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 18, 2006
“How sweet it is!” & Brooklyn street signs
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz began adding "Brooklynisms" to some street signs in his borough in 2002. The most famous is probably: "Leaving Brooklyn? Fuhgeddaboudit!"

"How sweet is is!" was the catchphrase of Brooklyn entertainer and Honeymooners television star Jackie Gleason.

http://www.brooklyn-usa.org/Pages/OIB/OIB_02/OnlyinBrklyn8.15.htm
July 15, 2002

How Sweet It Is! Name It . . . We Got It! Where New York City Begins!

These are just a few examples of the "Welcome to Brooklyn" signs unveiled by Marty at a ceremony on July 15th at Borough Hall. The BP and Mayor Michael Bloomberg will welcome motorists with a variety of greetings that were chosen after soliciting suggestions from Brooklynites from across the Borough. "This is a great opportunity for Brooklynites to let the world know how we feel about this incredible place that we call home. This is the most diverse, interesting, vibrant community in the world and these signs will be a constant reminder that there's no place like Brooklyn!" said the BP. The 5-feet high by 8-feet wide signs will be placed at 11 major entry points across the borough from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Belt Parkway. Installation will begin this week and will be completed in August.

Here are the locations for all of the signs: Brooklyn Bridge southbound exit @ Cadman Plaza West - How Sweet It Is! Manhattan Bridge southbound @ Concord Village exit - Where New York City Begins! Williamsburg Bridge exit ramps to BQE @ S. 5th Street - Name It … We Got It, Pulaski Bridge southbound midspan - Like No Other Place In The World! Gowanus Expressway eastbound @ 92nd Street - Not Just A Borough, An Experience, BQE westbound at Kosciuszko Bridge - Believe The Hype! Gowanus Expressway westbound @ Battery Tunnel toll plaza - Name it … We Got It! Belt Parkway eastbound near Verrazano Bridge - How Sweet It Is! Jackie Robinson Parkway near Miller Avenue — The Heart of America! Flatbush Avenue northwest of Marine Parkway Bridge toll plaza — How Sweet It Is! Belt Parkway east of Fountain Avenue — Home To Everyone From Everywhere!

http://www.brooklyn-usa.org/Press/2003/july21.htm
July 21, 2003
BOROUGH PRESIDENT UNVEILS SIGNS ENCOURAGING
MOTORISTS TO THINK TWICE ABOUT DEPARTING BROOKLYN

Leaving Brooklyn . . . Fugheddaboudit

Nobody loves Brooklyn more than Borough President Marty Markowitz, so he has created, with help from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation, some catchy signs that will challenge motorists to think twice about leaving the greatest city in the world. The signs, which all say Leaving Brooklyn . . . Fugheddaboudit, were unveiled today at Borough Hall.

"Once you enter Brooklyn, there's no good reason why you should ever leave," Borough President Markowitz said. "These signs are just another great example of the Brooklyn attitude, and they capture the spirit, energy and enthusiasm alive and well all across Brooklyn. It also gives people one last chance to turn their cars around and stay in the promised land."

The 5-feet high by 8-feet wide signs will be placed at four major exit points across the borough from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the Belt Parkway. They should all be installed by the end of this week. Here are the locations for all of the signs:


Gowanus Expressway - westbound - approaching the Verrazano Narrows Bridge - east of 92nd Street

Brooklyn-Queens Expressway - eastbound - approaching the Kosciuczko Bridge

Belt Parkway — eastbound - between Erskine Street and the Queens County line

Belt Parkway — westbound - the exit ramp to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge

These signs compliment the 11 unique Welcome to Brooklyn signs that Borough President Markowitz created last year and are installed at all the major entry points into Brooklyn:

Brooklyn Bridge southbound exit @ Cadman Plaza West - How Sweet It Is!

Manhattan Bridge southbound @ Concord Village exit - Where New York City Begins!

Williamsburg Bridge exit ramps to BQE @ S. 5th Street - Name It … We Got It

Pulaski Bridge southbound midspan - Like No Other Place In The World!

Gowanus Expressway eastbound @ 92nd Street - Not Just A Borough, An Experience

Brooklyn-Queens Expressway westbound at Kosciuszko Bridge - Believe The Hype!

Gowanus Expressway westbound @ Battery Tunnel toll plaza - Name it … We Got It!

Belt Parkway eastbound near Verrazano Bridge - How Sweet It Is!

Jackie Robinson Parkway near Miller Avenue — The Heart of America!

Flatbush Avenue northwest of Marine Parkway Bridge toll plaza — How Sweet It Is!

Belt Parkway east of Fountain Avenue — Home To Everyone From Everywhere!

http://timesratnerreport.blogspot.com/2006/01/martys-state-of-borough-atlantic-yards.html
As he spoke, a giant postcard saying "Greetings From Brooklyn, NY" was projected on screen. After a reference to the "Leaving Brooklyn, Fuhgeddaboudit" sign Marty managed to get placed on Brooklyn roads, he announced a new sign for the Jackie Robinson Parkway: "Welcome, Brooklyn's in the House." No wonder Bloomberg hailed Marty as Brooklyn's "the best salesman" Brooklyn's ever had and Senator Hillary Clinton called him "the most enthusiastic cheerleader for any community in the U.S."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Gleason
Jackie Gleason (b. Herbert John Gleason, February 26, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York (in the neighborhood of Bushwick); d. June 24, 1987 in Inverrary, Florida), a rotund comedian and actor, became one of America's most beloved television entertainers in the medium's coming-of-age years.
(...)
Local signs on the Brooklyn Bridge, which indicate to the driver that they are now entering Brooklyn, have the Gleason phrase "How Sweet It Is!" as part of the sign.

25 August 1963, Los Angeles Times, pg. E4:
The "Soldier in the Rain" set has a dressing room converted into a bar and Gleason's pet expression was painted over the portal: How sweet it is.
Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Tuesday, April 18, 2006 • Permalink