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 does breast milk taste like?"/"Umami.” (8/18)
“I’ve got this awful disease where I can’t stop telling airport jokes. Doctor says it’s terminal” (8/18)
“I keep randomly shouting out ‘Broccoli’ and ‘Cauliflower’—I think I might have florets” (8/18)
Entry forthcoming (8/18)
Entry forthcoming (8/18)
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Entry from June 20, 2006
“New York, the nation’s thyroid gland”
American journalist and novelist Christopher Morley (1890-1957) notably called New York City "the nation's thyroid gland." The thyroid affects human growth; New York's "thyroid" makes tall buildings.

The American Oxonian (1963) tells of the source:

"In the 1948 edition of Bartlettt's Familiar Quotations, of which he was the editor, Morley included his own phrase, 'New York, the nation's thyroid gland,' giving as the source the title Shore Leave. That book was never published; in the collection is the manuscript, identified as the 'Only Complete Copy.'"

Broadway was called the "Gland Canyon" (gland + Grand Canyon) in the 1920s and 1930s.


Wikipedia: Christopher Morley
Christopher Morley (5 May 1890—28 March 1957) was an American journalist, novelist, and poet.

He was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania. Morley studied at Haverford College, where he obtained a BA in 1910. He was a Rhodes Scholar at New College, Oxford from 1910 to 1913. Morley got his start as a newspaper reporter and then columnist for various publications in Philadelphia and later New York City.

31 October 1957, Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram, "Live in New York? A Lot of Folks Do!" by Hal Boyle, pg. A25:
Whatever you want to eat you can find here, whatever you want to see is here. Like a perpetual circus there is always something going on. As Christopher Morley said, this is "the nation's thyroid gland."

Google Books
The American Oxonian
Association of American Rhodes Scholars
Volumes 50-51
1963
Pg. 3:
In the 1948 edition of Bartlettt's Familiar Quotations, of which he was the editor, Morley included his own phrase, "New York, the nation's thyroid gland," giving as the source the title Shore Leave. That book was never published; in the collection is the manuscript, identified as the "Only Complete Copy."

Google Books
The City of New York:
A History Illustrated from the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York

By Jerry E. Patterson
New York, NY: H. N. Abrams
1978
Pg. 213:
New York is the nation's thyroid gland. -CHRISTOPHER MORLEY

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“New York, the nation's thyroid gland.” Christopher Morley (May 5, 1890 - March 28, 1957) http://fb.me/3uRJuHODT
4:55 PM - 3 Mar 2017
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Tuesday, June 20, 2006 • Permalink