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 March 01, 2015
Ladies Who Lunch

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Ladies who lunch
Ladies who lunch is a phrase often used to describe well-off, well-dressed women who meet for social luncheons, usually during the working week. Typically, the women involved are married and non-working. Normally the lunch is in a high-class restaurant, but could also take place in a department store during a shopping trip. Sometimes the lunch takes place under the pretext of raising money for charity.

History
The phrase “ladies who lunch” was introduced in the January 19, 1970 issue of New York magazine by the writer Merle Rubine, “Anyone with a fair figure, ready cash, fashion savvy and a safecracker’s nerve can buy the best that Fifth Avenue has to offer on Seventh Avenue at half the price. The girls at Condé Nast and Harper’s Bazaar have known this for years. Likewise the ladies who lunch at Restaurant X, although they’d rather be banished from the banquette than admit they got their Beenes and Blasses on a bargain basis.”

It was later popularized by a song of the same name in Stephen Sondheim’s Company. The character Joanne, a cynical, middle-aged woman, makes a drunken toast to “The Ladies Who Lunch.” Her song offers a harsh criticism of rich women who waste their time with frivolous things like luncheons and parties. At the end of the song, Joanne realizes that she is one of the “ladies who lunch.” She spends her time criticizing the lives of other women, but she never does anything to improve her own life.

Wikipedia: The Ladies Who Lunch (song)
“The Ladies Who Lunch” is a song from the Broadway musical Company, sung by the character Joanne. It was written by Stephen Sondheim, and was introduced by Elaine Stritch, whose signature song it became.

27 April 1970, The Evening Times (Trenton, NJ), “Broadway Opening: Delightful ‘Company’s’ Here” (UPI), pg. 15, col. 8:
Miss Stritch delivers the acidulous “The Ladies Who Lunch” with sadistic relish.

OCLC WorldCat record
Ladies who lunch
Author: Ann Reed; Marilyn Pfaltz
Publisher: New York : Scribner, ©1972.
Edition/Format: book_printbook : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Ladies who lunch
Author: Linda Francis Lee
Publisher: London : Pocket, 2006.
Edition/Format: Book : Fiction : English
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
What is one to do when one’s husband betrays one, steals one’s money and disappears to places unknown? There’s no Rule for dealing with that! In her hour of need, there’s only one person Frede can turn to for help: Howard Grout, the gold-medallion-wearing lawyer next door. But it will cost her. The price? This work is a romantic comedy

WWD
February 27, 2015
John B. Fairchild Dies at 87
By Mort Sheinman
NEW YORK — John B. Fairchild, who transformed Women’s Wear Daily from a trusty but tedious trade publication into a provocative, powerful and whimsical international force — along the way pioneering the coverage that would become standard fixtures of modern-day fashion and celebrity journalism — died Friday morning at age 87 after a long illness.
(...)
Even in his later years, Fairchild never lost a childlike curiosity about everything and everyone, from the latest fashion collections to a new waiter at his favorite restaurant, La Grenouille — where, in its early years, he would sit in the back and see which Ladies Who Lunch would arrive, then rush to the pay phone and call one of his photographers to come right away.

New York magazine—The Cut
February 27, 2015 3:20 p.m.
THE CHICEST SAVAGE
John Fairchild Turned Designers Into Celebrities
By Véronique Hyland
When longtime Women’s Wear Daily editor John Fairchild passed away today at 87, the paper was the first to report the news. Mr. Fairchild, as everyone called him, was a proponent of being the first at everything.
(...)
He also cannily covered high society, creating the “Eye” column and an “In and Out” list. For the “Eye,” he would have photographers snap “the ladies who lunch” (a phrase he came up with, not Stephen Sondheim) outside La Grenouille in their Chanel — call it an early version of street style.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Sunday, March 01, 2015 • Permalink


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