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 January 25, 2014
Playcation (play + vacatinn)

"Playcation” (play + vacation) became a popular term—following “staycation”—the financial crisis of 2008. Maxine Maesinger (1925-2001), the “Big City Beat” columnist for the houston (TX) Chronicle, is said to have coined “playcation” much earlier.

The National Football League usually holds its Pro Bowl game of all stars in Hawaii during the off-week before the Super Bowl. The game in Hawaii is a “playcation” for the players and their families. The Pro Bowl was described as a “playcation” in 2009.


Maxine Mesinger Papers, 1965-2001
Historical Note
Maxine Mesinger (1925-2001), author of the social column, “Big City Beat” for the Houston Chronicle from 1964 to 2000. Born in Houston in 1925 to Ella and Julian “Drake” David, Mesinger graduated from San Jacinto High School and attended Texas Women’s University, Indiana University, and University of Houston. She married Emil Mesinger in 1944; they have two children, Julianne and Jay.

After a short career in Houston television, Mesinger was hired as a columnist for the Houston Chronicle in 1964. Known for her lively writing style (she coined terms such as “swankienda” and “playcation") and candid access to Houston society, Mesinger’s columns intersected with her own life in her famed friendships with notables such as Frank Sinatra, Barbara Walters, Carol Channing, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and Shirley MacLaine. Known as “Miss Moonlight”, she covered local events as well as happenings on the national scale. Her columns trace Houston’s economic and political growth through the lens of an at times outrageous society life. Her Houston Chronicle obituary summarized this by stating “Mesinger watched Houston grow from a dusty cowtown to a sophisticated international city.”

Wikipedia: Pro Bowl
In professional American football, the Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League (NFL). From the merger with the rival American Football League (AFL) in 1970 up through 2013, it was officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference (AFC) against those in the National Football Conference (NFC). Beginning in 2014, the teams will not be based on the two conferences, and will instead be chosen by two team captains in a televised fantasy draft four days prior to the game; the official name has been changed to the Pro Bowl.
(...)
Stadiums that have hosted the Pro Bowl
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu (1980–2009, 2011–present)

Houston (TX) Chronicle
‘Miss Moonlight’ dies at 75
Columnist kept tabs on celebrities for more than 4 decades

CLIFFORD PUGH | January 20, 2001
Houston Chronicle columnist Maxine Mesinger, who wrote about big names for half of the 20th century and became a celebrity in her own right, died Friday after a long illness.

For more than four decades, Mesinger covered the lifestyles of Houston’s rich and famous as well as the world’s notables in her Big City Beat column. She was 75.
(...)
Such Maxine-isms as “She snoops to conquer,” “Miss Moonlight’s memos,” “The soft thud of name dropping” and “Have tongue will tattle” were staples of her popular column. She also coined such unique catchphrases as “swankienda” and “playcation” that Houston’s “smart set” adopted as its own.

Houston (TX) Chronicle
Chronicle’s columnists give the paper personality
October 14, 2001
(...)
But the most notable was Maxine Mesinger, who would write for the Chronicle for more than four decades, covering the rich and famous.

Early in her career, Mesinger dubbed herself “Miss Moonlight” because of her evening hours on the social circuit.

Such Maxine-isms as “She snoops to conquer,” “Miss Moonlight’s memos,” “The soft thud of name dropping” and “Have tongue will tattle” were staples of her popular column.

She also coined such unique phrases as “swankienda” and “playcation” that Houston’s “smart set” adopted on its own.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
THE OPEN DICTIONARY
New Words & Slang
playcation
(noun) : A vacation predominantly consisting of play, especially from a child’s perspective.
My nieces, Mollie And Zoe, can’t wait to go on their next playcation. —Hallie M Fisher, Overheard from a child., March 22, 2008
Submitted by: Hallie from Nevada on Mar. 22, 2008 14:34

Twitter
John Yi
‏@dublit
Take a 7 minute playcation and listen to one of San Francisco’s most original literary voices: http://tinyurl.com/3uvr72
4:12 PM - 30 May 2008

HotelChatter
Staycation, Vacation or Playcation at the SoHo Grand
Where: 310 W Broadway [map], New York, ny, United States, 10013

June 19, 2008 at 12:05 PM | by Jenna
According to the always-accurate and reliably ridiculous reference site UrbanDictionary, a “staycation” is defined as “a vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer.”
(...)
Sounds more like a “PLAYcation” to us (har har)!

Urban Dictionary
playcation
A vacation that also is a playdate.
We went on a playcation at the beach, and we made sand sculptures, dug holes, swam in the water, etc.
by amazing JavaScript programmer January 17, 2009

Twitter
EverythingVegas
‏@EverythingVegas
New York-New York Deal - Playcation / Offer Also Good For All Holidays Through November 2009 http://is.gd/iSI7
12:47 AM - 9 Feb 2009

Honlulu (HI) Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 6, 2009
PRO BOWL
TOURISM AUTHORITY RIGHTLY STOOD UP TO NFL
Kudos to the members of the Hawai’i Tourism Authority who had the audacity to stand up to the 800-pound gorilla known as the NFL.

These astute HTA members figured out the NFL only has so many warm-weather sites that can host the Pro Bowl. They also know the players come here with their families on a “playcation” to celebrate the end of a successful football season. They are intelligent enough to know many NFL players live in warm-weather climates and will have already traveled to many Pro Bowl-hosting cities earlier in the season.
(...)
Pat Kelly
Honolulu


Twitter
David Craig
‏@davidcraigstl
Staycation, playcation (http://bit.ly/17vnCJ), praycation-church camp, neighcation-horse ranch, graycation-Gettysburg, weighcation-fat farm.
4:06 PM - 20 May 2009

Twitter
Kara Rosner
‏@TravelPRpro
Thought a staycation was bad? How about a laycation, playcation, paycation, gaycation and more: http://bit.ly/7Tcq32
9:01 AM - 8 Dec 2009

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, January 25, 2014 • Permalink