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 October 01, 2015
Ithaca: Ithaca is Gorges (slogan)

Ithaca, New York is known for being the home of Cornell University, but the city wanted to advertise its natural beauty of waterfalls and gorges. Ithaca resident and Cornell graduate Howard S. Cogan (1929-2008) created the slogan “Ithaca is Gorges” in 1973 for the local tourist board. Cogan did not seek a trademark, and the slogan has been printed on many gift items, such as T-shirts, bumper stickers and coffee mugs.


Wikipedia: Ithaca, New York
The city of Ithaca /ˈɪθəkə/ is in central New York and is the county seat of Tompkins County, as well as the largest community in the Ithaca-Tompkins County metropolitan area. This contains the municipalities of the Town of Ithaca, the village of Cayuga Heights, and other towns and villages in Tompkins County. The city of Ithaca is located on the southern shore of Cayuga Lake, in Central New York. It is named for the Greek island of Ithaca.

Ithaca is home to Cornell University, an Ivy League school of over 20,000 students, most of whom study at its local campus. Ithaca College is located just south of the city in the Town of Ithaca, adding to the area’s “college town” atmosphere.

Visit Ithaca
Ithaca is Gorges
No matter the season, explore the beauty of the outdoors in Ithaca. Spend a sunny day touring one of waterfalls and gorges or relax on the Finger Lakes’ largest lake, Cayuga Lake. You’ll find over 28,000 acres of public New York State forest ripe for skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and exploring. What are you waiting for? Adventure awaits!

15 May 1984, Centre Daily Times (State College, PA), “Artist Gives Ithaca the ‘Bends’,” pg. D-5, col. 2:
“Ithaca Is Gorges,” claim the bumper stickers emanating from the upstate New York community.

The bluffs above Ithaca are cut by deep gorges, a series of geological dips and bends that the residents learn to love.

Google Books
Inn Spots & Special Places. Mid-Atlantic, New York, VA:
A Guide to Where to Go, Stay, Eat, and Enjoy in 32 of the Region’s Choicest Areas

By Nancy Woodworth and Richard Woodworth
West Hartford, CT: Wood Pond Press
1995
Pg. 464:
“Ithaca Is Gorges,” say the ubiquitous bumper stickers hereabouts. The play on words is apt. Gorges slice through and around the biggest city in the Finger Lakes region, creating waterfalls that cascade almost into downtown. And the scenery is gorgeous, thanks to all the gorges, the surrounding hills and Cayuga Lake.

OCLC WorldCat record
Ithaca is gorges
Author: Ted A Adams
Publisher: 1998.
Dissertation: M.F.A. Emerson College 1998
Edition/Format: Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Fiction : Manuscript Archival Material : English
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
“‘Ithaca is gorges’ is a short novel set in the central New York city of Ithaca.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Ithaca is gorges : a guide to the geology of the Ithaca area
Author: Warren D Allmon; Robert M Ross; Paleontological Research Institution (Ithaca, N.Y.)
Publisher: Ithaca, N.Y. : Paleontological Research Institution, ©2002.
Edition/Format: Print book : English : Rev. ed

everything2
Ithaca is Gorges
(thing) by Metacognizant Sun Oct 12 2003 at 19:32:51
(...)
In the 1980s, the slogan “Ithaca is Gorges” spontaneously occured to Howard Cogan (Cornell 1950), owner of the advertising agency Howard Cogan Associates. It first appeared on the cover of a weekly Ithaca newspaper, now defunct, called the Town Crier. The Ithaca Chamber of Commerce reproduced the slogan on a series of bumper stickers, which are still for sale in their original design: white lettering on a green background, with a waterfall replacing the letter “I”. In 1983, Abdul Razak Sheikh asked Cogan for permission to reproduce the slogan on T-shirts, which he sold out of his store T-Shirt Expressions, on the Ithaca Commons. The T-shirts are also green and white, with a regular, non-graphic, letter “I”. The shirts soon became tremendously popular and have appeared in other colors, and the logo began to show up on other merchandise as well: sweatshirts, nalgene bottles, shot glasses, magnets, etc.

Ithaca is Gorges T-shirts are absolutely ubiquitous around Ithaca, and the logo has become a means for Ithacans to recognize each other and to baffle everyone else around the U.S. and around the world My favorite part of the “Ithaca is Gorges” phenomenon has been the permutations of the meme. Snide hipsters tend to ridicule the grammatically incorrect fad by printing their own T-shirts, including: Hunter Rawlings is Gorges, Ithaca is Gorgeous, Ithaca is Boring, Ithaca is Cold, and (my favorite) Ithaca HAS Gorges. The T-shirts Ithaca is Gangsta and Ithaca is Long Island are curently all the rage.

Twitter
Dennis Yang
‏@sinned
ithaca is gorges.  phone doesn’t work here though.  i feel so.. 1997.
6:15 PM - 7 Jun 2007

Google Groups: alt.obituaries
Howard Cogan, created “Ithaca is Gorges” campaign
Rob Cibik
2/19/08
Howard Cogan, who found Ithaca a ‘gorges’ city, dies
Associated Press
Feb 19, 2008
ITHACA, N.Y. - (AP) - Howard Cogan, who came up with the catchphrase “Ithaca is Gorges” in the 1970s and gave businesses free use of the popular slogan to help them market the city, died Saturday.

Cogan died after a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, his family said. He was 78.

Cogan taught advertising and public relations at Ithaca College for 17 years and became an associate professor at the Roy H. Park School of Communications.

It was always assumed Cogan profited from his widely used slogan—a reference to the many scenic waterfalls and river gorges found in Ithaca. But he never copyrighted the phrase, allowing local businesses to use the slogan in advertising, said Barbara Cogan Bedell, Cogan’s oldest daughter.

“He loved Ithaca so much he wanted to bring tourists here,” Bedell told The Ithaca Journal. “He wanted to bring people to Ithaca so they could love it as well.”

For years students sent Cogan pictures from around the world of cars with “Ithaca is Gorges” bumper stickers, Bedell said. She said her father received photos from Paris, the Great Wall of China and Puerto Rico to show him how far his words had traveled.

Lansing (NY) Star
June 21, 2013
Cogan Display Honors ‘Ithaca Is Gorges’ Creator
Business & Technology Written by -Staff
The Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau unveiled its newest permanent display, a retrospective tribute to the late advertising guru, Howard Cogan, who is credited with coining the slogan ‘Ithaca is Gorges’. Cogan didn’t just invent the now iconic phrase almost 40 years ago - he literally gave it to the City of Ithaca to use freely by declining any trademark rights. He effectively made ‘Ithaca is Gorges’ an invitation for tourists and travelers alike to experience the city he loved so much, while at the same time coining a phrase that local residents would come to own and embrace on their own, sometimes unique terms.

Tompkins Weekly
24-30 June 2013, Tompkins Weekly (Ithaca, NY), “Howard Cogan: More than a ‘Gorges’ guy” by Franklin Crawford, pg. 3, col. 1:
Howard Cogan, crafter of the infamous phrase ‘Ithaca Is Gorges,” died in 2088. During a ceremony in Cogan’s honor last week at the Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cogan’s widow Helen said that the immortal words were hastily writ one day in 1973 on a yellow legal pad in response to a request from the local tourist board. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesNew York State • Thursday, October 01, 2015 • Permalink