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:
“Futons are the sporks of the furniture world” (10/19)
“A microwave is an easy bake oven for adults” (10/19)
“What do you call a cat that eats lemons?"/"A sourpuss.” (10/19)
“Why was the road afraid of the bike lane?"/"Because it was a cycle path.” (10/19)
“Cheesecake is actually pie” (10/19)
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Entry from April 12, 2016
“He speaks English with the flawless imperfection of a New Yorker”

Gilbert Millstein (1915-1999) wrote about Manhattan’s famed French restaurant Lutèce (at 249 East 50th Street from 1961 to 2004) in Esquire magazine in January 1962:

“He (founder Andre Surmain—ed.) speaks English with the flawless imperfection of a New Yorker, which he is, and French with the unmistakable locution of a Parisian, which he was born.”

“He speaks English with the flawless imperfection of a New Yorker” has been listed in books of New York quotations, but without reference to the person Millstein wrote about.


Google Books
Esquire
January 1962
He speaks English with the flawless imperfection of a New Yorker, which he is, and French with the unmistakable locution of a Parisian, which he was born.
(Andre Surmain, founder of Manhattan’s French restaurant Lutèce in 1961.—ed.)

Google Books
The Harper Book of Quotations (Revised Edition)
By Robert I. Fitzhenry
New York, NY: HarperPerennial
1993
Pg. 34:
He speaks English with the flawless imperfection of a New Yorker.
Gilbert Millstein

Google Books
America in Quotations
By Bahman Dehgan
Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc.
2003
Pg. 43:
He speaks English with the flawless imperfection of a New Yorker.—Gilbert Millstein: Esquire (New York), January 1962

Google Books
New York:
The Big Apple Quote Book

By Bob Blaisdell
Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc.
2011
Pg. 170:
He speaks English with the flawless imperfection of a New Yorker. —Gilbert Millstein.

Google Books
The Little Red Book of New York Wisdom
By Former Mayor Ed Koch, with Gregg Stebben and Jason Katzman
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing
2011
Pg. 5:
He speaks English with the flawless imperfection of a New Yorker.
GILBERT MILLSTEIN

NY Daily Quote
Friday, November 2, 2012
A New Yorker’s English
“He speaks English with the flawless imperfection of a New Yorker.”
Gilbert Millstein, The Harper Book of Quotations

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Tuesday, April 12, 2016 • Permalink