A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“What do you call bread with your toe jam spread all over it?"/"Toest.” (7/21)
“Some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue” (7/21)
“Is a frozen watermelon still a watermelon or is it now an icemelon?” (7/21)
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Entry from April 19, 2008
Friendly City (Austin nickname)

"The Friendly City” has been an Austin nickname since 1925, when it was promoted by the city’s chamber of commerce. In the 2000s, this was replaced with the popular unofficial slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.”

“"Friendship" is the Texas state motto, and many Texas towns have advertised friendliness. In the 1930s, Amarillo also used the “Friendly City” nickname.


Wikipedia: Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Situated in Central Texas, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 16th-largest in the United States of America, as well as the third fastest growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. As of the 2006 U.S. Census estimate, Austin has a population of 709,893. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Greater Austin metropolitan area with a population of 1.6 million people.

Austin was selected as the No. 1 Best Big City in “Best Places to Live” by Money magazine in 2006, and the “Greenest City in America” by MSN. Also, according to CNN Headline News and travel and leisure Austin ranks #2 on the list of cities with the best people referring to the personalities and attributes of the citizens.

Residents of Austin are known as “Austinites,” and include a mix of university professors, students, politicians, lobbyists, musicians, state employees, high-tech workers, blue-collar workers, and white-collar workers. The main campus of the University of Texas is located in Austin. The city is home to enough large sites of major technology corporations to have earned it the nickname “Silicon Hills.” Austin’s official slogan promotes the city as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, a reference to its status as home to many musicians and music venues. In recent years, many Austinites have also adopted the unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird”; this refers partly to the eclectic and progressive lifestyle of many Austin residents, but is also the slogan for a campaign to preserve smaller local businesses and resist excessive commercialization.

About.com: Austin
Texas is the Friendship State and Austin is the Friendly City. Singles looking for love and anyone just looking for friendly faces love Austin, including families and kids.

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: Austin “the friendly city” and her neighbors.
Corp Author(s): Austin Chamber of Commerce. 
Publication: [Austin, Tex. : Austin Chamber of Commerce,
Year: 1925
Description: [44] p. : ill. ; 17 cm.

6 December 1925, New York (NY) Times, pg. XX3:
Picturesque invective is flying from both camps, temporarily belying the name of “the friendly city,” which has been given to Austin.

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: The Austin call :
the true blue paper of the friendly city.
Author(s): Brewer, John Mason,; 1896-1975. 
Publication: Austin, Tex. : The Austin Call,
Year: 1927-?
Description: Vol. 1 (Sept. 3, 1927)-; v. ;; ca. 44 cm.
Language: English
SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: African American newspapers—Texas—Austin.
African Americans—Texas—Austin—Newspapers.

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: Seeing Central Texas out of Austin “the friendly city” /
Corp Author(s): Austin Centennial Committee. ; Austin Chamber of Commerce. 
Publication: [Austin] : Austin Centennial Committee,
Year: 1936
Description: 5 v. : maps ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Series: Territory plan series ;; no. 2 “highways”;
Contents: Tour no. 1. West—Tour no. 2. Northwest—Tour no. 3. Southwest—Tour no. 4. Southeast—Tour no. 5. Northeast.

26 July 1940, Port Arthur (TX) News, pg. 17, col. 4:
Maybe Austin’s residents aren’t so interested in the sales tax or other issues but lots of them want to know how come “the friendly city” gives off an unpleasant odor.

13 May 1948, Mexia (TX) Weekly Herald, pg. 1, col. 4:
The J. H. Carr Quartet and the Friendly City Quartet of Austin, Texas.

Austin (TX) American-Statesman
BEN WEAR: GETTING THERE
Passing a funeral procession? Don’t.
Courtesies and discourtesies in Austin.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Two stories about Texans and courtesy.

I was catching some early spring sun at my apartment pool last weekend when I overheard three former Floridians chatting nearby. All of them had lived in Austin less than a year. One said that in his first two or three months here, he was taken aback by how nice people were to him. He figured they had to be working some sort of self-interested angle.

No, he finally figured out. They were just being nice. Weird.

“Austin is such a cool place,” he said, to nodding assent from the other two. Balm to the ears of a native Austinite, of course, especially given that in my youth — before all the guitars showed up — the city motto was “Austin, the friendly city.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, April 19, 2008 • Permalink