Where is Botoxia, Bronxistan, and Blahniks? Maira Kalman at the Jewish Museum

I was recently at the Jewish Museum in NYC. I particularly wanted to see the Maira Kalman exhibit. She is primarily an illustrator, and did a charming version of ELEMENTS OF STYLE.

This show also had some odd but intriguing installation elements-ladders, shoes, buckets, even some old onion rings. Of particular interest to me were the embroidered samplers with snippets of poetry–sort of post modern aphorisms.

My sister and I got hysterical in front of the map of NYC with places like Botoxia on it. Here from Wikipedia is a list of the places:
The map itself is drawn by Rick Meyerowitz

NEW YORKISTAN–The places depicted, with their explanations (according to the artists or to commentators), are as follows:
Al Quarantine 
Rikers Island, New York’s largest jail.[8]
Al Zheimers
Artsifarsis 
Situated in the theater district, this is a play on the term “artsy-fartsy”, as well as a reference to the Persian language, which is the official language of Iran.
Bad
Botoxia 
Botox
Bronxistan 
The Bronx
Blahniks 
The Upper East Side where “everyone can afford Manolo Blahnik shoes”[3][9]
Bulimikhs 
Bulimics
Central Parkistan 
This is Central Park in Manhattan.
Chadorstore 
Jersey City, home of a Muslim community where women wear a chador. Also a pun on The Door Store, a well-known New York furniture store.[10]
Coldturkeystan
E-Z Pashtuns 
E-ZPass, an electronic toll collection system, based in New Jersey.
Extra Stan
Fashtoonks  
From a Yiddish adjective meaning “stinking, smelly” describing the sometime aromas of the New Jersey industrial wastelands just beyond the Palisades along the Hudson River.
Fattushis
Feh and Ptooey 
Yiddish expressions of negativity (“feh!”, “ptooey!”) for a part of The Bronx that is considered dangerous.[10]
Flatbushtuns 
Flatbush, Brooklyn
Fuhgeddabouditstan 
This is in Brooklyn, where this place name sounds like the local pronunciation of the popular local expression “Forget about it.”
Gadzhooks
Gaymenistan 
The neighborhood of Chelsea, currently a very “gay” part of Manhattan.
Gribinez 
The Hudson River. “gribenes” (conventional Yiddish-English transliteration) is an Eastern European Jewish delicacy, “cracklings from rendered chicken fat”[11]
Halibutz 
Halibut
Harry Van Arsdale, Jr., Blvd. 
This is the actual name of the road depicted and is the only real name on the map. According to Meyerowitz, the reason is simply that the name is inherently funny: “The name never failed to make me laugh when I approached it.”[9]
Hiphopibad 
Hip hop with -bad nameplace ending. This overlaps roughly with Bedford-Stuyvesant, the most heavily African-American neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Irant and Irate 
A reference to ranting and being irate, as well as to Iran and Iraq.
Khaffeine 
… (Also note the jagged lines marking the territory, a reference to the effects of caffeine.)
(Conn.) Khakis 
Southwestern Connecticut, a wealthy area that could be considered a stronghold of WASP culture and the article of clothing often associated with them.
Khandibar 
A pun on candy bar and Kandahar.[9]
Khantstandit 
“Can’t stand it”
Kharkeez 
This is in southern Connecticut, with the translation being “car keys”, a reference to the many NY workers who commute to the city from Connecticut.
Khkhzks
Khouks
Khurz 
Curs and Kurds
Khlintunisia 
This is in Harlem, the “Khlintun” part being a reference to President Clinton’s office location in Harlem. Also, “Tunisia” is a primarily Islamic/Arab country in northern Africa.
Kvetchnya 
A pun on Chechnya and “kvetch”.[9]
Le Frakhis 
LeFrak City, a housing complex in Queens[10]
Lesbikhs
Liberaci 
Presumably referring to Morningside Heights, neighborhood of Columbia University, a primarily “liberal” institution.
Lowrentistan 
The former location of the World Trade Center.[12]
Lubavistan 
Named after the Lubavitch branch of Hasidic Jews, most of whom live in Brooklyn.[10]
Moolahs 
Wall Street and the financial district of Manhattan. “moolah” is a common slang term for money.[8]
Mooshuhadeen 
Combination of ‘mujahideen’ and ‘moo-shu’, referring respectively to the Arabic term for those involved in a struggle (“jihad”) and to Chinatown and ‘moo-shu’ dishes in Chinese-American cuisine.
Musaks
Mutterers
Notsobad 
The one area of The Bronx that is not considered dangerous to go to.[10]
Outer Perturbia
Pashmina 
A pashmina is a Kashmiri shawl often made of cashmere. This is in an affluent area of the city, where women can afford cashmere and may be drawn to the stylish use of pashminas.
Perturbia
Psychobabylon 
Psychobabble
Schmattahadeen 
shmatta is Yiddish for “rag”, also jocular for clothing in the fashion industry.
Shatoosh 
Shatoosh is a type of fine Kashmiri shawl made of antelope down hairs. It is located in the center of an affluent are of the city, where women can afford such a luxurious shawl.
Snit
Soporifiks
Spit
Stan 
This is Staten Island. It’s just plain “Stan” because of its nondescript nature.[10]
Taxistan 
This is the location of LaGuardia Airport in Queens, with its large contingent of taxis waiting for arriving passengers.[3]
The Potatoes 
These islands (2 are North Brother Island and South Brother Island) are shaped much like potatoes, at least in the drawing.
Trumpistan 
an “area of future development” [6], presumably by New York developer and Apprentice star Donald Trump.
Turban Sprawl 
urban sprawl
Upper Kvetchnya 
Kvetch is Yiddish for “complain”.
Veryverybad
Wretched Kurz
Yhanks 
This is the South Bronx, home of the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium.
Youdontunderstandistan

2 thoughts on “Where is Botoxia, Bronxistan, and Blahniks? Maira Kalman at the Jewish Museum

  1. Miriam,

    This map is so cool! Thanks for bringing it to us! New York will never be the same!

    Michael

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