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 18, 2005
Sock and Sausage Fests (criticism of street fairs)
Street fairs have came under criticism in the summer of 2005. A New York Post writer editorialized that the street fairs are all the same and that many should be eliminated. The debate was continued online on the Gotham Gazette. It's long been known that the same vendors go to many of the street fairs, selling the same socks, sausages, and sunglasses.

"Sock and sausage" festival is a nickname for street fairs that is sometimes used.

Re: Block parties, street fairs, street festivals
Posted by: Daniel Millstone (IP Logged)
Date: August 26, 2005 08:07AM

Thanks! I had always wondered about where these cookie-cutter street fairs came from. Every now and again, I stumble on a street fair with more personal, less professional flavor, which I prefer.

Perhaps, a "truth in fair" program could help us distinguish the sock and sausage fests from "the real" events. Then, when I didn't need socks or sausage, I'd know where not to go and vv.

Members of the Federation of East Village Artists, which is organizing the event, say that this homegrown festival will support local arts and merchants. The Howl! street fair would have everything from local bands and artists to yogis giving free demonstrations. The October fair is a generic event with the same sausage and sock sellers that can be found at any city street festival, Howl! organizers assert.

Members of FEVA argued that they should have been allowed to have the permit, arguing that the HOWL! festival would be more in tune with the community when compared to the Boys' Club Alumni Association fair. They petitioned the community, sent around fliers and threatened to protest the Boys' Club fair, scheduled for Oct. l4, 2003. FEVA argued that the Boys' Club's event, run by a major street festival company, would be a generic "socks and sausage" festival that would only hurt local businesses.

I was about to say that I can understand the draw of a street fair in a neighborhood that has residential stock, but no, i can't really understand why anyone would want a sausage and sock street fair in their neighborhood.

I get more hassle from these damn "socks 'n sausages" street fairs every damn weekend than I would likely get from two weeks of Olympic games. At least they would be interesting; even pectacular -- something to tell our grandchildren about -- despite the cost and the hassle. (Right now, all we can tell them of is the revival of New York and the tragedy of 9/11). Damn the costs.
by Thinking Republican on Sat Jul 2nd, 2005 at 05:56:37 PDT

Donna Marie Rose of Slang Betty - her shop purveying modern clothes and accessories at 172 Fifth Avenue - says,

"The Fifth Avenue Street Fair draws a fabulous parade of humanity, reflecting Fifth Avenue's diverse ethnic, cultural and economic character ... what originally made Park Slope interesting and unique. The artisans and local merchants who line the street with their wares give this street fair a texture and personality -- thankfully setting it apart from the generic "sunglasses and socks" street fairs in Manhattan. "

Posted by Barry Popik
Holidays/Events/Parades • (0) Comments • Sunday, September 18, 2005 • Permalink