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 March 14, 2010
City of Refined Oil and Crude People (Houston nickname)

Houston is home to many oil companies. The nickname “City of Refined Oil and Crude People’ (a pun on “crude oil” and “refined people”) has been used by Houston (TX) Press writer John Nova Lomax in November 2006 and March 2010.
In January 2008, one website stated that New Jersey, “as the old adage goes, is the land of refined oil and crude people.” However, no other citations of either the New Jersey or the Houston usages have been found.
Wikipedia: Houston
Houston (pronounced /ˈhjuːstən/) is the fourth-largest city in the United States and the largest city in the state of Texas. As of the 2008 U.S. Census estimate, the city had a population of 2.2 million within an area of 600 square miles (1,600 km2). Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area—the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population over 5.7 million.
Houston (TX) Press
Fight the Power
Could there be a fun, pro-music political action committee in Houston? Why the hell not?

By John Nova Lomax Thursday, Nov 16 2006
When you get right down to it, Houston is really just all about one thing—The Car. Every day, we seem more and more like a city fit only for refined oil and crude people. And why not? Our city’s economic engine is oil, so life here in this sprawling concrete bungle seems like nothing so much as a nonstop orgy of petroleum consumption.
The New Internationalism
Monday, January 21, 2008
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Extended air travel is often nauseating, especially if you can’t sleep through it. To make matters worse, I changed planes in New Jersey. New Jersey, as the old adage goes, is the land of refined oil and crude people.
Houston (TX) Press
Houston 101: Yet Another New Nickname For The Bayou City, Er, Space City, Um, H-Town…
By John Nova Lomax, Tuesday, Mar. 9 2010 @ 8:01AM
Unlike, say, the Big Apple or the Eternal City, Houston has never quite settled on one definitive nickname. A Canadian newspaper has just announced that we have a new one, but more on that in a second…
And now we are supposedly “the Petro Metro.”
No less an authority than newly-elected mayor Annise Parker says so:
“We are the Petro Metro but we are also a car city,” she said last month, in remarks introducing Houston’s seemingly-unlikely attempts to spearhead the electric car industry.

Electric cars? If those things take off too well, that would kill our own favorite local nickname: “The City of Refined Oil and Crude People.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Sunday, March 14, 2010 • Permalink

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