"Big Apple" 1988 bet paid off now in 2003 (Cohen & Popik not mentioned)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Sep 15 06:05:05 UTC 2003

   Just amazing.  Just amazing.  You can't invent humiliation like this.
   These two articles must be cited in full.  I'll get to my West Indian food 
post in a little bit, and then it's off to a brief sleep before another 
brutal week of nonstop work at the McDonald's for lawyers.  I'm trying to clear 
$20,000 this year (with no benefits).
   I'll send a copy to the Windy CIty gang (Chicago Public Library, Newberry 
Library) just to illustrate that Chicago is not the only one to make mistakes.
BIG APPLE article no. 1
    Monday, Sep 15, 2003    
Jeff Elder          
    Posted on Fri, Aug. 15, 2003 THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER 
Why is NYC called `The Big Apple'?
Q. How did New York City get the nickname "The Big Apple?" -- Diane Sutton, 
It's a good question, Diane, about a great city that's once again struggling 
through a dark moment.
That's what makes it "The Big Apple." New York is tough and resilient enough 
to fight through hard times and remain glamorous, legendary, incomparable.
During the massive blackouts of 1965 and 1977 there was fear in the streets, 
but New Yorkers reached out to help each other. We saw that same heroism pull 
the city through the pain of Sept. 11.
We know New York and the other cities hit by Thursday's blackouts will make 
it through this frightening episode with courage.
So this column is for "The Big Apple."
According to the New York Historical Society, historians have most often 
traced "The Big Apple" nickname to jockeys, who used the term in reference to the 
city's horse racing scene. An apple was a prize for the horses. A win in the 
big city of New York was a big apple indeed for the jockeys.
In the 1930s, the nickname surfaced among black musicians, who regarded New 
York as the ultimate place to perform. There were many apples on the tree, it 
was said, but New York was the big apple. There was even a jazz club in Harlem 
by that name.
And some say "The Big Apple" can be traced directly to French immigrant 
Evelyn Claudine de Saint-Évremond, who ran a legendary and glamorous house of ill 
New Yorkers anglicized Mademoiselle Evelyn's first name. She became Eve and 
her brothel was a garden filled with temptations. There are many quotations 
about this place that use the apple as a metaphor.
So which story is correct? Experts say there's probably a little truth in all 
of them. New York, after all, is a big beautiful city that never sleeps. 
(Especially, at Mademoiselle Evelyn's house.)
By the '50s and '60s "The Big Apple" had fallen out of popular use. But in 
the early '70s, the Convention and Visitors Bureau re-introduced it.
So what about `The Big Easy'?
Well, certain things do seem to happen more easily in N'Orleans. But 
historians trace the nickname to a turn-of-the-century jazz club called The Big Easy 
Hall.In 1970, newspaper reporter James Conaway wrote a crime novel set in New 
Orleans called "The Big Easy," and in 1987 the steamy movie with Dennis Quaid 
and Ellen Barkin took the same name.
Much of the credit for the nickname is given to newspaper columnist Betty 
Guillaud, who popularized the phrase in the 1970s -- using it to contrast New 
Orleans' laid-back style to that of The Big Apple's.

story" was acknowledged as a hoax!
   He's wrong about "the Big Easy," too.
   The New-York Historical Society tells them this?  The same NYHS that has 
Cohen-Popik donated material?  The same N-YHS that won't send me a style sheet 
(I've waited months) so I can write an article?
   Once again, my name isn't mentioned, and I wasn't even contacted.  I felt 
pretty bad when I saw this just now, until I'd see this and feel even 
    Posted on Wed, Aug. 27, 2003  THE STATE 
Columbia not at core of New York City label
'Big Apple' applied to New York before dance came about
Staff Writer

Sorry to break it to you Columbia, but the Big Apple dance did NOT give New 
York City its nickname.
Some South Carolina peaches are headed north to Manhattan, courtesy of former 
Columbia Mayor Patton Adams.
In 1988, Adams bet then-New York Mayor Ed Koch that the dance was the source.
The debate raged in The New York Times and other national media. It even made 
David Letterman and Dear Abby.
At the time, Koch couldn't prove otherwise and sent Adams some New York 
apples as a gift.
It's Adams' turn to pay up.
A search by The State of records at the New York Public Library shows the 
nickname was used in jazz, horse racing and the movies a decade before the swing 
dance was invented
In fact, Columbia's Big Apple club might have taken its name from the same 
jazz-age sources.
When briefed Tuesday, Adams cheerfully conceded the bet.
But he said he believes the Big Apple dance helped cement the nickname and 
make its use more widespread. "It gave more substance to the nickname than it 
had in the past," he said.
Adams, who served from 1986 to 1990, said he made the bet to generate some 
publicity for Columbia tourism."
It worked. And Mayor Koch and I had a lot of laughs over the issue."  

