LAST

New Name for the Area

Too bad "Nauticus" is already taken. Since it means "the Sailors" in Latin, it might be perfect in every way for our area — or at least Norfolk. But then, too, Nauticus could be a shortsighted pick, because one of these days the military might pull out and leave the whole shebang high and dry — or rather, low and wet.

Speaking of the old Romans' tongue, we could always resort to the appellation for our swampy, soggy "land" found on old maps prior to the advent of air conditioning:

Sicut infernum et magis umida (Like Hell, but more humid)

 

Seriously, the Best Name!

There’s always talk about coming up with a new name for our southeastern corner of Virginia.

What we most need is something recognizable, something brief and snappy and memorable that we, as well as everyone outside our area, can refer to instead of reeling off a crowded list of cities elbowing each other for attention. And when it comes to naming rights, do any of our many contiguous cities — Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Poquoson, Smithfield, Surry (have we missed any?) — really want to take a back seat to any of the others? And why should they?

We have tried "Tidewater," which is actually a geological term that, in Virginia, refers to everywhere east of the fall line and Piedmont Region. We’ve tried "Hampton Roads," the nautical name for that busy body of water in our midst. Someone has suggested "Coastal Virginia," which, like Tidewater, is broader than us, and maybe more appropriate to the easy-living magazine of the same name. Someone else has suggested "Norfolk/Virginia Beach," which may be "twin city" trendy, but is a mouthful, as well as politically impractical. None of these has worked, nor likely will work, to enhance our area’s recognition — especially by outsiders to the area.

We need to think simple — and appropriate and obvious. Think purpose and utility. Even get existential. After all, Hampton Roads is the best natural harbor in the world! It and its tributaries are our area’s lifeblood of commerce. They both divide and unite us. Hampton Roads is also famous for the Civil War battle between the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia that transformed naval warfare. But rather than borrow the name of a body of water for our area, let’s draw from the inviting, sheltering spirit of our world-class natural harbor.

Even though we live in different cities, we are all proud Virginians. So let’s choose a name that tells everyone exactly what our area is and where it is. Let’s proclaim to the world that we are the State of Virginia’s bustling portal, it's gateway to the seafaring world — and to all those beach and history loving tourists. Let’s call our thriving beehive by the sea PORT VIRGINIA.

Think of how it would sound: The Port Virginia Metropolitan Area, Port Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Port Virginia International Airport, Port Virginia Tourist Association, Port Virginia Beltway, Port Virginia Light Rail Network, Port Virginia Hyperloop, Port Virginia Seawall System, Port Virginia Space Center, Port Virginia Community, Port Virginia Lifestyle.

Water defines our region. So does commerce. Let’s tell the world.

 

The Cities of "Port Virginia"

 

Why this and many other things will likely never happen...

Virginian-Pilot editorial, January 29, 2017

A Plea for Regionalism

 

 

 

MowbrayArch.com

 

 

 

 

Last Up Next