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 Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from August 07, 2004
Nolita (North of Little Italy)
Nolita (NOrth of LIttle ITAly) was coined in the New York (NY) Times on May 5, 1996. The name sounds similar to Vladimir Nabokov's 1950s novel, Lolita.

Wikipedia: Nolita
Nolita, sometimes written as NoLIta, and deriving from "NOrth of Little ITAly", is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Nolita is bounded on the north by Houston Street, on the east by the Bowery, on the south roughly by Broome Street, and on the west by Lafayette Street. It lies east of SoHo, south of NoHo, west of the Lower East Side, and north of Little Italy and Chinatown
n the second half of the 1990s, the neighborhood saw an influx of yuppies and an explosion of expensive retail boutiques and trendy restaurants and bars. After previous unsuccessful tries to pitch the neighborhood as part of SoHo, real estate promoters and others came up with several different names for consideration of this newly upscale neighborhood. The name that stuck, as documented in an article on May 5, 1996 in the New York Times City Section debating various monikers for the newly trendy area, was Nolita, an abbreviation for North of Little Italy. There are many who believe the term Nolita stands for NorthERN Little Italy as there is no question that the legislative district, Historic LIttle Italy, includes all of Nolita.

5 May 1996, New York Times, pg. CY9:
Nolita North of Little Italy
(Other suggestions here are EsSo "East of SoHo," Webo "West of Bowery," and BeBoBro "between Bowery and Broadway" - ed.)

14 November 1996, New York Times, pg. C1:
Here in NoLiTa - a Nabokovian coinage for North of Little Italy - life proceeds "like a little town in France," Laurent Dupal said.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • (0) Comments • Saturday, August 07, 2004 • Permalink