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 September 17, 2016
“Breakfast in London, lunch in New York, baggage in Buenos Aires” (airline joke)

The age of air travel making possible “breakfast in London and lunch in New York” was thought of as early as 1919. “You can have breakfast in London, lunch in New York and indigestion in Los Angeles,” a 1959 joke went.

Pan American World Airway’s publicist Bill Marsh told a classic joke in 1960:

“Breakfast in London; lunch in New York; dinner in San Francisco and baggage in Buenos Aires.”

The destination for the baggage is frequently changed from “Buenos Aires” to “Tokyo” or “New Zealand” or “South Africa.” The airline joke pre-dates Concorde flights (1976-2003), with which it’s frequently associated.


Wikipedia: Concorde
Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde /ˈkɒŋkɔːrd/ is a British-French turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet airliner that was operated until 2003. It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 km/h at cruise altitude), with seating for 92 to 128 passengers. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued flying for the next 27 years.
(...)
Until 2003, Air France and British Airways continued to operate the New York services daily.

21 March 1919, The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland), “Faster Flying,” pg. 4, col. 6:
General Seely, who was the guest yesterday at a dinner given at the Ritz Hotel by Sir George Riddell to the British correspondents, said he was assured by air experts that there was no reason why aeroplanes should not travel at 800 miles an hour before long, which would enable one to breakfast in London and lunch in New York.—Central News.

3 October 1929, Harrisburg (PA) Telegraph, pg. 8, col. 6:
Thousand Miles an Hour
[From Atlanta Journal]
(...)
And so, in the imagination at least, that time draws nearer when the forecast of breakfast in London and lunch in New York, so ridiculed when it was advanced a few years ago, will be triumphantly realized.

2 November 1958, The Washington Post and Times Herald (Washington, DC), A 50-Yard Run Across Atlantic” by Art Buchwald, pg. B16, col. 6:
“Jet-age speeds,” according to our press release, “make it possible to have breakfast in London and lunch in New York.” Anyone who has had kippers and porridge for breakfast in London may want to forgo this thrill.

1 August 1959, The Progress (Clearfield, PA), pg. 4, col. 6:
The speed of a jet flight is truly staggering. You can have breakfast in London, lunch in New York and indigestion in Los Angeles.

8 April 1960, Fairbanks (AK) Daily News-Miner, “On the Inside,” pg. 4, col. 7:
JET AGE—Pan American World Airway’s publicist Bill Marsh, who came to Fairbanks recently for the inauguration of 707 jet clipper service, had this description of the jet age:

“Breakfast in London; lunch in New York; dinner in San Francisco and baggage in Buenos Aires.”

Google News Archive
27 August 1960, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, “The Scoreboard” by Lester J. Biederman, pg. 6, col. 2:
Which recalls that the new jet age can be defined as “breakfast in London, lunch in New York, dinner in San Francisco and your baggage in Buenos Aires.”

Google News Archive
28 December 1961, The Dispatch (Lexington, NC), “Losing Money At Jet Speed” (UPI), pg. 28, col. 2:
Thompson (Rep. Frank Thompson Jr., D-NJ—ed.), who sounded somewhat embittered in a jocular sort of way, topped off his proposal by offering his own jet age motto: “breakfast in London, lunch in New York, cocktails in San Francisco, and baggage in Buenos Aires.”

Google News Archive
10 March 1965, Nashua (NH) Telegraph, pg. 1, left masthead:
Today’s Chuckle
The new jet age can be defined as breakfast in London, lunch in New York, dinner in San Francisco and baggage in Buenos Aires.

Google Books
Comedy Is a Serious Business
By Harry Ruskin
Chicago, IL: Dramatic Publishing
1974
Pg. 32:
Example: Jet travel is wonderful today. Breakfast in London, lunch in New York and your baggage in Montreal.

This joke could not have been written until jet travel was not only in use, but its handicaps were known.

Twitter
Sayan Ghosh
‏@Sayanosauras
BA ad: Breakfast in London. Lunch in New York. [graffiti added] Luggage in Bermuda.
11:49 AM - 22 May 2009

Twitter
andrea moro
‏@andreamoro_
“Fly Concorde! Breakfast in London, lunch in New York and luggage in Sidney!”
8:59 AM - 5 Aug 2013

Twitter
Duke of Dystopia
‏@KWCook57
The old joke still applies to #BritishAirways Breakfast in London, lunch in New York, baggage in New Zealand.
12:32 PM - 10 Jul 2014

Twitter
J
‏@JPGodfreyNZ
Someone once modified a British Airways advert for Concorde
“Breakfast in London,
Lunch in New York.
Luggage in Brazil”
8:41 PM - 2 Oct 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Saturday, September 17, 2016 • Permalink