Since New York City is the largest city in the United States, it has earned plenty of nicknames over the years. It’s been called the “City That Never Sleeps,” the “City So Nice They Named It Twice,” and the “Empire City”- just to name a few.
However, the one nickname that seems to stand out among the rest is the “Big Apple.”
There aren’t any apple orchards in New York City, However, history reflects the story of how Manhattan earned the nickname the “Big Apple.”
The earliest mention of New York City as the “Big Apple” came from a book published in 1909 titled “The Wayfarer in New York.” In the story, the author uses the metaphor of a giant fruit tree to describe the United States. As the largest city in the country, New York was referred to as the “Big Apple.”
Although it was officially the first mention of the nickname, the book’s popularity isn’t what caused the nickname to stick. In a strange phenomenon, another group of people independently came up with the same nickname and had much more success in spreading it throughout the country.
In the 1920s, people spoke a bit differently than they do today. Jazz was all the rage and musicians-especially jazz musicians-invented their own lingo. When a musician got a gig, he or she would refer to it as an “apple” or a reward.
There were many apples on the road to success, but there was one “big apple” they all strove for. They wanted to make it in the biggest, most prestigious city in the country-New York City.
It wasn’t just musicians who were reaching for the “big apple.” Jockeys and gamblers were also heading to Manhattan due to its famous horse-racing scene with big payouts. Since New York was so massive with a sizable wealthy population, it was a great place for gambling and racing.
Musicians have always had a lot of influence on national culture. As the nickname became more prevalent with jazz musicians, they started to use it in songs. As the songs spread around the country, so did the nickname. Pretty soon, people from coast to coast were referring to New York as the “Big Apple.”
People use as “Big Apple” when referred to Manhattan. The corner of 54th Street and Broadway (where Fitz Gerald lived) was renamed “Big Apple Corner” in 1997.
Although the nickname had been commonly used since the 1920s, the “Big Apple” wasn’t officially adopted by the City of New York until 1971. During the 1960s and 70s, New York didn’t have the greatest reputation. The city was overrun with crime, drugs, and all sorts of illicit activities from industrial stagnation and economic decline. Naturally, very few people wanted to visit.
To reinvigorate the once-popular tourism industry in 1971, the city government decided to launch a new ad campaign in an attempt to attract visitors.
Campaign manager, Charles Gillett, was very fond of jazz. He decided to use the popular 20’s term the “Big Apple” in his new advertisements. The nickname was made official and stood as the centerpiece to the ad campaign. In addition to the nickname, a bright red apple logo was also featured. It figured if people identified New York City with bright, red, fresh apples, they’d forget about the city’s negative reputation. Thanks to this ad campaign for the millions of hats, t-shirts, keychains, mugs, and other cheap souvenirs that read “I ♥︎ NY.” The ad campaign was successful, and because of it, New York City will be forever known as the “Big Apple.”
For the first-time visitors to the Big Apple, the good news is that unlike most large cities, New York is an amazingly easy place to explore in your own. The world’s number one commercial city New York is more exciting and fresher than ever before. New York is also called as the “City That Never Sleeps”.
Yes, among the five big boroughs the compact island of Manhattan offers all the wonders from the superb shopping to exciting sightseeing, swinging nightlife to world-class dining.
Manhattan is the most densely populated point in North America. Most roads here are laid out in a simple chessboard pattern within numbered streets that run east to west, and the long numbered avenues that lead form north to south. So, with a simple glance at a map, every visitor can know precisely where he or she is.
Because of this uniquely American street pattern, getting around Manhattan make foreign visitors feel at home in New York. More than a third of the people who live in the Big Apple are actually from other countries themselves-eager immigrants who came to America to start new lives or launch new careers. And yes, it’s true: there are more Irish living in New York than in Dublin, more Jews than in Tel Aviv, and more Puerto Ricans than in San Juan. And New York’s thriving Chinatown, home to nearly 300,000 Chinese is the largest enclave in the Western world.
Though nearly 80 years old, and now only the 5th tallest building in the world, at more than 1,450 feet, this beloved skyscraper still proudly towers over the rest of the city and provides one of the most breathtaking views in the world ranging from the Statue of Liberty in the South to Central Park in the north– but also the neighboring states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and even Massachusetts, 80 miles away.
Manhattan is the world capital for Big Business — everything from advertising and publishing to high fashion, to the international diamond market. The Big Apple attracts the most talented and gifted people not only in business, but in the fields of art and music.
Fifth Avenue is the heart of Manhattan’s where every famous brand name on earth has a boutique here, from Gucci and Van Cleef to Tiffany’s, where diamond rings, golden earrings and platinum necklaces are on a discrete display beneath soaring 35 foot ceilings which make the visitors stop and wonder they have entered a house of worship. For similar exclusive merchandise, at slightly less breathtaking prices, tourists can visit the city’s two most famous and world’s biggest department store — Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.
There are plenty of places to eat lunch in Mid-town Manhattan, but Asians prefer to make tracks for Chinatown, where there could have a choice of over 500 restaurants serving food from every province in China, and a dozen other Asian cuisines, all within a two square mile area.
But don’t leave Chinatown until you’ve done a bit more shopping where it could get it from a vast range of electronics products, from laptops and digital cameras, to cell phones, iPods and video games at below Hong Kong prices.
For jewelry lover, if could not found at Tiffany’s, check out the small shops on Canal Street and The Bowery.
No visit to New York would be complete without a look at the city’s sizzling nightlife. There are hundreds of cool cafes, classic wine bars, dance clubs and discos. But a true classic night out in Manhattan should be a grand dinner (try to the steak at Sparks steak house) followed by front row seats at a Broadway play. Long after you have forgotten any nightclub scene, you will remember the thrill of a Broadway curtain going up.
Stroll beneath the glittering lights of Times Square followed by a final nightcap high up in the Rainbow Room. Climbing to the Top of the Rock located on the 69th floor of Rockefeller Center, the Rainbow Room’s observation deck offers awesome panoramic views of night time Manhattan. The view from up here is quite breathtaking. The Observation Decks of the Rockefeller Centre were built in the 1930s. Designed in art deco style, they mimicked the decks of the ocean liners of the time.
As New York is full of colorful round the clock, thus it is said that New York is a City That Never Sleeps.