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.

Recent entries:
“All my life I thought air was free…until I bought a bag of chips” (10/1)
“A yawn is a silent scream for coffee” (10/1)
“If in doubt, do half” (investment adage) (10/1)
“All bets are off in bankruptcy” (9/30)
Original Six (six oldest NHL teams) (9/30)
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Entry from August 30, 2004
“A nickel gets you on the subway, but garlic gets you a seat”
This is listed as an "old New York saying" or "Yiddish saying" on many web sites.

It had better be old. The subway a nickel? I've also seen it on the web as "three nickels."

Unfortunately, I haven't seen it recorded that early.




9 December 1980, Christian Science Monitor, pg. B16:
An old New York Yiddish maxim holds that: "Three nickels will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat."


1 July 1981, Wall Street Journal, pg. 1:
In New York in the days of the five-cent subway, they used to say that you could ride the subway for a nickel but garlic got you a seat.
Posted by Barry Popik
Food/Drink • (0) Comments • Monday, August 30, 2004 • Permalink