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 May 10, 2005
Only the Strong Survive (Bronx, Brooklyn, or NYC slogan)
"The Bronx - Only the Strongest Will Survive" is a t-shirt saying. The same sentiment can be found in parts of Brooklyn. A University of Pittsburgh basketball player wrote "Only the Strong Survive in NYC" on his sneakers.

There was a 1960s song "Only the Strong Survive" by Jerry Butler.

The motto or slogan reflects New York City of the high-crime 1960s and 1970s, not the low-crime city of today. "Only the Strong Survive" glamorizes a more violent time.

http://webfitz.com/lyrics/Lyrics/1969/501969.html
Only the Strong Survive
Jerry Butler

I see you sittin' there all alone
Crying your eyes out
While everything's going wrong
You know there's gonna be
A whole lot of trouble in your life
Listen to me, get up off your knees
'Cause only the strong survive

Only the strong survive
Only the strong survive
Hey, you gotta be strong
You gotta hold on
I said don't give up, no don't

http://nycmemorabilia.com/product_info.php?products_id=47
Here's a good way to show your "Bronx Pride". FIRST QUALITY, 100% heavy cotton T shirts in three colors, with decal applied, stating either: "THE BRONX-Only The Strong Survive", or "THE BRONX-Only The Strongest Will Survive". Reminiscent of the "bad old days", when it was truly a struggle to exist in the Bronx, these T's come in black, red, & yellow. Available in small, medium, large, & extra large for only $6.98, with XXL for $3.00 more. Makes a great gift for the ex-Bronxite, homesick New Yorker, & everyone who appreciates that "New York Attitude".

(Google)
Tshirt - Novelty T Shirt
... Featuring: BRONX Only The Strongest Will Survive T shirt, John Lennon style New York City T shirts Central Park. Free NYC keychain with any other order. ...
http://www.tshirtindex.com/noveltytshirt/ - 62k - Cached - Similar pages

(Google)
eBay Category Level: Collectibles | Transportation | Subway NYC T SHIRTS "THE BRONX-ONLY THE STRONGEST SURVIVE" T, NYC T SHIRTS "THE BRONX-ONLY THE STRONGEST SURVIVE" T, $4.98 0 bids, 9d 20h 42m. ...
collectibles.online-auctions.org/ecat/c/4152/l/3 - 62k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

(Google)
eBay Category Level: Collectibles | Transportation | Subway NYC T SHIRTS "THE BRONX-ONLY THE STRONGEST SURVIVE" T, NYC T SHIRTS "THE BRONX-ONLY THE STRONGEST SURVIVE" T, $4.98 0 bids, 9d 20h 42m. ...
collectibles.online-auctions.org/ecat/c/4152/l/3 - 62k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

(Google)
Listing detail for - NYC T SHIRT "THE JOHN LENNON STYLE" T SHIRTS
... NYC T SHIRT "THE BRONX ONLY THE STRONGEST" T SHIRTS, NYC T SHIRT "THE BRONX ONLY THE STRONGEST" T SHIRTS, $4.98 0 bids, 10d 18h 56m. ...
http://www.online-auctions.org/ed/e/3934696211/c/208/l/2/w/5 - 25k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

(Google Groups)
Tailgaters abound!
I was born and raised (and learned to drive) in Staten Island, though most of my time was spent in BROOKLYN, where "only the strong survive." I was told that ...
rec.autos.driving - Aug 14 1992, 6:23 pm by - 188 messages - 81 authors

http://www.eai.org/eai/tape.jsp?itemID=669
Third Avenue: Only the Strong Survive
by Jon Alpert and Keiko Tsuno.
1980, 58:10 min, color, sound

This Emmy Award-winning documentary tells the stories of six "ordinary" people who live or work along New York City's Third Avenue, which runs for sixteen miles through Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, cutting through the complex social strata of the city to reveal wildly different economic and ethnic subcultures. The subjects speak for themselves, offering candid glimpses into the disparate worlds of a junkyard dealer who steals cars, a Bowery bum and the wife he abandoned, a welfare mother living in a condemned building with her five children, a male prostitute, a devout Puerto Rican factory worker, and an aging Italian barber and his wife. Called "a triumph of its kind" by The Washington Post, this unsentimental portrait of the uncommon lives of common people is a subjective sociological study of survival in urban America.

