Where did the term Big Apple come from?

July 26th, 2010
In our estimation, the origin of the name is not as fascinating as one would think. What is interesting is the other cities with similar names. See below.
John J. FitzGerald, born in 1893, was a horse-racing writer for The Morning Telegraph in the 1920’s and was the first to popularize the term “The Big Apple.” While on assignment in New Orleans, FitzGerald overheard African-American stablehands refer to New York City race-courses as “The Big Apple.” FitzGerald loved the term so much that he named his racing column “Around The Big Apple.” A decade later many jazz musicians began calling the City “The Big Apple” to refer to New York City (especially Harlem) as the jazz capital of the world. Soon the nickname became synonymous with New York City and its cultural diversity. In the early 1970’s the name played an important role in reviving New York’s tourist economy through a campaign led by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau. Today the nickname “The Big Apple,” which replaced “Fun City,” is the international description of our city and is synonymous with the cultural and tourist attractions of New York City.

The southwest corner of West 54th Street and Broadway, the corner on which John J. FitzGerald resided from 1934 to 1963, is designated “Big Apple Corner.”

Other cities with similar names

  • The Big Peach – Atlanta
  • The Big Easy – New Orleans
  • The Little Apple – Manhattan, Kansas 
  • The Big Guava – Tampa, Florida
  • The Big Durian – Jakarta
  • The Big Lime – Key Largo
  • The Big Scrapple – Philadelphia
  • The Big Chip – Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
  • The Big D – Dallas
  • The Big Burrito – Overland Park, Kansas
  • The Big Onion – Chicago
  • The Big Tomato – Sacramento
  • The Big Chilli – Bangkok
  • The Big Lychee – Hong Kong
  • The Big Orange – Tel Aviv
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    Keeping Cool From Head to Toe

    July 26th, 2010

    In New York City fabulous footwear is a must.  But when the temperatures skyrocket, where do the locals get their cool and stylish summer shoes?  Shop Gotham guides reveal their top five picks:

    1.  Since Paris designer Charles Jourdan went out of business in the 1980s, his name has been synonymous with vintage footwear.  But he’s back and we’re thrilled.  Cleverly coupling last season’s gladiator sandal with this season’s jelly sandal, he’s created Cassie:  a hybrid of the two available in white, gray and red.  We’ve always been partial to red…


    2.   Shop Gotham tour guides swear by DKNY’s Active line:  tough enough to endure hours upon hours of shopping on New York City streets, but fashionable enough that no one will guess that they’re practical.   Sign up for a Soho/Nolita tour and get a discount of 20 percent.


    3.  You can’t go wrong with comfy, cushy Haviana flip flops.  This line, designed by Brazilians, who should know flip flops, has just the right savior faire for an international metropolis like New York.  The ones pictured here were designed exclusively for Kidrobot, and they GLOW IN THE DARK!!!  Buy yourself a pair on our Soho/Nolita tour.


    4.  Nothing is hipper or greener than buying a pair of shoes made by the person sitting in front of you.  And this shoe, handmade by a street vendor in Nolita, has saved many a Shop Gotham guest from blistered feet.  This canvas slip on has become almost as iconic as a pair of Chuck Taylors among the hipster crowd.  They are always comfortable and will never go out of style.

    5.  Shop Gotham guides aren’t embarrassed to admit that they love Zoe & Zac, the new “green” line from Payless.  We love them for three simple reasons.  First, they’re affordable, with no shoe costing more than $30.  Second, they’re made exclusively from ‘green’ materials such as organic cotton, eco-foam and nickel-free metal.  Third, they’re incredibly comfortable!  Even the huarache sandal with a four inch heel (pictured here) meets the Shop Gotham standard of comfort and style.

    NYC Markets – one of our faves

    July 23rd, 2010

    (photo of 1930’s light fixture purchased for $60. Vendor: NB-s Antiques and Collectibles. Booth W8. look for big American flag)
    Greenflea. http://www.greenfleamarkets.com
    Columbus Ave between 76th and 77th Sts;(upper west side): Sundays: 10am–5:30pm.
    Housed in the parking lot and inside of a school

    Why we like this one:

    What you will find: Both old and new items: Antique/vintage fashion, furniture and collectibles, fine jewelry, new handcrafted items, cosmetics, food and flowers, more.

    This established market with more than 140 vendors stockng a combination of old and new items. Shop for a 1930’s milk glass lighting fixture as shown above or load up on Lancome mascara. Buy a 1950’s mink stole, an old singer sewing machine table or a trendy new cuff bracelet made of wire. Every category is represented here and in the warm months, the flower vendors have among the best assortment and prices in the city. There is also an excellent but small farmer’s market. If you are seeking fine jewelry, head inside the school to find at least 10 vendors with large inventories of fine antique jewelry.

    Pros: A pleasant non-frenetic environment frequented mostly by locals.

    Cons: Not the place to seek out that vintage designer label.



    Spouse Programs in NYC

    July 21st, 2010

    Do you happen to accompanying your spouse to nyc on a biz trip? or perhaps you are in charge of coordinating some spouse activities for a group while here? Well ,, if they are women, they will undoubtedly crave some shopping while here, so make sure to set aside some time for this. 

