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:
“Anyone who believes in infinite growth in finite circumstances is either a madman or an economist” (1/23)
“Where do you find a down-and-out octopu"Where do you find a down-and-out octopus?"/"On squid row.” (1/23)
Five-Cent Series (Five-Cent World Series) (1/23)
Nickel Series (Nickel World Series) (1/23)
Basketball Mecca (Madison Square Garden nickname) (1/23)
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 September 29, 2018
Parlor City (Cedar Rapids, Iowa nickname)

Binghamton, New York, has been called the “Parlor City (of the Southern Tier)” since 1873. “Parlor City” means a city that is refined, with beautiful homes, gardens and cultural amenities.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, began to be called the “Parlor City (of Iowa)” in the 1890s. “Parlor City” appeared in a letter to the Cedar Rapids (IA) Evening Gazette on November 12, 1890. The nickname was popularized by the Chicago (IL) Herald, in the article “In Iowa’s Parlor City” on June 20, 1891, which began:

“CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, June 19.—Nearly every city in the country is known by an alias, always more or less appropriate, that reflects to a great extent some chief industry, marked peculiarity or striking characteristic of the community. Cedar Rapids is no exception to this happy custom. Some genius in a moment of inspiration gave to this charming spot the appellation of ‘Parlor City of Iowa,’ a title that strikes the observant visitor as being peculiarly appropriate to this city of beautiful homes.”

Although the “Parlor City” name is old fashioned, it is still used in the names of Cedar Rapids businesses.

Monroe, Louisiana, was called the “Parlor City (of Louisiana)” in 1890. Bluffton, Indiana, has been called the “Parlor City” since at least 1900.


Wikipedia: Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids /ˈsiːdər ˈræpɪdz/ is the second-largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. The city lies on both banks of the Cedar River, 20 miles (32 km) north of Iowa City and 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Des Moines, the state’s capital and largest city. It is a part of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor of Linn, Benton, Cedar, Jones, Johnson, and Washington counties.

18 May 1888, Sioux City (IA) Journal, “Rock Rapids,” pg. 3, col. 3:
All of this is as it should be, and serves to make all the more appropriate and permanent our (Rock Rapids, not Cedar Rapids—ed.) soubriquet of “Parlor City.”

Cedar Rapids (IA) Public Library
12 November 1890, Cedar Rapids (IA) Evening Gazette, “Lakes and Marble Halls,” pg. 4, col. 3:
Such a lake if secured in connection with the timber lands adjoining would give Cedar Rapids the most beautiful park west of Chicago.

For an exposition building what would better correspond with the true dignity of the Parlor City than the erection of a marble castle?
(...)
Respectfully,
J. M. INGOLD.

20 June 1891, Chicago (IL) Herald, pg. 9, col. 1:
IN IOWA’S PARLOR CITY
SOME GLIMPSES OF CEDAR RAPIDS.
A Paradise of Clubs, Churches and Muscular Christianity—Famous for Its Hospitality, Its Public Schools, Its Society and for Its Charity.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, June 19.—Nearly every city in the country is known by an alias, always more or less appropriate, that reflects to a great extent some chief industry, marked peculiarity or striking characteristic of the community. Cedar Rapids is no exception to this happy custom. Some genius in a moment of inspiration gave to this charming spot the appellation of “Parlor City of Iowa,” a title that strikes the observant visitor as being peculiarly appropriate to this city of beautiful homes.

OCLC WorldCat record
Views of Cedar Rapids, Iowa : Through a Camera.
Publisher: Cedar Rapids, Iowa : Cedar Rapids Business College and School of Penmanship and Short Hand (The Record Printing Company), [1899]
Edition/Format: Print book : English
Other Titles: Camera Views of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Parlor City of the West. Published by the Cedar Rapids Business College and for free distribution among the friends of this institution

OCLC WorldCat record
Views in the Parlor City and its Vicinity ...
Author: William Baylis
Publisher: Cedar Rapids, Iowa : WM. Bayliss, ©1899.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

7 September 1899, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “Parlor City of Iowa,” pg. 6, col. 7:
Cedar Rapids has long been known as the “Parlor City of Iowa.” This is because of its fine, wide streets, pretty parks and lawns, and beautiful residences. It is doubtful whether a city in the country presents as beautiful an appearance as does Cedar Rapids.

OCLC WorldCat record
Specimens and price list of type, border and ornaments manufactured by Parolr City Type Foundry.
Author: Parlor City Type Foundry.
Publisher: [Cedar Rapids, Iowa] : J.A. Holtman & Son, 1908.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Google Books
April 1910, The International Bookbinder (New York, NY), pg. 134, col. 1:
CONVENTION CITY
Local Union No. 84, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
(...)
Cedar Rapids is not the most beautiful city in the world perhaps, but it is the “Parlor City of the West.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Color of the river : a journal of an American city, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Author: Steven D Childs
Publisher: Bloomington, Ind. : AuthorHouse, 2005.
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English
Contents:
Parlor city 2000 : a summary of my hometown and its varied new citizens.

Twitter
Aigars Geruckis
@aigars_geruckis
Cedar Rapids (IA) (Then and Now): Cedar Rapids (IA) (Then and Now) Once called the Parlor City and now called… http://bit.ly/jvslIa
8:20 PM - 5 May 2011

Google Books
The Tastemaker:
Carl Van Vechten and the Birth of Modern America

By Edward White
New York, NY:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
2014
Pg. 13:
In 1877 a fire razed the general store Van Vechten’s parents, Charles and Ada, ran in Minneapolis, so they moved south to Cedar Rapids, where Charles’s brother Giles had recently opened a bank. Known as the Parlor City because of its reputation for being a well-ordered and respectable community, Cedar Rapids was booming.

City Revealed Magazine (Cedar Raoids, IA)—2017
Parlor City Pub & Eatery, it’s a Family Affair
Article by Ric Holmquest
Photography by Levi Zinser
When Jon Jelinek opened Parlor City Pub and Eatery on Friday March 13, 2009, he did so with one clear goal in mind, create a thriving business to one day leave in the capable hands of his family.
(...)
Jon explains how the pub was named, “a hundred years ago Cedar Rapids was nicknamed Parlor City. It had a reputation for being so clean, nice and enjoyable.”

The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA)
July 29, 2017
Time Machine: Enduring ‘City of Five Seasons’ motto replaced ‘Parlor City’ almost 50 years ago
(...)
Perhaps that is why Cedar Rapids earned the nickname “Parlor City of Iowa.” In the 19th century, a parlor was the best room in the house, the place where guests were entertained.

Parlor City first appeared in print in 1890 in The Evening Gazette, but it was used in such a familiar way that it could have been around for a while.

The name was adopted by several businesses, and the Parlor City steamboat plied the waters of the Cedar River.

Twitter
Franklin St. Brewing
@FranklinStBrew
If you’re ever out in NewBo in Cedar Rapids, stop into Parlor City Pub & Eatery for some Franklin Street.
6:16 PM - 11 Aug 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
Saturday, September 29, 2018 • Permalink