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 November 18, 2005
Big Durian (summary)
"Big Durian" is sometimes said to be the nickname of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. However, it doesn't show up in most newspaper databases until the 2003 film, The Big Durian.

Wikipedia: Durian
The Durian (Durio) is a plant and genus of 25-30 species of tropical trees native to Southeast Asia. They are large trees, able to grow up to 40 meters in height. The leaves are evergreen, opposite, elliptic to oblong and 10-18 cm long. The flowers are produced in clusters of 3-30 together on large branches and the trunk, each flower having a calyx and 5 (rarely 4 or 6) petals.

The Big Durian
On the night of 18 October, 1987,
a soldier ran amok with an M16
in the area of Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur.

Due to the thorny circumstances of the time and place, his amok triggered a citywide panic and rumours of racial riots.

Why did he do it?
Why were Malaysians so jittery at the time?
And what happened next?

"The Big Durian" speaks to several Malaysians (some real, some fictional) to find out.

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Friday, November 18, 2005 Page R6
Special to The Globe and Mail

The notorious incident is the jumping-off point for The Big Durian (2003), Amir Muhammad's wry and revealing docu-fiction exploration of multicultural Malaysian society, in which characters (both real and fictional) recollect events surrounding that day and share thoughts about politics and ethnicity.

(Like the Big Apple, the Big Durian is a nickname for Kuala Lumpur; durian is the name for both the tree and its oval-shaped spiky fruit.)
Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesBig Durian (Kuala Lumpur nickname) • Friday, November 18, 2005 • Permalink