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.

Recent entries:
“What do zombies eat while on a hike?"/"Entrail Mix.” (11/11)
“What do they teach you in pre-K?"/"The first 10 letters.” (11/10)
“Condoms prevent minivans” (11/2)
“If driven carefully, please report stolen” (bumper sticker) (11/2)
“Squirrels—Nature’s little speed bumps” (11/2)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from July 05, 2004
Big Apple 1970s Revival: Charlie Gillett and Lew Rudin
Charles Gillett, then president of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, is responsible for the 1970s "Big Apple" campaign that revived the nickname. It played a crucial role in eliminating the frequently lampooned nickname 1960s nickname, "Fun City," and it put a brighter image on a city going through a severe fiscal crisis.

The effort is described in the New York Times, March 27, 1975, pg. 33: "Three years ago the bureau began passing out small Big Apple lapel stickers and, according to officials, they have become something of a worldwide craze. (...) Tom Snyder, the New Yorker—he came here a few months ago from Los Angeles—wears a Big Apple on his Channel 4 news show. Alan King, the comedian, Dave DeBusschere, the basketball figure; and Louis Rudin and Preston Robert Tisch, the real estate and hotel executives, all have joined the Big Apple corps of city boosters and pass out the little stickers. Mr. Rudin, who is chairman of the Association for a Better New York, has given away about 4,000 cloth Big Apple stickers, in the three-quarter-inch version that sells for 10 cents a sticker."

"Lew Rudin Way" was dedicated in 2002 for East 52nd Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. There are apples on both sides of the name on the street sign.

In 1995, Dan Ratiner (of Dan's Papers) had suggested that there be an apple sculpture in the Big Apple. I wrote in and agreed, then telling him the story of "the Big Apple." After three years of constant effort, the first newspaper to print the "Big Apple" story in any form was one in the Hamptons!

This reply letter was printed in , April 21, 1995, pg. 45:

Dear Dan:

My good friend, Jerry Berns, of "21" was kind enough to send me a clipping from "Dan's Letters" in which my name was mentioned in connection with "The Big Apple."

I was certainly pleased to see the clipping because I started the campaign "The Big Apple" in 1970. I served as president of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau for 25 years and am naturally proud of this campaign which has helped New York City's tourism and is still being used today.

I retired five years ago as president but still remain a consultant to the NYCVB.

Charlie Gillett,
Great Neck


31 January 1974, The Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA), "New York polishes its image as it adopts 'big apple' emblem: 'The greatest,' Residents are optimistic, Gasoline shortage pinches" by David Winder, pg. 5, col. 1:
The Statue of Liberty, New York's No. 1 tourist attraction and the monarch of Manhattan waters, has been dethroned as the emblem of New York City.

A plump, rosy apple is now king.

Mind you, this is no ordinary Johnny Appleseed descendant. This is "the big apple" -- symbolizing New York as the center of the universe, the place "where it's at/"

New York City does offer something. It's 'the big apple.' It's where the action is," says Charles Gillett, executive vice-president of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc.
(...)
Soon bushels of button-sized, bright red, embroidered apples will be mailed out on promotional stationery and in convention kits, with "big apple" sweat shirts to follow.

28 July 1974, Atlanta (GA) Journal and Constitution, "The Big Apple: New York City Polishes Its Image To Regain Status of Tourist Mecca" by Colin Bessonette, pg. 14F, col. 1L
"New York has had image problems in recent years," says Preston Robert Tisch, chairman of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, "but we've fought our way back, thanks to aggressive publicity and promotion by the bureau and positive action programs by the city and by business and civic groups."
(...)
"As the sole agency promoting and selling tourism and conventions to New York, the Visitors Bureau has been the catalyst in re-establishing this great city as The Big Apple, the world's premiere destination for both meetings and vacations, " Tisch said.

As part of its promotional campaign designed to attract visitors to New York this summer, the bureau dispatched an attractive representative, Ms. Patricia Mauceri, on a swing through several southern states to tell about New York's upbeat new image.

27 March 1975, New York (NY) Times, "Big Apple Polishers Brighten City's Image" by Allan Krebs, pg. 33, cols. 1-4:
Back in the nineteen-twenties, Damon Runyon popularized the term 'Big Apple" as the ultimate description of New York -- the city that was the big time in all respects.

In recent year, however, thanks to nightclub comedians and television talk-show hosts, New York, the Big Apple, has been publicized for its wormier side -- a city of filthy streets populated by muggers, derelicts, rude taxi drivers, and loud-mouth and cold-hearted citizenry.

Now, thanks to a campaign initiated by the Convengtion and Visitors Bureau, the Big Apple's image is being polished. Three years ago the bureau began passing out small Big Apple lapel stickers and, according to officials, they have become something of a worldwide craze.
(...)
Tom Snyder, the New Yorker—he came here a few months ago from Los Angeles—wears a Big Apple on his Channel 4 news show. Alan King, the comedian, Dave DeBusschere, the basketball figure; and Louis Rudin and Preston Robert Tisch, the real estate and hotel executives, all have joined the Big Apple corps of city boosters and pass out the little stickers.

Mr. Rudin, who is chairman of the Association for a Better New York, has given away about 4,000 cloth Big Apple stickers, in the three-quarter-inch version that sells for 10 cents a sticker. A new, slightly larger paper version is on the market for 2 cents, and more than 75,000 of them have been sold.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityThe Big Apple1970s: Big Apple Revival • Monday, July 05, 2004 • Permalink