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 13, 2019
“On a New York City subway you get fined for spitting, but you can throw up for nothing”

"On a New York City subway you get fined for spitting, but you can throw up for nothing” is a jocular saying that has been printed on many images. “Strange thing about the subways in New York. You spit and they fine you $25, but you can throw up for nothing” was said by a New Yorker and quoted in a Lewis Grizzard (1946-1994) newspaper column in the Atlanta (GA) Constitution on October 18, 1978.

“Which reminds me of a sign I saw in a New York subway once. It said: ‘Spitting is a $50 fine.’ And I thought, ‘I guess you can throw up for nothing’” was printed in Grizzard’s column in the Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution on July 10, 1992.


Wikipedia: Lewis Grizzard
Lewis McDonald Grizzard Jr. (October 20, 1946 – March 20, 1994) was an American writer and humorist, known for his Southern demeanor and commentary on the American South. Although he spent his early career as a newspaper sports writer and editor, becoming the sports editor of the Atlanta Journal at age 23, he is much better known for his humorous newspaper columns in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a popular stand-up comedian and lecturer.

18 October 1978, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, “Ballplayers: TV Shows Your Spitting Image” by Lewis Grizzard, pg. 1-C, col. 1:
It’s like a New York mentioned to me recently.

“Strange thing about the subways in New York,” he said. “You spit and they fine you $25, but you can throw up for nothing.”

Google Books
The Fourth—and by Far the Most Recent—637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
By Robert Byrne
New York, NY: Atheneum
1990
Pg. ?:
477
On a New York subway you get fined for spitting, but you can throw up for nothing.
Lewis Grizzard

10 July 1992, Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution, “Washouts aside, garden grows fine” by Lewis Grizzard, pg. G1, col. 1:
... which reminds me of a sign I saw in a New York subway once.

It said: “Spitting is a $50 fine.”

And I thought, “I guess you can throw up for nothing.”

Google Groups: rec.sport.football.pro
NFL predictions
John R Tedrow
7/19/97
(...)
On a New York subway you get fined for spitting, but you can throw up for nothing.
-Lewis Grizzard

Google Books
Dim Wit:
The Funniest, Stupidest Things Ever Said

By Rosemarie Jarski
New York, NY: Random House
2008
Pg. 171:
On a New York subway you get fined for spitting, but you can throw up for nothing.
Lewis Grizzard

Twitter
Jon Winokur
@DailyCurmudgeon
On a New York subway you get fined for spitting, but you can throw up for nothing. LEWIS GRIZZARD #quote #quotes
7:02 PM · Jun 11, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Steve Cirillo
@StevenCirillo
On a New York City subway you get fined for spitting, but a random crazy can throw up without penalty. #hmmm #weirdrulesofNYClife #fb
3:14 PM · Jun 2, 2011 from Manhattan, NY·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Loredana Gasparotto
@Anaderolart
On a New York subway you get fined for spitting, but you can throw up for nothing. – Lewis Grizzard😜😳😳
@creativeendev
#NY #subwaytrack #chinatown #littleItaly
Art Film Art and 7 others
9:38 PM · Dec 8, 2018 from Queens, NY·Twitter for iPhone

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Friday, September 13, 2019 • Permalink