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.

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Entry from April 22, 2015
Big Artery or Hardened Artery or Main Artery (Broadway)

Broadway has been called the Main Artery and the Big Artery and the Hardened Artery. “Main Artery” probably dates to the 19th century. “One short block from Broadway—main artery of Manhattan” was cited in 1913. “Big Artery” was cited in print in 1927.

“Hardened Artery” has been cited in print since at least January 1929 and was probably coined by Broadway columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972), although several writers have used the term. All of the “artery” nicknames for Broadway are historical and are seldom used today.


Wikipedia: Broadway (Manhattan)
Broadway /ˈbrɔːdweɪ/ is a road in the U.S. state of New York. Perhaps best known for the portion that runs through the borough of Manhattan in New York City, it actually runs 13 mi (21 km) through Manhattan and 2 mi (3.2 km) through the Bronx, exiting north from the city to run an additional 18 mi (29 km) through the municipalities of Yonkers, Hastings-On-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, and Tarrytown, and terminating north of Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County.

Google News Archive
24 March 1913, Milwaukee (WI) , pg. 6, col. 5 ad:
PENNSYLVANIA STATION
One short block from Broadway—main artery of Manhattan—the very center of Metropolitan activity.
(...)
PENNSYLVANIA LINES

Google Books
27 November 1927, Vanity Fair, “A Primer of Broadway Slang” by Walter Winchell, pg. 134, col. 4:
Broadway is known as ‘The Main Stem’. Abel Green, a theatrical reporter, calls it “Mazda Lane” and others refer to Broadway as “The Incandescent District”; “Tungsten Territory”, “The Big Artery”, and “Coffee Pot Canyon”.

Google Books
Broadway Portraits
By Samuel Marx
New York, NY: Donald Flamm
1929
Pg. 5:
You may have never heard the name of some of them. But they are part, particle and parcel of New York’s Main Stem, Hardened Artery, Great White Way, Incandescent Lane, Mazda Boulevard, Chow Mein Stem, Double Cross’Roads of the World, Two’Times Square, or, as somebody once called it, Broadway.

25 January 1929, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, “Listen, Listeners!,” pg. 17, col. 1:
Walter Winchell to Broadcast.
Mrs. Winchell’s little boy, Walter, chronicler of Broadway and things Broadwayan, who has knocked around the hardened artery for fifteen years or more and who loves it like a duck loves its ducklings, will take to the microphone at the studios of the National Broadcasting Company Friday night to express his feelings about the street to several million of Americans in the great outside United States.

2 April 1929, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, “The Broadway Melody” by Jack Lait, pg. 5, col. 3:
The Hardened Artery is loath to give much weight to any less absolute evidence.

Google News Archive
20 April 1929, Miami (FL) Daily News and Metropolis, “New York Day By Day” by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 4, col. 4:
So it is after midnight Broadway becomes the wicked monotone of popular imagination. The “floating” dice games are running high and at the slightest suspicion move from one hotel to another. In the speakeasy nightclubs the stalkers are on the trail of their prey. It is indeed The Hardened Artery.

29 July 1930, Evansville (IN) Courier, “Walter Winchell On Broadway,” pg. 4, col. 6:
Abel Green first referred to Broadway as “Mazda Lane,” while others call it “Orange Juice Gulch,” “The Tungsten Belt,” “The Chow Mein Stem,” ‘The Big Artery” or “Coffee Pot Canyon.”

Google Books
Esquire
Volume 2, Issues 4-7
1934
Pg. 98:
The nature of their work being especially adapted to concocting clever names for places, they have divided their own “Noo Yawk” into the Stem, the (Main) Drag, the Artery, Maraudway, the Milky Way, the Galaxy, the Gay White Way, the Dirty White Way, the Big or Main Alley, the Grandest Canyon, the Glittering Stem, Mazda Lane, Neon Boulevard, the (Big) Gulch, Gin Gulch, the Noisy Lane, the Street, Wailing Wall Street, the (Grand) Canyon, the Golden Canyon, Hard Times Square, Pokahvenoo, the Roaring Forties, the Naughty Nineties, Mad-hattan, etc., etc.

Google News Archive
17 January 1935, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, pg. 3, col. 4:
In New York
Meanderings Along the Hardened Artery

BY PAUL HARRISON

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
25 May 1936, Syracuse (NY) Journal, “On Broadway” by Walter Winchell, pg. 9, col. 2:
Broadway is known as “The Main Stem.” Abel Green, a theatrical reporter, calls it “Mazda Lane” and others refer to Broadway as “The Incandescent District,” “Tungsten Territory,” “The Big Artery,” “Coffee Pot Canyon.”

4 February 1937, Evansville (IN) Courier, “On Broadway” by Walter Winchell, pg. 4, col. 4:
Reader’s Digest credits another source with “Broadway—America’s hardened artery”...Isn’t that ours?

25 February 1937, Richmond (VA) , “Walter Winchell On Broadway,” pg. 9, col. 3:
CONFRERE MORTON THOMPSON of the Hollywoods on Monday last spent an entire column to advertise his wounds...It all started when Reader’s Digest credited Mark Kelly with defining Broadway as “The Hardened Artery”...Jack Lait, who has used the same phrase for several years, always put quotation marks around it...The marks meant that Mr. Lait was quoting some other writer or person...And so it isn’t fair to accuse Jack Lait of cribbing it...Nordo we believe that Mark Kelly ever claimed the phrase as being original with him...Thompson testifies that he thought it up about four years ago—applying it to Hollywood Boulevard...Then, disheartened when he saw it lifted, renamed the Boulevard—The Yappian Way...Well, after getting a letter from a British actor the other day—we don’t feel very much like getting into these quarrels, anymore...We do not recall from whom we thefted “Hardened Artery”—but it appeared here longer ago than four years...It may be found in our Vaudeville News files of 14 years ago—credited probably to some actor...It is more likely we didn’t credit it...Ditto for “The Yappian Way”...And so Mr. Thompson will simply have to think up another nickname for Hollywood Boulevard.

Google News Archive
18 July 1937, The Sunday Morning Star (Wilmington, DE), “Droops From a Sad Eyed Wallflower” by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 37, col. 3:
Those who know of its illustrious past can realize what has happened to the American Appian Way. Many believe it will come back. Geographically it is the Main Artery and should take its rightful place. Streets rarely come back, but all hope Broadway will be the exception.

Google News Archive
29 July 1937, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, “Broadway’s Mob Going To The Hot Dogs” by George Ross, pg. 21, col. 3:
NEW YORK, July 29—They call that Main Stem in the town, Broadway, the Gay White Way, the Hardened Artery—and by at least a dozen other names.

Google News Archive
24 July 1963, Reading (PA) Eagle, “Answers to Questions,” pg. 10, col. 2:
Q. What are some nicknames for Broadway in New York City? I.T.
A. Some commonly used nicknames are: The Alley, Aspirin Alley, Big Artery, Coffee Pot Canyon, Gay White Way, Dirty White Way, Hardened Artery, The Lane, Main Artery, Main Drag, Main Stem, Mazda Lane, Neon Boulevard, The Big Street.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Wednesday, April 22, 2015 • Permalink