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 June 21, 2006
Skyscraper National Park (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)
Novelist Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. called New York City "Skyscraper National Park" in Slapstick, or Lonesome No More (1976). "Skyscraper National Park" is also the title of a music CD (2002) by a Canadian composer.

29 August 1976, Washington Post, pg. 159:
By Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

His eighth novel, a sort of spiritual autobiography in which reflections on "desolated cities and spiritual cannibalism and incest and loneliness and lovelessness and death" are handled with the philosophical poise of Laurel and Hardy fumbling through a malevolent world of slapstick. Flying to a family funeral, Vonnegut daydreams of a centenarian pediatrician and ex-president of the United States, now living in the trash-choked lobby of the Empire State Building on the Island of Death, Skyscraper National Park. His campaign slogan, addressed to a hopeless condition, was "Lonesome No More!" The old man's memories record the destruction of America; the interaction between them and the author's own life story is the substance of this somber comedy, which will be predictably loved or loathed.
(Delacorte/Seymour Lawrence, October, $7.95)

9 October 1998, New York Times, "Critics Notebook: Cass Gilbert and the City Electric" by Herbert Muschamp, pg. E34:
With structures like the Woolworth, West Street and Broadway-Chambers buildings, (Cass -- ed.) Gilbert helped plant the seeds for what Kurt Vonnegut would later call Skyscraper National Park.
Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Wednesday, June 21, 2006 • Permalink