Thursday, March 30, 2006


Not A Good Vacation Spot

In researching something else on MapQuest, I stumbled upon this:

What's even more interesting about this place is that it's hard to find. It appears to be a very small town, small enough that it has to borrow its zipcode from nearby Schuyler Falls. (Do a zipcode lookup at, with zipcode 12985, and you'll be told that "Swastika NY" is "not acceptable" as a town name... which presumably means that the post office might not deliver mail addressed that way.)

Hmm. Any synagogues nearby, I wonder? (Google Local says not, to my thunderous surprise... any Jews foolish enough to live in Swastika, NY would need to go "over the river" to Burlington VT to worship.)

Please note also the misspelled "Jersalem NY", just about eighteen miles due north of Swastika. Sounds like a fun neighborhood!

UPDATE: Yes, I know there are some weird town-names scattered across America (and elsewhere). Two favorites of mine are Jim Thorpe, PA (which has a fascinating story behind it) and Toad Suck, AR (which doesn't). Essex County, Great Britain, has a town named Ugley... and, getting back to our original topic, I note that Cornwall County in Britain has a Jew Street. (So do Frankfurt, Lisbon, and other European cities.) The one in England is interesting, given that England formally expelled all Jews in 1290, and never formally rescinded the edict! But clearly there was a substantial enough Jewish population, many years later, for a street to be named accordingly.


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