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.

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Entry from April 11, 2005
Little Belgium
"Little Belgium" has grown up around 14th Street and Ninth Avenue in Manhattan. The term was popularized by a New York Times article as recently as 1999.

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:2MNIwO3JSBwJ:www.askanewyorker.com/phorum/phorum-3.3.2a/read.php%3Ff%3D34%26i%3D31982%26t%3D31982%26v%3Df+%22little+belgium%22+%2214th+street%22&hl=en

Re: little belgium
Author: Marea (---.177.171.66.subscriber.vzavenue.net)
Date: 08-18-04 13:40

Okay, I have spoken to my hairdresser and he says he doesn't really know of anywhere that is actually called Little Belgium but there are 3 or 4 Belgian restaurants on 9th Avenue at 14th Street.

http://wiki.cultureshark.net/index.php?TwilightSubwayBig
At the end of this perfectly ordinary day, I took my usual Lexington Ave E train to the flat I shared with a slew of housemates in the area now known as "Little Belgium". At the time that I lived there it was the "Meat Packing District" and not so posh. The specific part I lived in was not so posh I should say as just a few streets over were very desirable buildings. But New York is block by block like that and the place I lived in was adjacent to some actual meat packing plants. Said meat packers would leave boxes with truly revolting contents just sitting out on the sidewalk, even in hot summers. But they've all left now so it's "Little Belgium", how quaint. Let's say I remember it differently.

(Google Groups)
Belgian beer article
... establishments in New York are so strongly concentrated around West 14th Street and Ninth Avenue that it is going to be called Little Belgium," says the CBB. ...
rec.food.drink.beer - Nov 10 1999, 5:31 pm by J2jurado - 3 messages - 3 authors

Beer Bits
... world of pop culture." Of late, the mussel-worshipers are lining up at Markt on West 14th Street and 9th Avenue, an area fast becoming known as Little Belgium. ...
rec.food.drink.beer - Aug 18 2001, 12:28 am by Glucanase - 28 messages - 6 authors

21 March 1999, New York Times, "Suddenly, Tiny Nation Is a New York Trendsetter" by Glenn Collins, section 14, pg. 1:
See the mussel-worshipers lining up for Belgian soul food at tiny Petite Abeille on West 14th Street and Ninth Avenue, the cobblestone crossroads of an area fast becoming known as Little Belgium. On the opposite corner, they're clamoring for admission to Markt, an elegant 30's-style bistro whose name means market in Flemish. Two blocks away is Cafe de Bruxelles, a lace-curtained neighborhood institution on Greenwich Avenue, as popular as ever after 17 years. A short stroll to the south? Waterloo Brasserie on Charles Street, with its hard-edged Eurospace and trendy clientele. To the east, on Lafayette Street: Belgo Nieuw-York, the industrial-strength Bauhaus brauhaus.

''I had no idea this neighborhood would become a Belgian village,'' said Yves Jadot, 31, the Brussels-born president of Petite Abeille, which established its beachhead in the meatpacking district a year ago. Mr. Jadot -- who with his brothers, David and Christopher, operates two other Petite Abeille cafes, one on West 18th Street and another on Hudson Street -- ticked off two Belgian-style frites spots and two more Belgian restaurants south of 14th Street. At least three more are on the way, including a couple of Petite Abeille outposts and a SoHo branch of Le Pain Quotidien, the homey Belgian bakery-cum-cafe on Madison Avenue.

12 July 1999, New York Times, pg. B5:
And no fewer than five eateries now inhabit a new restaurant district in Manhattan known as Little Belgium, centering on 14th Street and Ninth Avenue.

8 November 1999, Financial Times, pg. 4:
According to the Confederation of Belgian Breweries (CBB), consumption in New York alone has doubled to 600,000 crates annually over the past two years. "Today a number of Belgian catering establishments in New York are so strongly concentrated around West 14th Street and Ninth Avenue that it is going to be called Little Belgium," says the CBB.

7 September 2000, New York Times, pg. B1:
The effusion of Belgianophilia includes eateries like Markt, Petite Abeille and Le Pain Quotidien, proliferating in a restaurant district in Manhattan that some call Little Belgium. Not to mention the explosion of interest in Belgian beers, chocolates, double-fried potatoes and deconstructivist fashion.
(...)
Belgian living in New York will also be received at Markt, the Belgian bistro on 14th Street and Ninth Avenue. Young Belgian artists, academics and entrepreneurs will be feted at Le Pain Quotidien in SoHo.

1 July 2001, Europe, pages 26-28:
Of late, the mussel-worshipers are lining up at Markt on West 14th Street and 9th Avenue, an area fast becoming known as Little Belgium. The 1930s-style brasserie is really the hot spot in town, where you can bump into Mel Brooks, Michelle Pfeifer, Catherine Zeta Jones, Ralph Lauren, or Lou Reed, just to name a few. In New York, lovers of moules frite and Stella Artois head to Belgian eatery Markt on West 14th Street and 9th Avenue an area fast becoming known as "Little Belgium."

Posted by Barry Popik
Neighborhoods • (0) Comments • Monday, April 11, 2005 • Permalink