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 March 05, 2006
Mr. Big
"Mr. Big" is any important person. The nickname was popularized by the HBO show Sex and the City, but "Mr. Big" was used much earlier than that.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Mr Big, an important man; esp. the head of a criminal organization.

[1893 Harper's Mag. Jan. 232/2 'Oh, it's you, is it?' he said. 'You' was Mr. 'Big' Marks. Mr. Marks was the proprietor of a sailors' lodging-house, who robbed his lodgers, and as a return helped them to rob their vessels.] 1940 G. MARX Let. 10 Oct. (1967) 26, I may motor east..to see your '*Mr. Big'. 1959 A. W. SHERRING Tip Off iii. 28 Hardly the kind of district one would expect to find Mr. Big of London's underworld. 1969 C. BOOKER Neophiliacs vii. 179 Hints of the existence of a powerful 'Mr. Big'.

Mr. Big. The name says it all. From the moment he came onto the scene, he was larger than life, dashingly handsome, and oh-so unattainable. Like a gentleman, he helped Carrie pick up the spilled contents of her purse when they collided, but he kept no secrets about what was going on in his head when he handed the condoms back to her. For four seasons now, we've kept him in our sights and sighs. For years he has been in and out of Carrie's life. But what does she really know about Mr. Big? This man of mystery has tried to keep us at arm's length, but we've managed to figure out a few things.

Let's start with his undeniably positive traits. Big is the quintessential New Yorker, the man about town. He loves jazz music - it embodies the cool, suave attitude that he exudes. His irresistible smile and teasing eyebrows are appealing to be sure, but when he drives up on the most disappointing of birthdays with chilled champagne and a big bunch of balloons you can't help but fall for him all over again. In fact, his unpredictable behavior and passion constantly stirs the drama-seeking soul of our Carrie.

And of his "other" traits, the ones that make him harder to define? We know he's extremely successful (witness the chauffeur Raoul, the exquisite apartment, the Armani suits, and vintage Jag). What specifically is his lucrative profession? Something in finance, we presume. Moving on. He has an affinity for gorgeous women, models and actresses alike. His ex-wife Natasha the "stick figure with no soul," "Silent Y", starlet Willow, the list goes on. Ironically, it is meeting his first wife which gives us hope that he will come out of the modelizer trance that he's under and settle down with a real, flesh and blood woman. We know he goes to church with his mother on Sundays like a dutiful son. What girl wouldn't love that? Probably a girl whom he refuses to introduce to his mother.

With Big, though, it's the traits that frustrate us most that we are most drawn to. He does care, and he does love. We even think that deep down, he knows that Carrie is the one for him. At one point during their affair, he tells Carrie he will end things with Natasha so that they can be together, but Carrie knows it will never be that simple.

29 August 1936, Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. 24 comic:

2 March 1938, Los Angeles Times, pg. A9:
William Henry Spaulding's impending retirement as Mister Big in foot ball at U.C.L.A. is greeted by no tears in this column
18 March 1941, Los Angeles Times, Hedda Hopper's Hollywood, pg. 13:
Arthur Sheekman, who was one of our best writers till there came a lull in his life here, and his wife, Gloria Stuart, who could only get B pictures, left about two years ago for New York, where things didn't go so well either. But he wrote a play called "Mr. Big" which Sam Harris will produce and George Kaufman direct. And now Hollywood is shaking in its boots for fear the play will really tell about Mr. Big in Hollywood!

Posted by Barry Popik
Workers/People • Sunday, March 05, 2006 • Permalink

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