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 05, 2012
Great Mistake of 1898 (Brooklyn view of New York City unification)

New York City was consolidated in 1898; Brooklyn went from a city to just one of five boroughs. Many Brooklynities were against the consolidation and called it the “Great Mistake of 1898.”
“Horrible Mistake of 1898” was cited in print in March 1983 and “Great Mistake of 1898” was cited in print in May 1983.
Wikipedia: History of Brooklyn
The history of Brooklyn, a present-day borough of New York City, spans more than 350 years. The settlement began in the 17th century as the small Dutch-founded town of “Breuckelen” on the East River shore of Long Island, grew to be a sizable city in the 19th century, and was consolidated in 1898 with the New York City (then confined to Manhattan and part of The Bronx), the remaining rural areas of Kings County, and the largely rural areas of Queens and Staten Island, to form the modern New York City.
Kings County retained its status as one of New York State’s counties, but the loss of Brooklyn’s separate identity as a city was met with consternation by some residents at the time. The merger was called the “Great Mistake of 1898” by many newspapers of the day, and the phrase still denotes Brooklyn pride among old-time Brooklynites.
20 March 1983, Los Angeles (CA) Times, pg. H31:
The people of Brooklyn are beginning to forgive them, even as they have forgiven “The Horrible Mistake of 1898,” when Brooklyn gave up city status to become a borough.
1 May 1983, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Surviving the Great Mistake: Brooklyn’s unique character wins in a walk; The unique character of Brooklyn intact despite the Great Mistake of ‘98” by L. J. Davis, pg. l11:
HOW DOES ONE (take?—ed.) the bemused, not to say ambivalent emotions that have stirred beneath the haircuts of the sons of Brooklyn ever since their beloved city was forcibly annexed by an alien power called Greater New York, in a catastrophe that is still referred to locally as the Great Mistake of 1898?
New York (NY) Daily News
For Brooklyn, A Match Made In Heaven
Wednesday, January 07, 1998
I DON’T THINK the marriage between Brooklyn and Manhattan in 1898 was a mistake.

On the 100th anniversary, some historians still refer to that merger as The Great Mistake of ‘98.
Curbed NY
‘The Great Mistake of 1898’ and Other Grudges
Friday, June 30, 2006, by Jeremy
Time Out New York‘s rundown of 50 of the city’s top rivalries is chock full of nutty dichotomies of potential interest to the Curbed reader, starting with ol’ predictable No. 1: Manhattan vs. Brooklyn (“The potential for a turf war lurks at any gathering that requires one group to schlep to the other’s home ground.”)
Google Books
Fodor’s New York City 2012
By Fodor’s
New York, NY: Random House, Inc.
Pg. 194:
The marriage of the two cities took effect in 1898, much to the objection of Brooklynites, as it was widely dubbed, “the great mistake of 1898.“

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Wednesday, September 05, 2012 • Permalink

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