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:
“People who use selfie sticks really need to have a good, long look at themselves” (12/9)
“Tis the season to be freezin‘“ (12/9)
“The magic of Christmas never ends and its greatest of gifts are family and friends” (12/9)
“I’m only a morning person on December 25th” (12/9)
Schrödinger’s Money (12/8)
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 December 06, 2018
Crime Square or Crimes Square (crime + Times Square)

The Times Square area of New York City began deteriorating in the 1950s; in the 1970s, the area was a center for pornography and crime. The nickname “Crime Square” was suggested as early as 1916, and a movie titled Crimes Square came out in 1931. “George Dubrow’s lobrow suggestion: Change the name of Times Square to ‘Crimes Square’” was printed in the New York (NY) Herald Tribune in 1954.

“Crime Square” became most popular in the late 1960s and the 1970s. Variety stated in 1968:

“New York’s Times Square, the hub of Manhattan’s show biz and site of famous real estate, has of late often been termed ‘Slime Square’ or ‘Crime Square’ by many who have seen the area slide from respectability to sleaziness to downright tawdriness.”


Wikipedia: Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment center and neighborhood in the Midtown Manhattan section of New York City at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. It stretches from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements, Times Square is sometimes referred to as “The Crossroads of the World”, “The Center of the Universe”, “the heart of The Great White Way”, and the “heart of the world”. One of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas, it is also the hub of the Broadway Theater District and a major center of the world’s entertainment industry. Times Square is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually.

18 December 1916, Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, “On the Square or Not?” by Gotham-Knickerbocker, pg. 2, col. 3:
NEW YORK, Dec. 18.—To begin with, they call it Times square, by owing to the fact that it is infested day and night by taxicab and hat-check bandits a lot of people fail to see much square about it.

As a matter of fact, it isn’t square at all. It’s a triangle. Aside from being noted for the Hotel Astor and the Times Building, it is famous as having been the scene of the Rosenthal shooting and the headquarters of the 42nd st. Country club. Someone once suggested naming it “Crime” square, but that was soon after the death of Rosenthal, and may have been inspired by the excitement of the moment.

IMDb (The Internet Movie Database)
Crimes Square (1931)
9min | Short, Crime, Drama | 26 March 1931 (USA)
When a crook decides to go straight, his jealous cast off moll exposes him to the police.
Director: Arthur Hurley
Writer: Burnet Hershey (story)
Stars: Pat O’Brien, Mary Doran, Barton MacLane

6 August 1954, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, “Coast to Coast” by Hy Gardner, pg. 8, col. 3:
George Dubrow’s lobrow suggestion: Change the name of Times Square to “Crimes Square.”

6 November 1968, Variety (New York, NY), pg. 1, col. 1:
Hookers, Homos, Pornos Unchecked,
Under Civil Rights, in ‘Slime Square’

New York’s Times Square, the hub of Manhattan’s show biz and site of famous real estate, has of late often been termed “Slime Square” or “Crime Square” by many who have seen the area slide from respectability to sleaziness to downright tawdriness.

19 March 1969, Variety (New York, NY), pg. 2, col. 3:
‘TIMES’ CONTINUES
DRIVE FOR ACTION
VS. ‘CRIME’ SQUARE
The N. Y. Times is relentlessly pursuing its campaign for crime cleanup in Times Square if only for the reason that the paper’s union personnel have threatened work stoppages by its night crew who are fearful of walking the streets.

5 September 1972, Coshocton (OH) Tribune, pg. 4, col. 1:
Clean Up Crime Square
By BOB CONSIDINE

Google Books
Double-speak in America
By Mario Pei
New York, NY: Hawthorn Books
1973
Pg. 62:
There is little doubt that all analogical coinages dealing with the deterioration of New York City are of journalistic origin. They include “Times Scare,” “Slime Square,” “Crime Square,” and a “Gun City,” which is obviously based on Mayor Lindsay’s “Fun City.”

19 February 2001, Daily News (New York, NY), “New slogan at heart of drawing tourists” by David Andelman, pg. 28, col. 3:
Focus groups commissioned by NYC & Co. suggested the slogan ("I Love NY”—ed), still the focus of a state-sponsored campaign, brings back too many memories of the bad old days when Times Square was Crime Square and frantic meant danger.

OCLC WorldCat record
Crime Square
Author: Robert J Randisi
Publisher: New York, NY : Vantage Point Books, 2012.
Edition/Format: Print book : Fiction : English : 1st ed
Summary:
“They call it the “crossroads of the world,” and from its inception Times Square has been the pulsing heartbeat of a city filled with life. Now, in this eclectic and electrifying collection, twenty acclaimed mystery writers take readers into the past history of Times Square, where danger lurked around every corner, and where characters walked its streets with the easy confidence of a con man. Spanning over one hundred years--from Longacre Square’s rechristening on April 19, 1904 to the contemporary ‘Disney-ized’ neighborhood--Crime Square is the ultimate collection of crime stories, set in the world’s ultimate destination."--Page 4 of cover

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • Thursday, December 06, 2018 • Permalink