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. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from January 21, 2007
“Keep San Antonio Lame”

"Keep San Antonio Lame” is a 2004 imitation of the popular slogan “Keep Austin Weird.”

The seemingly endless imitation Texas city slogans include “Keep Dallas Pretentious,” “Keep Dallas Plastic,” “Keep Dallas Douche,” “Keep Houston Dirty,” “Keep Denton Chido,” “Keep Abilene Boring,” “Keep College Station Normal,” “Keep Georgetown Normal,” “Keep Round Rock Mildly Unusual,” “Keep Wimberley Weirder,” “Keep Lubbock Flat” and “Keep Waco Wacko.”


(E-mail from Aaron Forland)
in the interest of historical accuracy, i coined the phrase “keep san antonio lame” during a conversation with a group of fellow san antonio artists including justin parr and derek alan brown during a conversation at flight gallery (then located at the now-closed blue star art silos) in conversation some time in early 2004. in september of 2004, i created the design featuring the alamo substituted for the “a” in lame. in association with justin parr of flight, i manufactured and distributed the initial run of hand-screened vinyl stickers starting in october of 2004. if you visit the myspace profile i created for the ongoing keep san antonio lame campaign (http://www.myspace.com/ksal), on the blog page you will see the profile was registered on myspace in october of 2004. in december of 2004, also in association with flight/parr, i manufactured and distributed the first run of t-shirts, with initial sales starting a day or two before christmas of that year. i can document these claims if necessary.

i have run into a number of people since who claimed they or a friend originated the phrase and/or had heard and used it prior to 2004, but to the best of my knowledge, this is not the case. the most funny/ironic reference above is the claim on the shinerfest site that it was originated by austinites as a pejorative aimed towards san antonio, as it was always meant to be a jab at austin’s “keep austin weird” as well as an ironically loving tribute to san antonio. austin has a long and storied tradition of claiming bits and pieces of san antonio’s cultural produce as its own, and this was another layer of underlying meaning intended when i originally brought it up.

San Antonio Current
Letters to the editor
04/21/2005
Recently, I began seeing some little black stickers around town that stated, KEEP SAN ANTONIO LAME. I was expecting nothing very cutting edge from this city. But, then I found a Myspace.com web page put together by a guy named Aaron of Silo 18 at Blue Star. Essentially what was being stated was the opposite. The site was championing San Antonio’s lameness.

Let’s face it, San Antonio is a BIG small town. I think John Lisle of 99.5 KISS FM put it best when he described San Antonio as, “the Barney Fife of metropolitan cities - we have a gun, we just don’t have any bullets.” I really do enjoy reading the Current and being in the advertising business; I think that it is a very good source for advertisers. But come on, I think you need to forget where you live. Just embrace San Antonio and its lameness and stop wishing it were something else. If you need cool, head up to Austin. Embrace San Antonio and our choices without judgment. Keep Austin Weird and please KEEP SAN ANTONIO LAME!

Carlos Zapata, San Antonio

San Antonio Current
Lame is as lame does
By Aaron Block
07/07/2005
Samuel Butler may have felt that “neither irony nor sarcasm is argument,” but local artist Aaron Forland disagrees. The mind behind “Keep San Antonio Lame,” the slogan that graces T-shirts and stickers and has been spotted as far away as Los Angeles, sees his four-word response to the ever-present lament that San Antonio has no “scene” as a combination of both, with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

The concept grew from a conversation about the “Keep Austin Weird” phenomenon, which also evolved from a single mind, that of Austin Community College librarian Red Wassenich. “I don’t think Austin is very weird, and I don’t think San Antonio is very lame,” says Forland. The slogan is not necessarily a rejoinder to the effort to save local business in Austin, which he supports, but rather an attempt to draw attention to the talented, creative individuals who populate San Antonio’s cultural beat, and the venues that support them. The message: If this is lame, it’s lameness worth celebrating.

This is my space...
Monday, August 15, 2005
Keep San Antonio Lame

Myspace.com
Keep San Antonio Lameā„¢

Shiner Bockfest 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Shiner Bocktoberfest 2005 /Audioslave
(...)
The highlight of the people crusade was Steve and his entourage from San Antonio. We Austin snobs have the slogan “Keep San Antonio Lame,” well this wonderful crew of people are definately an exception to the rule.

J-Rod’s Fireside Chat
Monday, December 19, 2005
Keep blank blank.
Everyone’s familiar with those t-shirts from Chuy’s that say “Keep Austin Wierd”. Well, I’ve been thinking of little slogans like that for some of the different municipalities in our Great State. Enjoy!

“Keep Dallas Pretentious”

“Keep Houston Under Construction”

“Keep Waco In the News”

“Keep San Antonio Lame” (except for Spurs basketball and mexican food)

“Keep Wichita Falls Ugly”

“Keep Lubbock Far Away”

“Keep Corpus Christi Smelly”

“Keep Amarillo A pit-stop on the way to Colorado”

“Keep El Paso ???”

“Keep Beaumont Redneck”

“Keep San Marcos / New Braunfels Drunk”
posted by Jerod Hugghins at 12:08 PM

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (7) Comments • Sunday, January 21, 2007 • Permalink