[insider] NEW YORK #1- The Big Apple

Curators’ Corner

[insider] NEW YORK #1- The Big Apple

Welcome to [insider] NEW YORK! Each week we will share some interesting facts about New York City. Please feel free to submit your own facts about NYC and as always we love to hear your comments and suggestions!

Our first [insider] NEW YORK fact is, “Why is NYC referred to as The Big Apple?”

The history of the phrase “The Big Apple” is not clearly defined but according to The Museum of the City of New York, the phrase was used during the 1920s when stable workers would describe the horse racing scene in New York. The apple referred to the prizes being awarded for the races. Because the races were important, the rewards were substantial. John J. Fitzgerald used “Around the Big Apple” for his racing column in New York Morning Telegraph.

Later in the 1930s and 1940s jazz musicians used “Big Apple” to refer to the New York City jazz scene. An old saying in show business was, “there are many apples on the tree, but only one Big Apple” because New York City was (and still is) one of the premier places to perform.