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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 11, 2006
Center of the Earth (Center of the World)

Boston was called the “hub of the solar system” by Oliver Wendell Holmes in the 1850s. New York was called the “capital of the world” after the United Nations was located in the city (after World War II, in the late 1940s).
“Center of the earth” (center of the world) was never a popular nickname. (New York is on the surface of the earth, not in its center.) However, there is this one interesting, Jules Verne-inspired citation.
21 November 1885, Texas Siftings (Austin, TX), pg. 4:
No. 5.
Some people fancy that the centre of the worlds is a seething mass of liquid fire. Jules Verne pretended that he went a considerable way in that direction, and he gave an account of his voyage. Without being unkind I am somewhat disposed to doubt the veracity of his statements. No. The centre of the world is in the Morton House of New York. The United States being the central nation of the earth, New York the central city of the United States, Union Square the central point in New York, and the Morton House being the central point of Union Square, ergo the Morton House is the centre of the world. I am very fond of corn bread, and I am very fond of coffee, and I am quite partial to corn bread and coffee, but even the most luscious diet will sometimes pale upon the palate; so I found a few days ago that those staple gastronomic delicacies of the State of Texas had grown monotonous, and there arose in me a tender yearning for the tenderloin and fried potatoes of the Morton House.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNicknames/Slogans • Tuesday, July 11, 2006 • Permalink

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