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 Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 18, 2021
“To the musicians playing it, New York is ‘The Big Apple‘” (New York Is book, 1959)

New York is (1959) is a book with text by Gilbert Millstein (1915-1999) and photos by Robert Frank (1924-2019). According to Biblio.com, the book was published by the New York Times as a promotional for potential advertisers of the newspaper.

One line of the book is:

“To the musicians playing it, New York is ‘The Big Apple’ and all other jobs elsewhere are just ‘gigs.’”

The book New York: True North (1964) with text by Gilbert Millstein and photos by New York Times photographer Sam Falk (1901-1991), is slightly different:

“To the musicians playing this (jazz—ed.) music, New York is The Apple, the world, and all other jobs elsewhere are just ‘gigs.’”


Wikipedia: Robert Frank
Robert Frank (November 9, 1924 – September 9, 2019) was a Swiss photographer and documentary filmmaker, who became an American binational. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider’s view of American society.

Biblio.com
New York Is
By Robert Frank

About This Item
New York: The New York Times, 1959. Boards. Near Fine. The 1959 1st (and only) edition of one of Robert Frank’s most elusive --and most fragile-- titles and his first published work after the triumph of “The Americans”. Published by the New York Times as a promotional for potential advertisers, “New York Is” instead became a Robert Frank vehicle and an important marker in post-War photography, essentialy offering Frank a mainstream outlet in which he was given free range to continue exploring the boundaries of a newly-emerging “documentary” photography.

Google Books
New York is.
Text by Gilbert Millstein
Photos by Robert Frank
New York, NY: New York Times Company
1959
Pg. ?:
To the musicians playing it, New York is “The Big Apple” and all other jobs elsewhere are just ‘gigs.’ The musician’s Big Apple is the lyricist’s “New York, New York, it’s a hell of a town.” In its faint, faint undertone of amused exasperation in the lyric (that of someone faced with the preposterous need to put calipers on the incalculable), there may be read as profound an expression as may be imagined of love and respect and awe.

Google Books
New York:
True North

Text by Gilbert Millstein
Photos by Sam Falk
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1964
Pg. 34:
To the musicians playing this (jazz—ed.) music, New York is The Apple, the world, and all other jobs elsewhere are just “gigs.”
Pg. 36:
(It is no coincidence that the sense of the title of an avant-garde off-Broadway play, The Apple, is the world.) The jazz musician’s Apple is the lyricist’s “New York, New York, it’s a hell of a town.” In its faint, faint undertone of amused exasperation in the lyric (that of someone faced with the preposterous need to put calipers on the incalculable), there may be read as profound an expression as may be imagined of love and respect and awe.

Twitter
Helen Trompeteler
@htrompeteler
Recently rediscovered photos by Robert Frank for the ad campaign and book “New York Is” (1959): http://nyti.ms/w35S4Z via
@nytimesphoto
6:17 AM · Feb 17, 2012·Twitter for Websites

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityThe Big Apple1940s-1950s: Assorted Big Apple citations • Friday, June 18, 2021 • Permalink