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 15, 2014
“Wake up and smell the bagels”

"Wake up!” is an admonition for someone to get a true sense of reality. People often eat bagels in the morning; the full phrase of “Wake up and smell the bagels!” is cited in print from at least the 1990s.

“Wake up and smell the coffee” has been cited in print since at least 1943.


Google Books
Instauration
Howard Allen Enterprises, Inc
Volumes 21-22
1995
Pg. 13:
For years rather than “stupid” I thought of whites as “ignorant,” “sleeping,” “hypnotized,” “brainwashed,” “mind-bent” and “spellbound.” I never expected as many as 90% or even 95% of them to wake up and smell the bagels.

Google Groups: triangle.general
Which is the stupid race?
NSWPP-CSU
5/12/97
(...)
When all is said and done, the white race is the stupid race. For years rather than “stupid” I thought of whites as ignorant,” “sleeping,” “hypnotized,” “brainwashed,” “mind-bent” and “spellbound.  I never expected as many as 90% or even 95% of them to wake up and smell the bagels.

Google Groups: rec.travel.cruises
NCL MAJESTY REVIEW 2/7-2/11
Gadge...@webtv.net
2/12/00
(...)
Wake up and smell the bagels!  Life is short and each day you approach with a bad attitude is a day you are simply not going to have a second chance to enjoy again.

Right Truth
NOVEMBER 04, 2006
Palestinians, wake up and smell the bagels
Overcrowded, impoverished and now dominated by Islamist fundamentalists, Gaza has never been a beacon of hope in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But now an unprecedented chain of events has turned this bedraggled strip of land between Israel and Egypt into a place of unrelenting death and mayhem.

Google Books
Strangers in the Lof Egypt
By Stephen March
Sag Harbor, NY: Permanent Press
2009
Pg. 118:
“Wake up and smell the bagels. Surely your brain cells ain’t been so fried by smoking dope and playing video games that you cant grasp the simple fact that Jews don’t celebrate Christmas.”

Twitter
Ricky Castillo
‏@_RickyCastillo
Wake up & smell the bagels!! There is no failure. You win or you learn. Either one is okay.  http://myloc.me/10qvf
10:45 AM - 12 Oct 2009

Twitter
Greg Van Roten
‏@GVR64
Wake up and smell the bagels #NewYork
10:14 PM - 9 Jan 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, January 15, 2014 • Permalink