexuals. Concurrent with the rise in illicit sexual activity, the sparsely populated industrial area became the focus of the city’s burgeoning BDSM subculture; over a dozen sex clubs – including such notable ones as The Anvil, The Manhole, the Mineshaft, and the heterosexual-friendly Hellfire Club – flourished in the area. A preponderance of these establishments were under the direct control of the Mafia or subject to NYPD protection rackets. In 1985, The Mineshaft was forcibly shuttered by the city at the height of AIDS preventionism.

Beginning in the late 1990s, the Meatpacking District went through a transformation. High-end boutiques catering to young professionals and hipsters opened. In 2004, New York magazine called the Meatpacking District “New York’s most fashionable neighborhood”.

Again, more extensive information and history is available by using the Wikipedia link above.

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A fantastic book, my review will be here soon.

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Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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20 comments
  • What an interesting post. Throgs Neck I had never heard of and am fascinated by. I suppose I’ve seen so many TV dramas and films set in New York that it feels like I know the city when I really don’t. LOL. One wonderful book set there – if you’ve never read it – is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

    • Hi Cath,

      I am naturally inquisitive about phrases, place and words, which appertain to the country or area about which I am reading, whether it be a fiction or non-fiction book. However, it is only when I research for articles such as this, I start to ponder on how little I actually know about my own country and about the huge gaps in my general knowledge about ‘home’.

      It is amazing how we are fooled by superficial information, or sound bites about things, delivered to us by the various information mediums of journalism and film. Dig beneath the surface and there is so much more to be discovered.

      I checked out the book you mentioned and have added it to my list. It sounds like too much of an intense story about hardship and tenacity, to be ignored.

      I found such a comprehensive write up about the book on Wikipedia, that I have spent ages reading it, hence the delay in replying to your comment …

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tree_Grows_in_Brooklyn_%28novel%29

      Have you ever seen the film which was made from the book? It was made back in 1945 and reading through the cast list was a great hit of nostalgia … Not that either of us were around in 1945 of course …. !!!

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038190/

      Thanks for raising some really interesting points, I really love it when comments spin off from the original post.

  • That was interesting, I had never heard of Throggs Neck, but I’m sure all the New Yorkers knew what and where it is. I found the history of the Meatpacking District interesting as well, so many changes over the years. This is an interesting little meme, I will have to pay closer attention to the books I’m reading and play along some week.

    • Hi Ann,

      Before I started blogging, I read mainly UK centric fiction books and gave little thought to the ‘hidden’ details of a story.

      Now, I have come across some amazing books, from all around the world and those ‘hidden details’ have become much more relevant and important to me.

      I have always been keen to check out new words that I come across and don’t know the meaning of (no prizes for guessing that I loved English at school). I still feel that my education was rather incomplete, so I look on this exercise as a way of expanding my knowledge base and vocabulary.

      I have also become very eager to know about the different places and customs, that are mentioned in the overseas books I read. I am never likely to get to visit any of them, so being able to visualise an area or event, whether historical or in the present day, I find totally absorbing and interesting.

      Thanks for the visit today. It is always good to have you join in with your welcome comments.

      • Hi again Yvonne,

        I always have a dictionary at my fingertips, and look up all words I don’t understand. I even bought myself a dictionary that says the words for me. I’m not much good at sounding them out myself, as you can tell, English probably wasn’t my best subject way back when I was in school. I was amazed at how things had changed in the teaching world until one of my granddaughters was in school. They started to teach them to write the words the way they sounded instead of the correct spelling of the words. It made for a few funny letters she send to me when she was young. I sometimes had trouble figuring out what she said, until my daughter told me why she spelled the way she did…Of course now she spells her words correctly… She is now a mother with three babes of her own, making me a Gigi (Great-Gramma).

        • Hi Ann,

          I can’t believe just how much teaching has changed over the years and this is obviously the same in both the US and UK.

          The system has been changed so many times (and is about to be re-hashed yet again), that children must be unsure whether they are coming or going. Even the teachers seem unsure about the correct curriculum and study methods to use.

          They are now talking about renaming the examinations children take at 16 … by changing them back to what they were when I was at school, some 38 years ago!! At least my CV will be back in date, if I ever find a job that I can apply for!!

          Congratulations on being a three times Great Grandmother, that is some achievement in this day and age!!

          I tend to rely a lot on ‘Google’ to check out any spellings or words and phrases that I am unsure of. I always told myself that this would never be the case … but then, I was never going to own an e-reader either!! I still have many printed books and can’t imagine life without them, but I wouldn’t be without my Kindle now.

          Take Care.

