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:
“What does the military use acid for?"/"To neutralize the enemy base.” (5/24)
“If I had a dollar for every time someone over 40 told me my generation sucks…” (joke) (5/24)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (5/24)
“Don’t be yourself. Be a pizza. Everyone loves pizza” (5/24)
“Of course I talk to myself. Sometimes I need expert advice” (5/24)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from February 26, 2006
Cliff Dweller
A "cliff dweller" is a term (popular in the 1890s) for a resident of an apartment building. The term appeared in simultaneous 1893 publications describing "cliff dwellers" of New York and Chicago.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
cliff-dweller, (a) one who lives in or on a cliff; spec. in south-west U.S., an Indian belonging to one of the peoples that made their homes in caves or upon ledges in canyon walls; (b) U.S. slang, one who lives in a tall building; hence cliff-dwelling n. and adj.;
1881 Rep. Indian Affairs (U.S.) 137 The peach trees are supposed to have been originally planted by a superior race or by ancient explorers, possibly by the *cliff-dwellers.
1884 Chamb. Jrnl. 19 Jan. 40/2 The houses of the cliff-dwellers.
1893 H. B. FULLER (title) The cliff-dwellers [sense b].
1916 Amer. Mag. Apr. 31/2 You cliff-dweller on Manhattan, what would you do without Michigan?

8 July 1893, The Critic, pg. 26:
THE CLIFF DWELLERS OF NEW YORK
Every New Yorker will read with special interest the paper on "The Cliff Dwellers of New York," meaning the people that live in apartment-houses. It calls up pleasant visions of what the rich may have for the renting, but what the ordinary well-to-do person may not aspire to. The writer, Everett N. Blanke, speaks as though the apartments he describes were less costly than an average house. On the contrary, they are much more costly; that is, in the (Pg. 27 -- ed.) matter of rent.

10 July 1893, New York Times, pg. 3:
While Henry B. Fuller's serial story, "The Cliff Dwellers," is running through Harper's Weekly, the Cosmopolitan appears with an apartment-house story called "The Cliff Dwellers of New-York." When Mr. Fuller's first installment was printed it is probably that the Cosmopolitan was already in press, if not actually printed.

1 October 1893, New York Times, "Newest of the Novels," pg. 23:
THE CLIFF DWELLERS. By Henry B. Fuller.
New-York: Harper & Brothers.
(...)
It is in Chicago, as Mr. Fuller tells us, that live the true cliff dwellers, and that "high above architectural upheaval rises yet another structure in craglike isolation." The Clifton, with its eighteen stories, dominates the city. In the Clifton are many thousands. "In a word, the Clifton aims to be complete within itself, and it will be unnecessary for us to go afield either far or frequently during the present simple succession of brief episodes in the lives of the cliff dwellers."
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Sunday, February 26, 2006 • Permalink