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 July 11, 2004
Peacock Alley
If you're staying at the Waldorf, perhaps this bit of "alley" history will prove interesting.

by Karl Schriftgiesser
New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.

Pg. 59: Mr. Baker, the Society editor of the _Herald_, came up to Oscar as
he stood in the background, fascinated with the sight. (The 1893 opening of
the old Waldorf at the site now occupied by the Empire State Building--ed.)

"Look at them strutting and preening along that corridor," he said.
"Just like peacocks. Not a bad name for that corridor--Peacock Alley. Mind
if I call it that in the paper tomorrow?"

Oscar says that he wouldn't have minded anything that night.

"Sounds like a good name," he told the reporter. Mr. Boldt came by just then and it was repeated to him. He said the words over, smackingly, behind his beard and looked out at the throng. "It fits," he said.

And so Peacock Alley got its name. From that night it became known throughout the country as the Main Street of Fashion. Some thought it an actual street, and mail has often been addressed to it since.

"Peacock Alley was no part of the original plan. Mr. Hardenbergh did not design it with any such idea in mind. To us," "says Oscar, "it was just a corridor in the hotel. Why ladies decided to congregate there that night, nobody knows. But they couldn't have selected a more fitting background, a more elegant rendezvous."
Posted by Barry Popik
Streets • (0) Comments • Sunday, July 11, 2004 • Permalink