    • Hi Caite,

      Actually, when I think about it, I have always referred to certain bars and clubs, as the ‘meat factory’. Especially when you watch the police programmes on TV and see the state of some of the women before they go in, let alone when they come out. They just look and act like prize cows on display at an auction!!!

      Not that I have ever frequented such places, even when I was much, MUCH younger …. HONEST !!!

      Thanks for stopping by, it is always good to hear from you and I appreciate your comments.

    • Hi Libby,

      I found it really interesting to think that the spelling of ‘Throggs Neck’ was changed because the name would not fit the stret signs! I am sure that has also happened over here in the UK (especially with some of the Welsh names), but I have never come across such a place.

      It is also strange how the name got altered so many times in its history, I guess that spelling was not a science back then and also words got mis-heard, resulting in some interesting alternatives.

      My own home town of Frome was originally spelt ‘Froome’ or ‘Fruim’, The town centres around the river Frome and the name comes originally from the Old English word ‘ffraw’ meaning fair, fine or brisk and describing the flow of the river.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frome

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I love to receive them all.

  • I’ve actually been to the Meatpacking District and it’s quite lovely these days. I think I have a cookbook with the title Cucina but I thought it was a place in Italy – I didn’t realize it was a word. I learned something new today!

    • Hi Kathy,

      Cuchina (cucina) can also mean a cooking style, so perhaps that is more pertinent to the book you have, but I can’t find a reference anywhere to it being an actual place name.

      We have several areas, all over the UK, which are very much like your own Meatpacking District, which have been completely renovated and are now unrecognisable as their former uses, apart from the odd items of historical and architectural importance, which have been left in situ. as talking points.

      Thanks for hosting such a great meme. I don’t have words to contribute every week, but I do look forward to the times I am able to join in.

  • I’ve heard of the meatpacking district in New York, but didn’t know where it was. Quite a few cookbooks have cucina in the title so I knew that one too. Never heard of Throggs Neck. I enjoy learning about new locations in books too.

    • Hi Louise,

      There are just so many fantastic snippets of information that can be garnered from reading, aren’t there?

      Hubbie will only ever read non-fiction, as he maintains that if he is going to read then he has to be learning something at the same time. I am always quick to point out however, that I am constantly amazed by the wealth of information packed into a work of fiction, by an author who has carried out their research thoroughly.

      I have to admit that I am not a very adventurous cook, so ‘cuchina’ was definitely a new word on me. I actually don’t own a cookbook at all and although I sometimes take one down off the shelf in the book shop and glance at the pictures, reading a recipe doesn’t interest me at all. We don’t ever tend to eat an entree or dessert and never cakes or biscuits, so seeing all those mavellous pictures is just sheer torture!!

      Thanks for some interesting comments, it is always great when you stop by.

  • I’ve heard about the meatpacking district in NY, but never heard of Throggs Neck or Cuchina before.

    I agree with Cath, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is really good…the book and the movie!!

    • Hi Vicki,

      I think that the film of ‘A Tree Grows In Brooklyn’ would have to be for a day when I am ‘home alone’, as I know that hubbie wouldn’t sit through it. Dorothy McGuire was such a beauty, wasn’t she?, whereas I think that Joan Blondell had more of an attractive quality.

      The book however, is already on my list and is a definite read for me. Cath is generally very reliable in her appraisal of a book and author, so if you are also agreeing with her about this one, that’s good enough for me!

      Thanks for thebook and film recommendation and for taking the time to read this post and its accompanying comments, I really appreciate it, as I am sure, will Cath.

    • Hi Nikki,

      Interesting that you should have heard of ‘The Meatpacking District’. Is that under its modern day guise, as ‘trendy’ area, or in its previous life !!! LOL

      If you check out the Wiki link, you will see that the naming of ‘Throggs Neck’ was a bit like the old game of Chinese Whispers. It has been changed and misrepresented so many times in its history, that even today they can’t decide whether it should have one ‘g’, or two!!!

      I think that we probably have loads of places like that, here in the UK. It would make an interesting line of investigation when I have nothing else to do one day!!

      Great to hear from you, hope you had a good week.

        • Hi Nikki,

          If you look down your list, you will see ‘Clink’ near Frome, Somerset. Our housing estate is actually built on the old ‘Clink’ area and ‘Clink Road’ still exists. That’s the first time I have ever been on an official list !! LOL

          We have some very strange places here in Somerset and neighbouring Dorset, one of the best is Upper Piddle, the River Piddle and ‘The Dorset Piddle Brewery’ (check out their tagline at the bottom of the page!!
          http://dorsetpiddlebrewery.co.uk/

          A great fun way to spend half an hour, thanks for that.

Written by Yvonne

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