Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Signing Off: Maybe I Should Just Become a Naming Consultant

By Mitch Broder

I have probed the issue of store names that may have sabotaged their stores but, of course, New York is a city that is forever topping itself.

Thus, as I kind of suspected it would, the time has come to give a send-off to Dodo.

I take no delight in its departure. Though it was not a vintage treasure of the kind I celebrate in this blog, it seemed like a nice little shop, staffed by nice friendly people who appeared merrily unaware that in English the word dodo is rarely affirmative, no matter how you pronounce it.

Dodo may be another of the victims of the demise of Tower Records, along with the joy of shopping for music without a computing device. Tower’s landmark store at Fourth Street anchored Dodo’s stretch of Broadway, whose fortunes have declined along with the pleasures of the last century.

Then again, Dodo may be another of the victims of a bad name. You don’t want to step into Dodo. You don’t want buy from a Dodo. A few years ago, there was a Dodo Café, which is arguably worse than a Dodo accessory store. Some people said the food was good. It went out of business anyway.

Still, this city is never short on successful places with dopey names. Conversely, Tower had a good name, and look at it now. Its upstairs is a gym called Blink and its downstairs is a stunt called the MLB Fan Cave, in which two guys are watching 2,430 baseball games, which just goes to show what happens to people when there are no more record stores.

In short, I can’t say for sure whether Dodo’s name killed Dodo, but just in case, let its death not be in vain. There’s a steakhouse on Broadway at 88th Street, for instance, which I somehow find less than inviting. Maybe it has to do with being old enough to miss records. I wish the place well enough, but before it expands further, I suggest it give serious thought to its name...

Vintage New York wishes good luck to the people of Dodo.


  1. LOVE IT!
    (I'd sign my name but I'm afraid to.)

  2. If you didn't include a photo, I wouldn't have believed it. And -- a DoDo Cafe? Are you kidding? What's next?!

  3. Names are tricky things so perhaps DoDo would sound different with a different accent or perhaps if it were signed out in American Sign Language? The 'aged.' sign is perfect for I don't know stinky cheese? The contents of my fridge?

  4. I think DoDo might work for a pet store on the Flintstones.
    Otherwise DoDo is probably a NoNo.
    My daughter had a fish named BloMo, but he died.