Recently on the BSC Boards, there have been a few topics started with pictures of what various BSC members’ houses could potentially look like. This is a subject I enjoy thinking about, and the idea of what the closest thing to Stoneybrook in real life is something I’ve written about in the past.
I think it’s a dead end to try to imagine Stoneybrook as actually being in Connecticut, and looking at towns in Connecticut to try to figure out a reasonable analogue to Stoneybrook, as I did here, is futile. This is because Stoneybrook’s inspiration is actually the Princeton of Ann’s youth. I have explored this subject in this post. The only major difference I can see is that Stoneybrook is on the Long Island Sound, and Princeton is landlocked. (This geography only comes into play in a handful of books, though, such as Claudia and the Lighthouse Ghost and Island Adventure. And I’m pretty sure Mary Anne and Logan do some homework on picnic tables by the water at one point.) I even have doubts that Ann has even been to Connecticut, much less spent some time in 1985 driving around Fairfield County, trying to find the perfect town to base Stoneybrook on. I think long-time Stoneybrookite commenter Eowyn was pretty much on the money when she said in response to the “Origins” post that Ann probably placed Stoneybrook in Connecticut because the Ricardos moved there. Westport, if you read the wikipedia article, seems to have a lot in common with Stoneybrook, although it’s certainly big enough to have its own post office and isn’t directly adjacent to Stamford. But I digress.
The main point I’m trying to make here is that poring over a map of Fairfield County and trying to find a town that you can take a BSC pilgrimmage to is a waste of time. For maximum BSC thrills, forget about Connecticut and go to Princeton. You can see sites from Ann’s childhood (her school is marked for demolition, though) and probably find her childhood house, and familiar place names abound. Rosedale Road is there, and there’s a Cherry Valley Road, and a Slate Road (okay, not Slate Street, but close enough). Anyway, my point is, I think there’s a real case to be made for taking Princeton as the best foundation for Stoneybrook that we have, and if we look at Princeton, we can probably find the closest picture for how Ann imagines Stoneybrook. So in the coming weeks, I’m going to write a few posts on the subject. First post will be on Kristy’s ritzy neighborhood.