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 April 21, 2015
Street of the Midnight Sun (Broadway)

"Street of the Midnight Sun” is one of the many nicknames of Broadway and refers to its bright lights. “Diamond Jim” Brady (1856-1917) addressed a gathering of the New York Society of Restaurateurs in April 1916 and recited an original poem, “Only One Broadway.” Brady wrote:

“It’s the same Broadway where the nations play—
On the Street of the Midnight Sun.”

Other nicknames for Broadway and its bright lights include “Bulb Belt,” “Great Bright Way,” “Great White Way,” “Incandescent District,” “Lane of Lights and Laughter,” “Mazda Lane,” “Tungsten Territory” and “White Light Belt.”

Wikipedia: Diamond Jim Brady
James Buchanan Brady (August 12, 1856 – April 13, 1917), also known as Diamond Jim Brady, was an American businessman, financier, and philanthropist of the Gilded Age.
A gregarious man, Brady was a mainstay of Broadway nightlife. He often dined with popular society.

Wikipedia: Broadway (Manhattan)
Broadway (/ˈbrɔːdweɪ/) is a road in the U.S. state of New York. Broadway runs from State Street at Bowling Green for 13 mi (21 km) through the borough of Manhattan and 2 mi (3.2 km) through the Bronx, exiting north from New York City to run an additional 18 mi (29 km) through the Westchester County municipalities of Yonkers, Hastings-On-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, and Tarrytown, and terminating north of Sleepy Hollow.
Broadway in Manhattan is known widely as the heart of the American commercial theatrical industry, and is used as a metonym for it, as well as in the names of alternative theatrical ventures such as Off-Broadway and Off-off-Broadway.

18 April 1916, New York (NY) Times:
RESTAURATEURS DINE. Diamond Jim Brady Recites Verse at Annual Gathering. Broadway’s lights may have glowed with the usual brilliancy last night after the members of the New York Society of Restaurateurs and their friends—some 800 ...

20 May 1917, San Diego (CA) Union, pg. 7, col. 4:
THIS verse, Diamond Jim’s own tribute to Broadway, refutes the popular idea that his speech was always slangy and ungrammatical.

AH, BOYS, it’s the same old Broadway,
With its gayly glowing lights,
That the bards have sung since New York was young,
With the same seductive sights;
It’s the same White Way that your daddies knew
In their callow, youthful flights;
It’s the same Broadway for me and you,
That still keeps us up at nights.
It’s the same Broadway where the world parades
The same old circus and clowns;
The same Broadway where jays and jades
Come searching for gold and renown;
It’s the same Broadway where the nations play—
On the Street of the Midnight Sun.
So here’s a toast, and let me say,
“Old Broadway—there’s only one!”

Google Books
The Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalisms
By Robert Hendrickson
New York, NY: Facts on File
Pg. 675:
Street of the Midnight Sun A colorful old name for Broadway said to have been coined by Diamond Jim Brady and referring to the street’s myriad night lights.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Tuesday, April 21, 2015 • Permalink