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 January 29, 2006
Bedpan Alley (Hospital Row or Hospital Land)
The East Side and the West Side of Manhattan have rows of hospital buildings. They are called "Bedpan Alley" (similar-sounding to "Tin Pan Alley") or "Hospital Row" or "Hospital Land."

"Bedpan Alley" is in the Historical Dictionary of American SlangService Slang, where the term means "the hospital" itself.

"Bedpan Alley," York Avenue and East 68th Street, Manhattan, Wednesday, August 20, 1980, 11:00 a.m.

I am at my grandfather's bedside at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.

In a speech to a largely receptive audience composed primarily of health care workers and administrators at Cornell Medical Center -- in the center of "bedpan alley" on Manhattan's Upper East Side -- the Democratic senator from New York said her plan would improve the nation's "fragmented, redundant, inefficient, bureaucratic" health care network.

People travel to the Manhattan VA Hospital from as far away as Philadelphia, because of the high quality of care it provides. The VA Hospital is also located in an area known as "bedpan alley," which has a concentration of hospitals on the East Side of Manhattan.

My focus is on what they call "Bedpan Alley". This is where all of the very well known hospitals of New York reside on First Avenue.

(Google Groups)
Mandelbaum Episode...
... BTW, I'm not in the medical field. My only connection to medicine is that I happen to live near "bedpan alley" in Manhattan. ---Alvin H. Nichter
alt.tv.seinfeld - Mar 19 1997, 12:58 pm by Alvin Nichter - 2 messages - 2 authors

(Google Groups)
The Lost Weekend
You entered the conversation talking about walking down a street with a friend who said, "That's where they filmed X". I assumed you meant Bedpan Alley in NYC ...
bit.listserv.words-l - Dec 28 1995, 3:29 am by Brad Grissom - 51 messages - 14 authors

21 August 1971, New York Times, pg. 30:
The residents, Mr. Worthy said, now refer to their area as "Bedpan Alley." He said eight of the 11 hospitals south of 42d Street are in this Gramercy-Stuyvesant-Bellevue area.

24 January 1972, New York Times, pg. 35:
Neighbors of "bedpan alley" -- their name for the string of hoispital complexes in lower Manhattan -- are banding together to coordinate campaigns against the plans of the hospitals to demolish apartment buildings for staff housing projects and parking lots.

19 January 1992, New York Times, "If You're Thinking of Living in: Kips Bay" by Rosalie R. Radomsky, pg. R7:
That view vanished as First Avenue emerged as Hospital Row in the 1950's. The still-expanding facilities include the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital Center and New York University Medical Center.

8 May 1994, New York Times, pg CY6:
Together with downtown medical complexes Bellevue and Beth Israel, the Upper East Side cluster forms a corridor known as Hospital Row or Bedpan Alley.

Published: January 29, 2006
Hospital Land: no term better captures the vast medical domain that rises along the eastern edge of Manhattan, lying parallel to the Upper East Side but not quite of it. There, within an area running roughly from 62nd to 72nd Streets, and from First Avenue to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, are gathered five world-renowned institutions — NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and the Hospital for Special Surgery — all devoted to the study and practice of healing.

Each of the five is a formidable entity in its own right; collectively, they cover more than 20 contiguous blocks, occupy many millions of square feet of real estate, and compose one of the most remarkable medical communities in the world.

To enter the blocks of "bedpan alley," as the area is locally known, is to discover a part of the city where ambulettes are as common as taxis, wheelchairs are more common than strollers, and the usual New York fashion palette of grays and blacks is overwhelmed by the sky-blues and aqua-greens of hospital scrubs. Even the trash is a little different here: a surgical cap tossed into a tangle of ivy, a latex glove draped neatly over a bike rack.

Posted by Barry Popik
Streets • Sunday, January 29, 2006 • Permalink

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