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.

Recent entries:
“Big Apple” explained in a film (2010) (11/18)
“No matter how loud car alarms are, cars never seem to wake up” (11/18)
“If snow is made of water and water has no calories, how come snowmen are fat?” (11/18)
“Cooking is like golf. You slice it, chip it, and put it on some greens” (11/18)
“Big Apple” answer on “Final Jeopardy!” (2009) (11/18)
More new entries...

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Entry from August 21, 2016
“Y” (Chicago Municipal Device)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Wolf Point, Chicago
Wolf Point is the location at the confluence of the North, South and Main Branches of the Chicago River in the present day Near North Side, Loop, and Near West Side community areas of Chicago. This fork in the river is historically important in the development of early Chicago. This was the location of Chicago’s first three taverns, its first hotel, Sauganash Hotel, its first ferry, its first drug store, its first church, and the first bridges across the Chicago River. The name is said to possibly derive from a Native American Chief whose name translated to wolf, but alternate theories exist.
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The confluence of the three branches of the river near Wolf Point provided inspiration for Chicago’s Municipal Device, a Y-shaped, city identification symbol that can be seen on many buildings in Chicago, and on city owned vehicles.

Chicago (IL) Tribune
City Spurns Its Old Symbols
Has `I Will’ Become `i Want?’

November 09, 1999 | By Doug Bukowski. Special to the Tribune.
Fads come and go, like arty cows and splashy logos. But Chicago’s “Y” symbol, nearly 107 years old and counting, is the stuff of history (and at least one famous Loop theater marquee).
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Why a Y? Because the man who conceived it in 1892 said the letter’s arms represented the branches of the Chicago River.
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On the heels of the Inter-Ocean’s competition, the Chicago Tribune sponsored its own contest, seeking “municipal colors.” The winning entry came from Danish immigrant A.J. Roewad, who designed an emblem featuring an inverted Y.

“The three parts (of the design) indicate the three Chicago divisions—North, West and South—united with a white or silver band, the River,” Roewad wrote in the paper. The Y proved far more popular than his proposed color scheme of white and terra cotta, which were quickly dismissed as resembling “liver and lard.”
(...)
On April 5, 1917, the City Council passed—without dissent—an ordinance creating various civic symbols. The Y was designated “The Chicago Municipal Device,” “for use by the varied unofficial interests of the city and its people.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesWindy City, Second City, Chi-Town (Chicago nicknames) • Sunday, August 21, 2016 • Permalink