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:
“Why did the pirate send his hot dog back at Nathan’s?"/"Because it was a salty dog.” (9/20)
“Sex is like music: for every person who pays for it, there are thousands more getting it for free” (9/20)
“Why did the pirate ask to get a mortgage with 3.142 percent interest?"/"He wanted the pi-rate!” (9/20)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/20)
“What is a pirate’s favorite type of music?"/"Arr and B!” (9/20)
More new entries...

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Entry from January 14, 2006
Moses’ Law: Don’t eat in park concessions!
John Hess developed "Moses' Law" (after Robert Moses, the Parks Commissioner) in his New York Times column in August 1973.

Actually, the food at some places (such as the Tennis Center in Queens) can be quite good, but very pricey. Perhaps price should be considered in the law.


Wikipedia: Robert Moses
Robert Moses (December 18, 1888 – July 29, 1981) was the "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, Rockland County, and Westchester County, New York. As the shaper of a modern city, he is sometimes compared to Baron Haussmann of Second Empire Paris, and is one of the most polarizing figures in the history of urban planning in the United States. He changed shorelines, built bridges, tunnels and roadways, and transformed neighborhoods forever. His decisions favoring highways over public transit helped create the modern suburbs of Long Island and influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners who spread his philosophies across the nation.

10 August 1973, New York Times, "A Caveat for Captive Diners" by John L. Hess, pg. 12:
Soon after its arrival in New York a generation ago, our family adopted what we called Moses Law: Don't eat in park concessions. It was named after Robert Moses, who was then Commissioner of Parks and Everything, but this turned out to be unfair.

The rule is actually universal. A scientist in the family revised it to read: The quality of food and service is inversely proportional to the captivity of the clientele. In other words, when a concessionaire draws patronage because it has nowhere else to go (e.g., airports and airlines) or because of the beauty of the site, he tends to economize on the merchandise.

24 December 1978, New York Times, "The Pitfalls of Travel, According to Law" by Harold Faber, pg. XX2:
MOSES' LAW
Don't eat in park concessions. The quality of food and service is inversely proportional to the captivity of the clientele. -- Named after Robert Moses, who had been Commissioner of Park in New York City, by John L. Hess of The New York Times in an article on Aug. 8, 1973. Mr. Hess condemned the food at New York park concessions, as well as at the Eiffel Tower.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Saturday, January 14, 2006 • Permalink