Koch, contacted at his law office, said he knew all along the term came from 
jazz, but couldn't prove it at the time."
Harlem was known as the Big Apple as the center of jazz and it spread," Koch 
The New York Convention & Visitors Bureau formalized the "Big Apple" nickname 
for the city in a 1971 publicity campaign.
Adams originally bet 10 pounds of South Carolina mustard-based barbecue to 
Koch's New York cheese pizza.
But Koch said South Carolina peaches, which he first tasted during his World 
War II basic training at Camp Croft near Spartanburg, would do just fine.
"We would crawl through those peach orchards and I would reach up and steal 
the biggest. South Carolina peaches are the best."
Koch said six peaches would satisfy the bet.
Since the debate raged in 1988, The New York Times archives have been 
computerized. Research now is much easier.
The first reference is in a glossary of Hollywood movie-making terms titled 
"Slang of Film Men," published in The New York Times on March 11, 1928. The 
dance was invented in 1936.
Horse-racing reports from the 1920s and 1930s also call the city the Big 
Apple because its tracks paid the highest purses.
And jazz musicians called playing clubs on the road "picking apples." They 
looked forward to returning to "the big apple," New York, were they were paid 
more and enjoyed more prestige.
Although the Big Apple was in use as New York's nickname before the dance was 
invented, the exact source of the term -- whether jazz, horse racing or 
filmmaking -- is still a mystery."
It's like a lot of things," said John Rathe, a research librarian at the New 
York Public Library. "Was there an Uncle Sam? Did Betsy Ross sew the first 
American flag? Until somebody invents a time machine, we're not going to find 
Rathe noted that in the jazz and horse-racing world, the term indicated "the 
place to be."
So, in all likelihood, Columbia nightclub owner Frank "Fat Sam" Boyd -- being 
hip to things jazz -- might have named his joint the Big Apple for that very 
It's logical," Rathe said.Reach Wilkinson at (803) 771-8495 or <A HREF="mailto:jwilkinson at thestate.com">
jwilkinson at thestate.com</A>.

    This is insane.  I'm losing my mind.  Andy Smith begs me to get therapy.
    In 1991, Gerald Cohen published a Big Apple BOOK.  I then added to it 
with important discoveries, published in COMMENTS ON ETYMOLOGY.  Track writer 
John J. Fitz Gerald admitted he'd heard "Big Apple" from New Orleans stable 
hands, and I even pinpointed the probable January 1920 date, using two sources.  
Our work is summarized in Cohen's entry to the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF NEW YORK CITY 
   I gave all this in 1992 to then-Mayor David Dinkins, which began the 
process of the work being rejected all over town.
   Finally, in 1997, just as both of my parents would die, I dedicated "Big 
Apple Corner."  It was signed into law by Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  If you Google 
"Big Apple" and "nickname," it's hit number three.  NO ONE CAN GOOGLE?
   Fred Shapiro found that 1928 NEW YORK TIMES citation over ten years ago.  
It was published in AMERICAN SPEECH, a journal of this American Dialect 
Society.  The TIMES digitization hadn't added anything we didn't already know over a 
decade ag
   I gave Ed Koch my material years ago.  He saw it and responded to it.  (He 
couldn't make the 1997 dedication.  Don't worry--no one did.)  Now: "he knew 
all along the term came from jazz"?
   Gersh Kuntzman wrote a "Big Apple" article for the 1997 NEW YORK POST.  
Patton Adams was quoted in it.  Adams remembers none of it?
    But the most infuriating thing are the comments by John Rathe, a research 
librarian at the New York Public Library.  Not only did I solve this thing at 
the New York Public Library, but--(wipes brow, takes a breath, go)--I'M BARRY 
POPIK!  No one knows me?  No NYPL librarian has ever heard of me?  BARRY 
POPIK!  You know, the guy who's been going there for over ten years?  Friend of 
90-year-old David Shulman?  Barry Popik?  Lives in New York?  Also did research 
work on the Windy CIty, the Great White Way, New York's Finest, New York's 
Bravest, the New York Yankees, the Bronx Bombers, the Subway Series, Audrey 
Munson ("Miss Manhattan"), the hot dog, the gyro, the smoothie, chicken a la king, 
the hero, the hoagie...
   Barry Popik!  BARRY POPIK!
   I'm Barry Popik!
   I knew this would happen, so I took the incredible trouble of making sure 
this was a law!  No one remembers?  No one knows?  No one can Google and find 
   What to do?  Run to the doorman?  I'm Barry Popik, right?  I live here, 
don't I?  I've lived here for a long time, haven't I?  This duplicate street 
sign, it says "BIG APPLE CORNER," doesn't it?
    See that store over there, at East 57th and Third?  It used to be a WIZ.  
But before that, it was a CRAZY EDDIE.  And he had this motto, "Crazy Eddie, 
his prices are insaaaane!"  Remember?  And in the 1970s, along with the Big 
Apple print ad campaign, there was a slogan that said, "New York.  You have to 
be a little crazy to live here."  
   And what would I sing?  Remember?  A little song by Patsy Cline, from just 
at the time I was born?  Remember?  Remember?

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