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 September 13, 2007
Second Biggest Paris in the World (Second Largest Paris in the World)

Paris, Texas has advertised that it is the “Second Biggest Paris in the World” (or “Second Largest Paris in the World") to Paris, France.

Wikipedia: Paris, Texas
Paris is a city located 98 miles (158 km) northeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex in Lamar County, Texas, in the United States. It is situated in East Texas, specifically Northeast Texas, at the western edge of the Piney Woods. Physiographically, these regions are part of the West Gulf Coastal Plain. In 1900, 9,358 people lived in Paris, Texas; in 1910, 11,269; in 1920, 15,040; and in 1940, 18,678. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 25,898. It is the county seat, business and employment center of Lamar County, Texas population of approximately 50,000.
The film Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders is named after this city, although none of its scenes are actually set in Paris, Texas, and no scenes were shot there.

The city does not celebrate Bastille Day every July 14. However; at one time, local downtown merchants hosted Bastille Day sales, but no specific celebrations were held. Local residents like the humorous slogan “Second Largest Paris in the World,” and along these lines a (smaller) duplicate of the Eiffel Tower, which in recent years has completed this lampoon with a giant red cowboy hat. The current tower is at least the second Eiffel tower built in Paris. The first was constructed of wood, but was destroyed by a tornado.

Texas Escapes
Crepe Myrtle Capital of Texas
Lamar County Seat, North Central Texas
Hwy 82 & Hwy 271
103 miles NE of Dallas
50 miles NE of Greenville
15 miles E of Honey Grove
30 miles E of Bonham
Population: 25,898 (2000)

“The Second Biggest Paris in the World” is the current slogan for this County Seat. We say current, because you never can tell about France (or Arkansas either). 

17 September 1963, Dallas Morning News, “Paris Residents Get Married in Paris,” section 1, pg. 6:
“Surely there are Parises in the United States.” There were, 19 of them. “So we decided on Paris, Texas, which I understand is the second largest Paris in the world.”

30 March 1975, Dallas Morning News, “Paris There Honored by Paris Here,” section B., pg. 20:
Braswell said he also brought good wishes from James M. Brunette, mayor of Paris, Texas, and gave the city council a bicentennial flag specially designed for the Texas city—which the judge described as “the second biggest Paris in the world.”

Austin American-Statesman
Eiffel Tower Replica
By John Kelso
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Unlike the 984-foot-tall original in France, the 65-foot-tall Eiffel Tower in this Texas town doesn’t have an elevator that you can ride up to the top in.

In fact, you are not even allowed to get on this Eiffel Tower. Do not climb on eiffel tower. It is an unsafe activity, the sign says. On the other hand, the original in France doesn’t have a huge red cowboy hat on top, either.

The idea to build an Eiffel Tower cropped up in the mid-1990s, when Gary Vest became director of the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce.

“Kind of facetiously, I started asking everybody, ‘Well, where’s our Eiffel Tower?’ “ he recalled. “We use this promotion that says this is the second largest Paris in the world.” Vest said there are fourteen Parises in the world, and, at 25,898 people, this one is the world’s second-largest Paris.
From John Kelso’s book, “Texas Curiosities,” 2004.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, September 13, 2007 • Permalink