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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“Good girls are made of sugar and spice. Country girls are made of whiskey on ice” (3/27)
“This whiskey tastes like I’m about to tell you how I really feel” (3/27)
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Entry from March 16, 2010
“Do you know the way to the Empire State Building, or should I just go fuck myself?”

New Yorkers sometimes have a (probably unfair) reputation of being rude to tourists. If a tourist asks “Do you have the time?” or “Do you know the way to the Empire State Building?”, a rude New Yorker might say “Go fuck yourself!”

A joke (cited in print from at least 1984) has the tourist give the rude answer as part of the question: “Do you know the way to the Empire State Building, or should I just go fuck myself?”


Google Books
The Gestalt Journal
By Joe Wysong
Highland, NY: Gestalt Journal ; Center for Gestalt Development
Spring 1984
Pg. 16:
“Excuse me, sir. Can you please tell me where the Empire State Building is, or should I just go fuck myself?”

Google Books
Split Decision
By Kevin Heelan
New York, NY: Samuel French
1985
Pg. 6:
SAL. How do you ask for the time in New York?
GUCCI. Excuse me, do you have the time or should I just go fuck myself?
SAL. You live! (They bust up.)

29 April 1988, Washington (DC) Post:
Guy goes up to a cabdriver in New York City and says, “Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to Grand Central, or should I just go [bad word] myself?”

Google Books
30 January 1989, New York magazine, “Fun City” by William Geist, pg. 21, col. 1:
Change the punch line in the classic New York joke “Pardon me, can you tell me what time it is?” from “Or should I just go f— myself?” to “Sure, it’s 9 AM”?

12 November 1990, Newsday (Long Island, NY), ‘A View From City Hall” by William Murphy:
“Excuse me,” the tourist says timidly, “but can you tell me how to get to the Empire State Building—or should I just go jump in a lake.”

26 June 1992, Star-Tribune (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN), “Bistro offers flavor of Paris, New York”:
“Excuse me, can you tell me what time it is, or should I just go (bleep) myself?”

Google Books
13 February 1995, New York magazine, “On Madison Avenue” by Alex Williams, pg. 26, col. 1:
“YOU KNOW THE Minnesota joke about New York?” asks the massive Andy Berlin, his hair shorn close to the scalp. “A guy walks up to a cabbie and says, ‘Do you know the way to the Empire State Building, or should I just go fuck myself?’”

Google Books
Where did it all go right?
By Alfred Alvarez
London: Richard Cohen
1999
Pg. 145:
(In one of the jokes going the rounds at that time, a visiting Brit asks a cab-driver, ‘Could you tell me how to get to Union Square, please, or should I just go fuck myself?)

Google Books
Jokes:
Philosophical thoughts on joking matters

By Ted Cohen
Chicago, IL: Univ. of Chicago Press
1999
Pg. 20:
A family from Nebraska went to New York City for the first time on a week’s vacation. After being battered by New York and its citizens for the first few days, the entire family felt exhausted and humiliated, and they were nearly ready to cut their vacation short, but he father insisted on trying once more to have an agreeable vacation in New York. The family walked out of their hotel in the morning, and the father went up to a traffic policeman and inquired, “Officer, would you tell me the way to the United Nations building, or should I just go fuck myself?”

Google Books
Full Court Press
By Mike Lupica
New York, NY: Putnam
2001
Pg. 6:
... were like the old joke about New York City. “Could you tell me how to find the Hotel du Paris, or should I just go fuck myself, s’il vous plait?

Google Books
KISS and make-up
By Gene Simmons
New York, NY: Three Rivers Press
2002
Pg. 217:
California was everything New York wasn’t. The weather was paradise and people seemed nicer. I am reminded of the New York joke that goes “A man from California visits New York and asks the first gentleman he meets, ‘Excuse me sir. Is this the way to the Empire State Building or should I just go fuck myself?’”

New York (NY) Times
NYC; Need Help? Try Flying Down to Rio
By CLYDE HABERMAN
Published: May 2, 2003
OLD New York joke, duly cleaned up:

An out-of-towner stops a New Yorker on the street and says, ‘’Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to Lincoln Center, or should I just go right ahead and fly a kite?’’

Are we really that bad in Gotham? Should visitors reasonably assume from the get-go that we will be unhelpful?

Google Books
Wolves of the Calla
By Stephen King
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
2003
Pg. 517:
Eddie remembered the punchline of an old New York joke: “Pardon me, sir, can you tell me how to get to City Hall, or should I just go fuck myself?”

Google Books
Crumpet Strumpet
Volume 4
By Frank Sobo
Lake Villa, IL: Nightengale Press
2004
Pg. 9:
“Excuse me, sir, I’m from out of town, from Houston actually. Could you be so kind as to give me directions to the UN building, or should I just go fuck myself?” That’s how the joke would have it. An actual New Yorker would more likely answer, “Which way do you want it to be?”

Philzone Phansite Community Discussion Board
By count floyd (Isaac) on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 10:33 pm
you got a problem with that?
ok, great new york joke: a tourist walks up to a new yorker and asks, “pardon me, can you tell me how to get to carnegie hall or should i just go fuck myself?”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • (1) Comments • Tuesday, March 16, 2010 • Permalink


Wery good joke about New Yorkers. But they looked nice to mee, when I was there! tongue wink

Posted by Paris  on  06/18  at  10:27 AM

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