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 December 20, 2015
Portageville: Grand Canyon of the East (Letchworth State Park nickname)

Letchworth State Park, located 35 miles southwest of Rocheter in Livingston and Wyoming counties in New York, has many waterfalls and a deep gorge. In 1928, signs were placed outside Letchworth State Park declaring it the “Grand Canyon of the East.” The reference is to the famous Grand Canyon, although Letchworth has trees and waterfalls that the Grand Canyon does not have.

Ausable Chasm, in Keeseville, was also frequently called the “Grand Canyon of the East” and is now billed as the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks.”

Wikipedia: Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park is a New York state park located 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Rochester and 60 miles (95 km) southeast of Buffalo in Livingston (towns of Leicester, Mount Morris, and Portage) and Wyoming (towns of Castile and Genesee Falls) counties. The park is roughly 17 miles (24 km) long, covering 14,350 acres (58 km2) of land along the Genesee River.

Within the park, there are three large waterfalls on the Genesee River and as many as fifty waterfalls found on tributaries that flow into it; the deep gorge formed by the river, with rock walls rising up to 550 feet (170 m) in places and which narrow to 400 feet (120 m) across above the middle of the three falls, prompted the area’s reputation as the “Grand Canyon of the East”.

New York State—Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Letchworth State Park, renowned as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. The Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs--as high as 600 feet in some places--surrounded by lush forests. Hikers can choose among 66 miles of hiking trails. Trails are also available for horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Letchworth offers nature, history and performing arts programs, guided walks, tours, a summer lecture series, whitewater rafting, kayaking, a pool for swimming and hot air ballooning. Experiencing Letchworth by hot air balloon is unforgettable, as seen in this video clip. - See more at: http://nysparks.com/parks/79/details.aspx#sthash.WIV0AUnD.dpuf

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
17 August 1928, Nunda (NY) News, pg. 1, col. 2:
Visitors to Letchworth State Park during the past fre days have noted with interest that a new sign has been placed at the south entrance to the park, where the new park boulevard connects with the concrete pavement from Portageville to Castile, the sign board bearing the following inscription: “This is Letchworth State Park, the Grand Canyon of the East.”

17 August 1928, Bradford (PA) Era, “‘Grand Canyon of East’ Is Also on Itinerary,” pg. 10, col. 2:
A side feature is a stop at Letchworth Park, known as the Grand Canyon of the East, and one of the most noted parks in New York state.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
28 September 1928, The Livingston Democrat (Geneseo, NY), “Meditations” by Don Sanders, pg. 4, col. 1:
Grand Canyon of the East
The new signs at the entrance to Letchworth State Park have printed on them “The Grand Canyonr of the East.” To my mind this is much more appropriate than “High Banks.” We who live in the Genesee Country have seen and heard of Letchworth Park so much that we really regard it as just a good place to hold a picnic. But Letchworth Park is far from being a mere picnic ground, it is one of the most picturesque and thrilling spots in the United States.

NYS Historic Newspapers
26 November 1936, Hpneoye Falls (NY) TImes, “Letchworth Park And Life Of Mary Jamison, Tale Of Interest To All” by Frances Newton, pg. 1, col. 3:
Letchworth Park is located in Wyoming and Livingston Counties, in the beautiful Genesee Valley, is fifty miles south of Rochester, and as one is about to enter the park a sign announces, “Letchworth Park the Grand Canyon of the East.” How very true is that statement.

30 January 1948, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, “Firm Here to Help Build Genesse Dam,” pg. 2, col. 2:
The development will take place within scenic Letchworth State Park, which includes the gorge of the Genesee, often called the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Guide map: Letchworth State Park, “Grand Canyon of the East.”
Publisher: Castile, N.Y. : Genesee State Park Commission, 1959.
Edition/Format: Map : State or province government publication : English

New York (NY) Times
Exploring the Grand Canyon of the East
June 08, 1975
Section Travel And Resorts - Summer Vacations, Page 345
Letchworth State Park: Article on 14,34-acre Letchworth State Park, which is divided by 17-mi-long canyon and is site of Genesee River Gorge; park is open to public yr-round but is primarily arboretum and wildlife sanctuary; land was originally owned ...

OCLC WorldCat record
The four seasons of Letchworth : a celebration of the Grand Canyon of the East
Author: David Lawrence Reade
Publisher: Buffalo, N.Y. : Western New York Wares, 2007.
Edition/Format: Print book : English
Database: WorldCat
Celebrates the year-round splendor of New York’s Letchworth State Park in pictures and prose

USA Today
Give the gift of (balloon) flight
Tammy Kennon, Special for USA TODAY 5:01 a.m. EST December 21, 2015
Balloons Over Letchworth
Portageville, N.Y.
May through mid-October
Rates: $260 per person, age 12 and older; $249 for a Christmas gift certificate

The 17-mile-long Letchworth State Park in New York packs a lot of punch for its size. While the nickname “Grand Canyon of the East” is well deserved, it might be more descriptive to add, “with trees and waterfalls.” In sharp contrast to that other Grand Canyon, this gorge has a combination of thick forest and sheer rock cliffs created by the roaring Genesee River, which snakes through landscape and plunges over three major waterfalls.

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesNew York State • Sunday, December 20, 2015 • Permalink