July 27, 2006

A parallel istaverse

If you live in a major city anywhere in the world, there’s a good chance that there’s an “-ist” website covering your town. Beginning with Gothamist, covering New York City, the “istaverse” as they call it extends to Los Angeles, London, Shanghai, and beyond.

Gothamist logoEach “-ist” website has its own cute logo following the same theme: a few sillhouettes of buildings, other architecture or landmarks, followed by “citynameist.” Each one also features a different colorful background. The original Gothamist logo, above, was designed by Sam Park, of Tiny Factory.

So I got to thinking. What if the “istaverse” people existed in fictional cities? I’m sure they would write about the new Starbucks being built in that up-and-coming neighborhood in Townsville, or some event being put on by that funky art collective in downtown Delta City. And I’m sure Bedrockist.com is where the Flintstones would point their, um, rockputer to see what the mayor said in his latest news conference about all those layoffs at the quarry.

But what would the website logos look like? I imagine they’d look something like this:



Delta City


Hill Valley

The Island


Orbit City



The Village

Bonus: There are two more that I didn’t think worked quite as well as those above, so I didn’t include them in the list. But you can click to see them anyway: Bonus 1 and Bonus 2

Update: Other -ists that I considered but rejected, partly because I couldn’t really think of any architectural icons to go with them at 2:00 this morning when I wrote this piece included Pleasantvilleist, Mayberryist, Funkytownist, Bumfuckist (oh, crap, I totally forgot — I was going to do a broken-down shack and some tumbleweeds for this one; oh well), CrystalLakeist, Dogpatchist, Grover’sCornersist, TwilightZoneist, and a few others. Was there a name for the town where the Smurfs lived?

Update: I just added Lilliput. I couldn’t resist.


Don’t forget “Anytownist” with a looming effigy of Ed McMahon handing out the Publisher’s Clearing House prize, or “Atlantisist” with its mer-men and brine.

I live in one of the cities covered by the Gothamist empire, and the site for our city is somewhat notorious (at least among local bloggers) for, shall we say, less than stellar writing. At a meeting of bloggers a couple years ago I suggested starting up an -ist site for a fictional city to parody the bad writing on this site. I think the example I came up with was Hobbitonist.

Perfect! You have an eye into our strategies into the Parallel/Bizarro World (except that we’re doing TwinPeaksist, too).

What about Funkytown? One of the most important imaginary places ever “created” and you didn’t even take it there.

how’s about for coneyislandist?


How about New Gothamist for Futurama’s New New York?

How about Raccooncityist replete with an umbrella logo, zombie head and burning city.

Springfield, as I’m sure you know, is not a fictional city. But whatever, i’m not trying to be miss smarty pants. But as far as I know, “Springfield” exists in many states. Like mine, for example.


heh, i was actually born in a city called “townsville”. it’s pretty. there’s an awesome aquarium and shit.

The Smurfs lived in Smurf Village. I can’t beleive you smurfed it. I liked Springfield, too, and think a “suburbanist” might be cool …

Fantastic! As I scrolled down, each made me laugh harder.

The geek in me loved seeing The Village among them, but I wonder if some might not get it cause they think it’s a reference to the M. Night Shyamalan film.

How about The Shireist?

That looks nothing like the Townsville skyline … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Townsville,_Queensland


Twinpeaksist please! And also for the total nerds such as myself, how about a Hogsmeadist?

You rule.

Love the reference to The Prisoner with “thevillageist” and it is even better because at least one commenter admits not to get it.

- Innsmouthist

@ John: That comment made me gleeful.

@ A.: That is an awesomely creepy suggestion. What would the icon be, I wonder?

You really need to add one for Eurekaist

Actually followed this link from Bostonist. Laughed my ass off. Really. Its lying under my desk right now.
I wrote to the loverly Gothem-ist people to see if I could help start a Louisville-ist, where I live now. But I don’t think we qualify at a “cultural center” eventhough, except for Chicago, none of thier sites cover the midwest (or points in between the coasts).
There are so many more you could do. Narnia-ist (Caer Paravel, the stone table, Aslan) Metropolis-ist (yes I know it’s based on New York). I even wanted to do a Baghdad-ist, based on Military writers. Oh well.
I totally loved the Mr. Rogers nod.
Oh, I’m a huge nerd but i didn’t get Delta City or the Village. I guess Hitchcock-ist might work (Bates Motel, Birds, Planes…)

How about City of Domes-ist (Logan’s Run) or Brave New World-ist? This could go on and on.

I Wikipedia’ed The Village. Sounds interesting.

What about Gorgtownist—with the Gorgs, the wise old Trashheap, and the Fraggles running around in the radish patch

Townsvilleist made my day. Good work, sir.

“The city…of Townsville!”