View Poll Results: What is the "Big Apple"?
Manhattan Island, New York County, "the City," or even a subset thereof 34 29.57%
All of NYC, the Five Boroughs 80 69.57%
Something in between 4 3.48%
Something else 3 2.61%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 115. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-12-2018, 02:18 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Is "The Big Apple" Manhattan or the Five Boroughs?

A question on usage. Is the "Big Apple" really just "the City," or is it all of NYC?

Last edited by foolsguinea; 01-12-2018 at 02:20 PM. Reason: sig was just in the way
  #2  
Old 01-12-2018, 02:21 PM
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All of New York City is the Big Apple.
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"Big Apple" is a nickname for New York City. It was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph. Its popularity since the 1970s is due in part to a promotional campaign by the New York tourist authorities.
Numerous examples that support this are given at the link.

ETA: I'm not sure how this is subject to anyone's opinion.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 01-12-2018 at 02:23 PM.
  #3  
Old 01-12-2018, 02:38 PM
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Its all of NYC, but when people think "New York City" most think Central Park West, Manhattan than think Kew Gardens, Queens.
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2018, 02:54 PM
Corry El Corry El is offline
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Nobody locally ever distinguishes Manhattan from the rest of NY by 'Big Apple'; in fact nobody locally uses that nickname outside the tourism industry or maybe occasionally politicians, AFAIK. People from other places might occasionally use the nickname but pay typically very little attention to the Outer Boroughs whether or not they are considered part of it. So there's your answer I think.

Additionally you could have a poll on whether 'NYC' is the appropriate abbreviation. The municipality's name is 'The City of New York', like the official name of almost every other city is 'City of'. The capital of OK's name is 'Oklahoma City', like the FL town homonymous with the capital of Panama, Panama City. Those are different. There's no reason to append 'C' after NY unless there's genuine confusion whether one is referring to state or city, and you could as easily say NYS to disambiguate. You definitely don't compare London and New York *City* or 'NYC' as financial centers, it's London and New York.

'NYC' is, like the Big Apple a term mainly used by American non-NY'ers although now, annoyingly, it's sometimes heard in NY too. I think one reason is out of town TV news people who make it to the big leagues in NY based local or national programs bring it with them.

Last edited by Corry El; 01-12-2018 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:55 PM
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This appears to be a factual question, so I'm moving it to General Questions.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:23 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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I'm not a New Yorker, but it's always meant the whole of New York City, all five boroughs, to me. After all, Shea Stadium (and now Citi Field) -- which is in Queens --has the "Home Run Apple," which is a big apple that is raised when a Met homers, and obviously a play on the city's nickname.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Spice Weasel View Post
Moderating

This appears to be a factual question, so I'm moving it to General Questions.
Addendum: I just realized this was a poll. I brought it to the attention of GQ mods and they may move it back at their own discretion. Apologies for any unnecessary disruption.
  #8  
Old 01-12-2018, 03:46 PM
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Addendum: "The Big Apple" is an apple-ation that fell into disuse a long time ago, at least among NYC residents.

When I was growing up in an outer borough, we referred to trips to Manhattan as "going in to the city".
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:32 PM
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Moved back to IMHO.

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Old 01-12-2018, 05:04 PM
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I used to live in Manhattan, KS, which bills itself as "The Little Apple". Perhaps that's relevant.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find many people who don't live in or study the city that could even tell you the difference between Manhattan proper and New York as a whole. In fact, I suspect there are still plenty of people who have trouble explaining the difference between New York State and New York City.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Spice Weasel View Post
Addendum: I just realized this was a poll. I brought it to the attention of GQ mods and they may move it back at their own discretion. Apologies for any unnecessary disruption.
A little tarnish on those sparkly jackboots?
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:07 PM
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:17 PM
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I grew up in Queens, and going to the city meant taking the 7 train into Manhattan. I'd suspect that 90% of people outside New York using the term are not thinking about Staten Island.
The term existed when I lived there, but no one I knew used it.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:59 PM
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I grew up in Queens, and going to the city meant taking the 7 train into Manhattan. I'd suspect that 90% of people outside New York using the term are not thinking about Staten Island.
The term existed when I lived there, but no one I knew used it.
I'd say a similar % of people INSIDE of New York are not thinking about Staten Island either.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:35 PM
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I grew up in Queens and didn't vote, because nobody in New York City ever used the term "Big Apple."