    Shop Gotham has specific programs for this audience. Spouse Programs are customized to meet the wish list and demographics of each group and can include VIP elements such as meeting a designer or shopping in a store before it opens to the public. For more info.. see. www.shopgotham.com


    How is an Expat to Manage?

    July 20th, 2010

    Perhaps more than any other city in the world, Manhattan seems to shape shift on nearly an hourly basis. Restaurants are constantly opening and closing, conventions and conferences coming out the woodwork, and what’s hot and what’s not changing almost as quickly as the frenetic pace of the city’s pulse. That’s why Expat Arrivals, a site devoted to developing the guides needed most by those living and working abroad, decided to put their  heads down, dig in their heels and create a “Serial Shopper’s Guide to Neighborhoods in New York City” for the newbies and veterans alike perusing the avenued aisles of the metropolis.

    At the end of the day Manhattan is about neighborhodds, some posh, some eclectic, and some downright mysterious, but in order to make sure you’re in the right spot to haggle with the hippies or to enjoy a glass of wine while admiring the glitz and glamour of some of the world’s most beautiful jewelry it’s important to get your bearings. Otherwise, your precious purchasing time could easily dwindle amidst the logistics of getting around and the deflation of not finding the stores offering what you expect. 

     To get a handle on your shopping experience check out:

     Expat Arrivals (www.expatarrivals.com/the-usa/new-york-city/moving-to-new-york-city) for a myriad of info to help ease your transition to any new city, and

    Serial Shopper’s Guide to Neighborhoods in New York City (http://www.expatarrivals.com/the-usa/new-york-city/lifestyle-and-shopping-in-new-york-city)

    as well as of course: Shop Gotham shopping tours www.shopgotham.com if you want to find out what’s really happening in the nyc shopping scene(and have your hand held)


    Why All Saints in Soho is a winner

    July 20th, 2010

    If you like black, grey and brown hues with a bit of a vintage twist, a bit of Goth Romantic, this store is a go-to for you.  If you are a Brit, All Saints is old news. For we Americans its a refreshing new destination, good for the stylish woman ages 20- 50 who can’t afford Alexander McQueen, but wishes she could. Who still covets quality feel-good leather, cool well-fitting tees and the kind of dress suitable for urban trenedy dining. Who will spend $180 on a great top (or wait for the 50% off sale). The new location on Broadway in Soho does diminish its appeal, with  neighbors such as Top Shop and H & M. But space they have, which can only be found on this maddening mall-like Ave. Fall will likely be the best time to shop All Saints, as its colors are more suitable.      ALL Saints, 512 Broadway (Spring & Prince)


    Sample NYC Shopping Tour Itinerary – Student Group

    July 10th, 2010

    We recently hosted a group of students from a graduate fashion program in the southern US, for an educational/shopping tour of NYC.  Like most school programs, the students were “rich on conception”, but “low on reality”, so their visit to the Garment Center was an eye-opener and probably more valuable than many of those expensive credits. Their visit included: Meeting a Designer in her showroom and hearing her speak honestly about her challenges, including such things as getting into new stores, getting paid, being on top of trends and so much more. This was followed by a visit to a rare existing factory, the world’s largest trim store, an uber famous fabric store, a Broadway costume shop and Shopping in both a Wholesale Showroom and a Sample Sales.    

    NYC is the center of it all. If you would like information on bringing your students to experience this, please visit: www.shopgotham.com or email: info@shopgotham.com

    Chic Tiq – a recommended NYC Shopping sale site

    July 8th, 2010

    Goodness knows, there are seemingly infinite sites these days to buy fashion. Once in a while a different twist on shopping does pop up that’s worthy of note. Today it is Chic Tiq. www.chictiq.com.

    Chic Tiq provides the name of every fashion boutique in NYC by neighborhood. Keeping this information current is not an easy feat.  Its’ interactive map allows the visitor to point to any respective neighborhood to see what to find there: store addresses and web links are included. What we find most appealing is the store Sale info noted on the left side of the page.

    So for our Shop Gotham guests.. here is a recommended approach for your precious shopping time in NYC. Day I. Take one of our “insider” tours and reap the benefits of special deals and a guide to hold your hand. www.shopgotham.com

    Day II. Pick a neighborhood to explore independently with the help of Chic Tiq. www.Chitiq.com 

    After all, there is no better shopping in the world than in NYC!


    NYC Shopping Tours on Sale, July 14- 17 2010

    July 7th, 2010

    If you happen to be coming to NYC to shop the week of July 14 -17, you have struck a good date. Shop Gotham is offering 10% off all our shopping tours this week and this week only.

    Garment Center: There are still some terrific Sample Sales happening- so catch them while you can. Showrooms are “giving away” their Summer goods as well as starting to offer our guests early Fall items. And did you know that on almost every “Garment Center insider tour”, our guests meet at least one designer? 

    Soho/Nolita: Who doesnt want to be led to the chic & uber cool NYC  indie shops. NYC is loaded with them, but you need to know where they are, as they turn over faster than you can keep up.

    Want to take advantage of this offer?: www.shopgotham.com Code: July10