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 July 21, 2015
“The room was so small, I had to go out in the hall to change my mind”

New York City apartments and hotel rooms are usually very small. “The room was so small,” an old joke goes, “I had to go out in the hall to change my mind.” The joke appeared in the Inter-Ocean (Chicago, IL) in 1893 and the New York (NY) Herald in 1894.


Old Fulton NY Post Cards
28 April 1893, Buffalo (NY) Evening News, pg. 3:
Murdock—I understand you have secured nice, airy apartments for tho summer.
Brown—No; tho rooms are high priced and so small I have to go out into the hall to change my mind.—Inter-Ocean.

5 May 1893, The Weekly Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL), “Wit and Humor,” pg. 3 col. 3:
Murdock—I understand you have secured nice, airy apartments for tho summer.
Brown—No; tho rooms are high priced and so small I have to go out into the hall to change my mind.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
14 October 1894, New York (NY) Herald, “Latest Variety ‘Gags’,” pg. ?, col. 2:
“I’m living in one of the smallest flats in New York. It’s so small that I have to go out into the hall to change my mind.”

25 April 1898, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “Passed Balls,” pg. 4, col. 3:
Jack Warner is certainly the boss wag of the New York string. The boys were talking of hotel experiences, and the size of rooms came up. “Why,” said Jack, “I stopped in a place once where the rooms were so small that I had to go out into the hall to change my mind.” “I’ve seen worse than that,” commented Doheny. “I had a room once that was so small I had to go outside to turn over in bed, and there wasn’t enough of the bed clothing to flag a hand car.”—New York World.

Google Books
Samantha at Coney Island and a Thousand Other Islands
By Marietta Holley
New York, NY: The Christian Herald, Bible House
1911
Pg. ?:
The room they gin me wuz so small I thought I would have to go out in the hall to change my mind.

Google News Archive
13 June 1987, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “Inside the park” by Paul Mayer, pg. 18, col. 2:
Which brings to mind what former Cincinnati pitcher Clay Kirby said about his hotel room in Montreal once.

“My room is so small,” Kirby! said, “that I have to go out into the hall to change my mind.”

Twitter
Paul Alexander
‏@pealexander
this new apt is so small I will have to go out in the hall to change my mind
8:45 PM - 3 Feb 2010

The Wall Street Journal
A Loft Lined With Antiques
April 19, 2013 8:29 a.m. ET
(Photo caption.—ed.)
The size of the apartment made living through the phases of renovation bearable, Mr. Davenport says, compared to his previous apartments, which were smaller. ‘My standard New York joke is my first place was so small that I had to go out to the hall to change my mind,’ he says.’ NATALIE KEYSSAR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

myFOXla.com
New York City? I’d Much Rather Live In LA
Posted: Feb 03, 2014 12:33 PM EST
Updated: Feb 03, 2014 12:37 PM EST
Posted by: Phil Shuman, Reporter / Ancho
Having spent a week in New York City in a hotel room so small I had to go out in the hall to change my mind (apologies to Catskills comedians), I can tell you I’d much rather live in LA. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Tuesday, July 21, 2015 • Permalink