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 August 10, 2006
“Keep Austin Weird”

“Keep Austin Weird” has appeared on bumper stickers since 2000. To some, the slogan promotes Austin’s character and local businesses. To others, it shows that Austin is more liberal than the rest of the state. Some people don’t care either way.
A counter-slogan that was briefly popular in 2004-2005 is “Make Austin Normal.”
The seemingly endless imitation Texas city slogans include “Keep San Antonio Lame,” “Keep Dallas Pretentious,” “Keep Dallas Plastic,” “Keep Dallas Douche,” “Keep Houston Dirty,” “Keep Denton Chido,” “Keep Abilene Boring,” “Keep College Station Normal,” “Keep Georgetown Normal,” “Keep Round Rock Mildly Unusual,” “Keep Wimberley Weirder,” “Keep Lubbock Flat” and “Keep Waco Wacko.”
“Keep Austin Weird” - Buy More Stuff
Bad Guys Get the Trademark
The folks at Absolutely Austin (a.k.a. Nobonz, Outhouse Design, Udamon, etc.), who make most of the T-shirts, hats, and some of the bumperstickers you see, got the trademark for “Keep Austin Weird” in October 2003. We realize most people don’t care, and for good reasons. We invented the phrase, did the original bumperstickers, and put up this website before they were out of their diapers, so forgive us for being a touch defensive and probably egotistic.
The real problem with this turn of events is that it points out the boring irony of the entire “movement” (to use a grandiose term). It was a small attempt to counter Austin’s descent into rampant commercialism and over-development. Absolutely Austin getting the trademark rather than letting this chicken run free is a sad proof that commercialism is winning. Most people probably think of Keep Austin Weird as a marketing slogan rather than our original attempt to highlight those aspects of our town that are really weird. Making money isn’t high on that list.  And they are enforcing the trademark, getting desist orders to folks who were making T-shirts.
Wikipedia: Keep Austin Weird
Keep Austin Weird is the slogan adopted by the Austin Business Alliance to promote small businesses in Austin, Texas. The phrase arose from an offhand remark by Red Wassenich in a phone call to a local radio station. He and his wife placed the slogan on bumper stickers, distributing them free to businesses in Austin; it was later trademarked by Outhouse Designs and used to market T-shirts, hats, and mugs.
The slogan refers to the numerous small businesses in Austin, and that it is these businesses that give Austin its unique cultural identity. A similar campaign continues in Santa Cruz, California.
The slogan has been seen by some as not only supporting local business but also Austin’s relatively liberal politics in a conservative state. For example, Austin’s county, Travis County, was the only county statewide to vote against a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in a 2005 referendum.
Google Groups: rec.motorcycles
Newsgroups: rec.motorcycles
From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (DwP)
Date: 2000/10/19
Subject: Re: The damndest thing…
a ‘keep austin WEIRD’ sticker?
New York (NY) Times
JOURNEYS; 36 Hours | Austin, Tex.
Published: March 28, 2003
TEXANS, especially sentimental University of Texas alumni, have long agonized over Austin’s soul. Does Austin remain easygoing and eccentric in its setting of rugged hills, trees and lakes? Are its politics still liberal and is its music still rowdy? Is it still a refuge for slackers who don’t want to grow up and move to Houston or Dallas? Now, after the influence and affluence of a high-tech boom in the 90’s, the agonizers wear T-shirts pleading, ‘‘Keep Austin Weird.’’ After all, Armadillo World Headquarters, the nightclub where cowboys and hippies gathered to create country rock, is buried under concrete; chilly Barton Springs Pool, the spring-fed pond where swimmers compare goose bumps, has been closed to test for toxins. But so what?
Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: caps and shirts, namely, t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts. FIRST USE: 20011001. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20011001
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 78128466
Filing Date May 14, 2002
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition November 5, 2002
Registration Number 2775504
Registration Date October 21, 2003
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Thursday, August 10, 2006 • Permalink

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