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 September 24, 2016
Garden Spot of the World (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Greenpoint—and sometimes all Brooklyn itself—has been called the “Garden Spot of the World.” Bermuda was the “Garden Spot of the World” in ads in the 1910s. Long Island was called the “Garden Spot of the Earth” in 1914.
In September 1922, Peter J. McGuinness (1888-1948), a Greenpoint alderman, went before the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and said:
“I am here for Greenpoint, and in my opinion Greenpoint is the garden spot of heaven!”
It was often said that McGuinness called it, in true “Brooklynese” dialect, “Greenpernt, the garden spot of the univoise,” “Garden Spot of the World” is most frequently used, instead of “heaven” and “universe.”
Wikipedia: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Greenpoint is the northernmost neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, in the U.S. state of New York. It is bordered on the southwest by Williamsburg at the Bushwick inlet, on the southeast by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and East Williamsburg, on the north by Newtown Creek and Long Island City, Queens at the Pulaski Bridge, and on the west by the East River.
Originally farmland – many of the farm owners’ family names, such as Meserole and Calyer, are current street names – the residential core of Greenpoint was built on parcels divided during the 19th century, with rope factories and lumber yards lining the East River to the west, while the northeastern section along the Newtown Creek through East Williamsburg became an industrial maritime area. It has a large Polish immigrant and Polish-American community and has often been referred to as “Little Poland.”
26 July 1913, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, pg. 9, col. 3 ad:
“The Garden Spot of the World.”
1 June 1914, Brooklyn (MY) Daily Eagle, pg. 4, col. 7:
Pleasure Seekers Find Happiness in “The Garden Spot of the Earth.”
28 June 1914, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, “Along the Coast of Massachusetts,” sec. 2, pg. 2, col. 5:
Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. June 27.—This last week of June is opening-up week at this island, the “garden spot of the North Atlantic.”
18 October 1915, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, pg. 13, col. 5 classified ad:
6 May 1922, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, pg. 5, col. 6 ad:
The Garden Spot of Brooklyn
Bushwick Avenue and Conway Street
27 September 1922, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, “Hylan Sings Praise of City Ownership at Transit Hearing,” pg. 4, col. 2:
Alderman Peter J. McGuinness of Greenpoint was far and away the most popular speaker in the galaxy of orators that enthusiastically supported the Mayor’s subway plan, to judge by the applause that greeted his peroration in which he fervently expressed hope that some man of the caliber of our Mayor will be nominated and elected Governor by the Democratic convention.
It should be stated, however, that McGuinness had brought about 300 Greenpointers with him who made the welkin ring with their cheers when the Alderman shouted:
“I am here for Greenpoint, and in my opinion Greenpoint is the garden spot of heaven!”
Chronicling America
27 September 1922, New York (NY) Tribune, “Hylan’s Transit Plans Favored In Brooklyn,” pg. 7, col. 1:
Alderman Peter McGuinness then took the floor, lauding the Mayor in superlative terms, and concluding with this tribute to the Greenpoint district, which he represents: “Greenpoint, Mr. Mayor and members of the Board of Estimate, is the garden spot of heaven.”
14 March 1927, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, “McGuinness Offers $100 Bet He’s No Bettor.” pg. 11, col. 2:
He (Peter J. McGuinness—ed.) perceived at once, he said, that the intruders bore crowbars and at the same time he saw that his own followers were restive and thinking seriously of giving these strangers what is known in that “Garden Spot of America” as the bum’s rush.
3 April 1928, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, “Greenpoint Primary Fight Closes Without a Blow: McGuinness, McQuade, Quinn End the Leadership Campaign,” pg. 10, col. 6:
Alderman Peter J. McGuinness, the present Democratic leader of the district, coiner of the phrase “Garden Spot of the World,” to describe Greenpoint, is opposed by Register James A. McQuade and William E. Quinn.
Google News Archive
27 February 1947, Toledo (OH) Blade, “Brag-Brooklyn Glory Band Forms,” pg. 21, col. 1:
NEW YORK, Feb. 27 (INS)—A new organization known as the FFB First Families of Brooklyn appeared today.
Despite its impressive name, the organization is open to all citizens of Brooklyn who want to join in the “glorification of Brooklyn.” The organization has applied for incorporation papers describing Brooklyn as the “garden spot of the world, the greatest community to lie in, do business in, to love in, to die in.”
Google Books
New York:
The World’s Capital City: Its Development and Contributions to Progress

By Cleveland Rodgers and Rebecca Browning Rankin
New York, NY: Harper
Pg. 20:
The old cities of Brooklyn and Williamsburg and the town of Bushwick were consolidated in 1854. Included in this combination were Greenpoint, made famous as the “Garden Spot of the World” by Pete McGuinness, its local political boss, and all the East River waterfront from Wallabout Bay to Newtown Creek.
Google News Archive
9 October 1949, Sunday Herald (Bridgeport, CT), “Trees Grow in Bridgeport, But Hearts in Brooklyn,” pg. 35, col. 1:
There aren’t many around Bridgeport, Brooklyn being the Garden Spot of the Earth, but the hardy settlers who have migrated here to avoid Bronx cheers and Yankee persecution readily admit their allegiance to a foreign powerhouse.
Google News Archive
15 July 1974, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “Dialect,” pg. 4-D, cols. 2-3:
“Just as the best French is spoken in Paris, or the best Spanish is spoken in Castille,” Griffith said, “so the best Brooklynese was spoken in Greenpoint.” It was Greenpoint that Pete McGuinness, a former assistant commissioner of public works, boasted was the garden spot of america, “if not the univoice.”
OCLC WorldCat record
Historical map of Green Point : garden spot of the world
Author: Wm Mutell; Mahon Publishing.
Publisher: [New York?] : Mahon Pub., ©1975.
Edition/Format:   Map : English
Google Books
When Brooklyn Was the World, 1920-1957
By Elliot Willensky
New York, NY: Harmony Books
Pg. 64:
Beyond lay the community of Greenpoint and its colorful political leader and promoter, Peter J. McGuinness. At various times an alderman, Kings County sheriff and register, and Assistant Commissioner of Brooklyn Borough Works. (...) It was he who, in 1947, first referred to his beloved community as “Greenpernt, the garden spot of the univoise,” a title that has since stuck.
OCLC WorldCat record
The Garden spot of the world : Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in transit, traffic, flow
Author: Martha Rosler; Max Becker; Electronic Arts Intermix (Organization)
Publisher: [New York] : Electronic Arts Intermix, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   VHS video : VHS tape : NTSC color broadcast system   Visual material : English
OCLC WorldCat record
Greetings from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York : the garden spot of the universe
Author: Brooklyn Public Library.
Publisher: Brooklyn, N.Y. : Brooklyn Public Library, ©2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
Google Books
Brooklyn By Name:
How the Neighborhoods, Streets, Parks, Bridges, and More Got THeir Names

By Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss
New York, NY: NYU Press
Pg. 25:
McGuinness Boulevard. Greenpoint Democratic leader Peter J. McGuinness (1888-1948) was often called the “First Citizen of Greenpoint” and was a tireless advocate of what he saw as the beauties of the neighborhood. McGuinness called the industrial area, apparently without irony, the “Garden Spot of the Universe.”
Young Ideas
@brianstelter no comparison on a great early spring day? As Art Carney’s Ed Norton once said: “the garden spot of the woild Brooklyn USA!”
6:50 PM - 14 Apr 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • Saturday, September 24, 2016 • Permalink

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