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 December 14, 2013
“There are two seasons in the North—winter and road construction”

"There are two seasons in the North—winter and road construction” is a joke told about many northern cities. “There are two seasons—winter and August (or Fourth of July)” is a similar joke that dates to the 19th century.

“The Midwest has only two seasons, winter and road construction” was cited in the Chicago (IL) Tribune in August 1983. “One of whom, Mike McManus, explained that his native Minnesota has two seasons—winter and road repair” was cited in a September 1983 New York (NY) Times review of a late night television program.

“Minnesota has two seasons: snow construction and road removal” (a spoonerism of “snow removal and road construction") was cited in print in 1996 and has been credited to Minnesota fantasy and science fiction author Steven Brust.

“Minnesota is a land of two seasons—winter is coming and winter is here” is another “two seasons” joke.


5 August 1983, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Voice of the people: Vagaries of Weather,” sec. 1, pg. 18, col. 5:
CHICAGO—After a cool. wet spring, we have heard a familiar theme: The Midwest has only two seasons, winter and road construction.

July proved that we also have a summer.
B. Walsh

18 September 1983, New York (NY) Times, “TV View: A Strong Late-Night Contender Weighs In” by John J. O’Connor, pg. A29:
The host (Alan Thicke of Thicke of the Night—ed.) introduced his resident company, one of whom, Mike McManus, explained that his native Minnesota has two seasons—winter and road repair.

11 August 1984, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Voice of the people: Turned-off tourist,” sec. 1, pg. 10, col. 6:
I was informed that Chicago has two seasons: winter and construction.
(Letter by Alan H. Simon.—ed.)

12 July 1985, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Cleveland’s Newest Booster” by Donna Chernin, Friday!, pg. 3, col. 5:
“Cleveland is like several other Midwest cities,” (Kathy—ed.) Sull ad libbed. “We have only two seasons, winter and road repair.”

24 February 1986, Minneapolis (MN) Star and Tribune, “Light-rail transit is an alternative that the Twin Cities should pursue” by Phyllis McQuaid, pg. 11A:
The old adage that “Minnesota has two seasons - winter and road repair’’ has probably never been more fitting.

Google News Archive
16 January 1988, Fort Scott (KS) Tribune, “Minnesota has two seasons” by Dick Hedges, pg. 3, col. 1:
With apologies to Fort Scott Community College’s Laura Meeks, a transplanted Minnesotan, I would like to pass on the following article which was recently published in the Love Letter.

“Even though Minnesota experiences the same vernal and autumnal equinox and summer and winter solstice as the rest of the country, it is common knowledge that they really have only two seasons each year—winter and road repair.”

10 August 1988, The Interlake Spectator (Stonewall, Manitoba), ‘Road work in the Interlake” by Lorne Hanks, pg. 14, col. 1:
They say Manitoba has two seasons: winter and construction.

14 April 1989, Daily Herald (Chicago, IL), “A golf course blooms at McCormick’s Cantigny estate” by Bob Gordon, sec. 4, pg. 1, col. 5:
A native of North Carolina, Pete Jones has a unique perspective on Illinois.

“There are two seasons here, winter and construction.”

23 September 1989, The Capital Times (Madison, WI), “Delafield restaurant a delight,” pg. 8, col. 1:
I keep hearing Wisconsin has two seasons—winter and road construction.

14 April 1990, Register Star (Rockford, IL), ‘Tollway repairs create major delays,” pg. 8A, col. 1:
“We have two seasons: winter and road construction,” Cooper said.

Google Books
Where the Road and the Sky Collide:
America Through the Eyes of Its Drivers

By K. T. Berger
New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, Inc.
1993
Pg. 223:
“There’s basically two seasons in Minneapolis-St. Paul,” Scott said. “Winter and road construction.”

Google Groups: alt.sysadmin.recovery
Brian Hurt
2/14/96
(...)
Minnesota has two seasons: snow construction and road removal. 
(Thanks, Steve).

Google Groups: alt.books.m-lackey
Scott Raun
2/25/96
(...)
Ah, yes - the variation in Minnesota is:

We only have two seasons - Road Construction and Snow Removal.  Or is that Snow Construction and Road Removal?  wink

9 August 1999, Rockford (IL) Register Star, ‘Uncle George clearly one-of-a-kind” by Lucy Miele, pg. 2C, col. 1:
Someone told me Illinois has two seasons...winter and construction. Too true.

Google Books
The Alaska Highway
By Ed Readicker-Henderson and Lynn Readicker-Henderson
Edison, NJ: Hunter
2001
Pg. 171:
Remember, there are only two seasons in the North: winter and construction.

Google Books
Forever After
By Kimberley White
Washington, DC: Arabesque
2004
Pg. 13:
She maneuvered a pothole, reciting another local sentiment, “There are only two seasons in Michigan: winter and construction.”

Google Books
Who’s Grace?
By James R. Coggins
Waterville, ME: Thorndike Press
2005
Pg. 196:
It was often said of the city’s streets: “Winnipeg has only two seasons—winter and construction.”

Google Books
The Minnesota Book of Skills:
Your Guide to Smoking Whitefish, Sauna Etiquette, Tick Extraction, and More

By Chris Niskanen
St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press
2012
Pg. ?:
The popular saying that Minnesota has two seasons, winter and road construction, grew a corollary: ice dam season was the new winter. The heck with road construction.

Twitter
David Walker
‏@davidwalkersapp
Minneapolis has two seasons: Road Removal and Snow Repair.
5:44 PM - 8 Dec 13

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTime/Weather • Saturday, December 14, 2013 • Permalink