...
http://www.pittsburghpanthers.com/sports/mbball/bio.asp?PLAYER_ID=1456
Born Carl Isaac Krauser on May 13, 1981...son of Joy Mays and Mario Krauser of Bronx, N.Y....has one brother and one sister...owns a 2-0 record as an amateur boxer but gave it up to concentrate on basketball…nickname is "Black Magic"…native of the Bronx, a 10-minute train ride from Madison Square Garden…writes on his shoes before each game, "Only the strong survive in NYC"…can perform a variety of ball handing tricks…undeclared major.

29 March 1992, Associated Press Political Service, "Clinton Campaigns in Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn" by Beth J. Harpaz:
One man got up and said, "Welcome to the Bronx - where only the strong survive."

18 June 1996, Dallas Morning News, pg. 5B:
NEW YORK -- It's a steamy evening in the Bronx when Albert Belle emerges from the dugout for batting practice. He's ready to take his swings.

So are the fans.
(...)
Dressed in a white T-shirt that reads, "Only The Strong Survive," he is joined by his drunk buddy. Soon, the game is over and the two hecklers are back at it, shouting as Belle jogs away to the clubhouse.

11 May 1997, Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, CA), pg. A10:
Growing up in the Bronx, `where only the strong survive," and later working as a social worker in New York, Katzeff was not overly involved with birds. Not many serious birders in the Big Apple.

3 November 2002, New York Times, section 2A, pg. 1:
Through a contact she made at ''In Living Color,'' Ms. Lopez was hired for the short-lived Fox drama ''South Central.'' A few television roles followed, but Ms. Lopez had bigger plans. She wanted to become a movie star.

''I can remember running on the treadmill every day and saying to myself, 'Only the strong survive,' '' she said. ''Really cliche things. I was into working out, being the best.''

15 November 2003, New York Daily News, pg. 62:
Krauser's strong feelings for New York are always on display when he plays. He writes "only the strong survive in NYC" on his sneakers before each game and he plays with the quick-hitting moves he learned as an amateur boxer while a youngster in the Bronx.

15 November 2003, New York Post, pg. 69:
A city point guard through-and-through, nicknamed Black Magic, Krauser had "Bronx Balla" and "Bronx Ride With Me" on his sneakers, along with his usual, "Only The Strong Survive in NYC." He made sure his Panthers survived last night against stubborn 'Bama.

(OCLC WorldCat)
Title: Only the strong survive /
Author(s): Gamble, Kenny. ; Huff, Leon. ; Butler, Jerry.
Publication: New York :; Parabut Music Corp.,
Year: 1969
Description: 5 p. of music ;; 31 cm.
Language: English
SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: Popular music -- 1961-1970.
Note(s): Includes guitar chords./ Recorded by Jerry Butler on Mercury records.
Responsibility: words and music by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Jerry Butler.
Document Type: Score

(OCLC WorldCat)
Title: From Elvis in Memphis
Author(s): Presley, Elvis, 1935-1977. (Performer - prf)
Publication: New York City :; RCA Victor,
Year: 1969
Description: 1 sound disc :; analog, 33 1/3 rpm, stereo. ;; 12 in.
Language: English
Music Type: Popular music
Standard No: Publisher: LSP 4155; RCA Victor
Contents: Wearin' that loved on look (2:41) -- Only the strong survive (2:45) -- I'll hold you in my heart (till I can hold you in my arms) (4:31) -- Long black limousine (3:41) -- It keeps right on a-hurtin' (2:35) -- I'm movin' on (2:50) -- Power of my love (2:35) -- Gentle on my mind (3:20) -- After loving you (3:05) -- True love travels on a gravel road (2:37) -- Any day now (2:55) -- In the ghetto (2:44).

(Trademark)
Word Mark ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE !
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: clothing, namely T-shirts, shirts, shorts, caps
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75090040
Filing Date April 1, 1996
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition May 13, 1997
Owner (APPLICANT) Alvarez, Martin Santos INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 6529 Myrtle Beach Drive Plano TEXAS 75093
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date February 6, 1998
Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Tuesday, May 10, 2005 • Permalink