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:
“A friend of wine is a friend of mine” (4/25)
“The first thing on my bucket list is to fill the bucket with wine” (4/24)
“I’m a wine enthusiast. The more wine I drink, the more enthusiastic I become” (4/24)
“Homemade with love. In other words, I licked the spoon and kept using it” (4/24)
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Entry from December 16, 2004
Green Book (Official Directory)
"The Green Book" is called that because - surprise! - it's green. The formal name is the "Official Directory," but it was soon dubbed the "little green book."

It contains the names and addresses of city, state, and federal government offices and employees. The "Official Directory" has been published since 1918.

Much of the information in the Green Book is now available free on the city's web site (www.nyc.gov), but the book is still useful.

The 2006 "Green Book" was orange, made to reflect 2005's "Gates" art project in Central Park.

27 March 1926, New York Times, pg. 9:
The city's Official Directory for 1926, popularly known as the "little green book," was issued yesterday.

21 April 1952, New York Times, pg. 23:
City's "Green Book" Again Ready,
Sighs Its Encyclopedic Editor, 70

The Little Green Book - more formally, the city's vestpocket "Official Directory," out today - is put out single-handed by a little gray man, himself a pocket-size encyclopedia about the city government. Customers can get the 696-page 1952 Green Book for $1, or 25 cents below cost, at The City Record office, Room 2213, Municipal Building.

The city gets the editor, William Viertel, for $7,400 a year, in return for which he also edits The Record, issued six days a week. In his time he has saved the city millions of dollars in economies and avoidance of faux pas.

Wiry Mr. Viertel, who conceived the first 111-page directory in 1918 and has put it out ever since with aid of his own Saturday, Sunday and holiday labors of pride, was knocking billiard balls around at Lawler Brothers Academy, 1780 Broadway yesterday.

25 September 1985, New York Times, pg. C8:
Selling the Green Book and Much More
(...)
The origins of the store date back to 1873, when the City Record, a newspaper describing the city's business activities, was published. In 1918, a second publication, the Green Book was added. Although the book, a comprehensive directory of city, state and Federal agencies, is still the best seller (30,000 copies sold last year), the store has expanded its selection to more than 50 books and pamphlets.

18 June 2000, New York Times, pg. CY6:
The Green Book, a Perennial Favorite, Blooms Anew
(...)
The Green Book contains the names, titles, telephone numbers and, in a few cases, e-mail addresses of nearly 7,200 public servants. Most work for the city, but there are state and federal listings, too.

The book is also a trove of facts about government (the city has 248,000 full-time employees), and assorted factoids (the Sanitation Department has a deputy director of composting).
Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Thursday, December 16, 2004 • Permalink