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:
“My neighbors listen to good music, whether they like it or not” (4/28)
“Why do Mexicans never cross the border in groups of three?"/"Because a sign says ‘No Trespassing.‘“ (4/28)
“What kind of magic does a vegan wizard use?"/"Soycery.” (4/28)
“Running is like coffee, I’m much nicer after I’ve had one” (4/27)
“Don’t just chase your dreams. Run them down” (4/27)
More new entries...

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Entry from July 24, 2004
Who Owns New York?
"Who Owns New York" is a Columbia University fight song, and it goes like this:

Oh, who owns New York?
Oh, who owns New York?
Oh, who owns New York the people say.
Why, we own New York!
Yes, we own New York!
Who?
C-O-L-U-M-B-I-A!


The "Who owns New York?" phrase is often used in a "subway series." Whoever wins "owns New York." The phrase is also used in some New York real estate stories. The Columbia source for "Who owns New York?" is not generally known today.

This dates from at least 1934:

8 January 1934, New York Times, pg. 14:
"What do you mean, another beating?" roared his triumphant band of Lions, with the accent on the "another," and singing "Who owns New York?" the conquering football heroes, who stunned the sports world with their Rose Bowl victory over Stanford, marched gaily out of their Pullman cars behind their coach to be swept up in one of the biggest receptions New York has accorded a returning athletic team.

Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Saturday, July 24, 2004 • Permalink