But I do know that to people in Brooklyn and Queens, Manhattan is "The City."

Last edited by astorian; 01-12-2018 at 10:36 PM.
  #16  
Old 01-13-2018, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
I'd say a similar % of people INSIDE of New York are not thinking about Staten Island either.
Hey, the ferry ride is very nice.
When I was in the Boy Scouts there was a camping site there.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:13 AM
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Hey, the ferry ride is very nice.
When I was in the Boy Scouts there was a camping site there.
Camp Pouch! I learned many of my favorite dirty jokes there.
  #18  
Old 01-13-2018, 12:32 AM
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I'm wondering if the way I labeled the first choice in the poll is confusing. I mean, I know that "the City" is basically Manhattan, but maybe some posters didn't get that?

OK, I'm going to conclude, especially given the "Home Run Apple" at Shea, that "the Big Apple" is a name for the whole shebang. Thanks, guys!
  #19  
Old 01-13-2018, 01:02 PM
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It's all five boroughs. But my policy is never voting in public polls.
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  #20  
Old 01-13-2018, 01:30 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by astorian View Post
I grew up in Queens and didn't vote, because nobody in New York City ever used the term "Big Apple."
Of course, the term was coined or at least first popularly used in New York in the 20s, re-popularized in the 70s by the board of tourism, and there's a slew of businesses with "Big Apple" in their name in New York City, but nobody in NYC ever used the term "Big Apple."

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-13-2018 at 01:31 PM.
  #21  
Old 01-13-2018, 01:41 PM
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The Big Apple is used by people not living in it, but it means all of the City. Not only Manhattan, but the Bronx Zoo, The Statue of Liberty, Staten Island Ferry, Yankee Stadium, Coney Island, The World's Fair site, and even Citifield.
  #22  
Old 01-13-2018, 01:50 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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When I had friends who lived in NYC outside of Manhattan, the thing I noticed was that, while almost all of them lived in Queens, none of them said they lived in Queens. They lived in Woodside or Astoria or Ozone Park.

Coming from southern California, I assumed all of these were actual cities, like Anaheim or Westminster or Cucamonga. But I think they are neighborhoods. I'm still not sure. But if you said "Big Apple" to me I would think Manhattan, Times Square, Greenwich Village, Central Park--not Queens. At least, that would be my first thought.
  #23  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Of course, the term was coined or at least first popularly used in New York in the 20s, re-popularized in the 70s by the board of tourism, and there's a slew of businesses with "Big Apple" in their name in New York City, but nobody in NYC ever used the term "Big Apple."
Those are for the tourists. New Yorkers know the term exists, we just never use it.
  #24  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
When I had friends who lived in NYC outside of Manhattan, the thing I noticed was that, while almost all of them lived in Queens, none of them said they lived in Queens. They lived in Woodside or Astoria or Ozone Park.

Coming from southern California, I assumed all of these were actual cities, like Anaheim or Westminster or Cucamonga. But I think they are neighborhoods. I'm still not sure. But if you said "Big Apple" to me I would think Manhattan, Times Square, Greenwich Village, Central Park--not Queens. At least, that would be my first thought.
One reason is that mailing addresses use neighborhoods. When I was growing up mail to us was addressed "Bayside, NY 11364." Not Queens, not New York. Mail addressed to New York, New York went to Manhattan.

I suspect some of these places were independent entities before New York swallowed them up. Flushing was pre-Revolutionary - John Peter Zenger worked there. New Jersey also had lots of names of towns that no longer really existed.
The Martians landed in one in the Orson Welles radio play.
My town in the Bay Area is made up of 5 old towns that merged about 100 years ago. They keep their identity, but are not political entities.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:11 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Those are for the tourists. New Yorkers know the term exists, we just never use it.
Yes, all those businesses catering to tourists like barber shops, neighborhood grocery stores, meat markets, and the such (like the BBQ and fireplace joint in East Elmhurst, Queens, NY. Definitely "for the tourists.") ... Look, I don't generally refer to Chicago as "The Windy City," either, but, when a nickname is needed, it is one of several used. (Samt with "The Big Apple." People outside of New York don't generally call it "The Big Apple" unless they're fishing for a nickname for whatever reason. The same reason I have to call Chicago "The Windy City" is the same reason I'd have to refer to NYC as "The Big Apple." Being a denizen of it or not has nothing to do with it.) Similarly, some folks claim that "only tourists" call this city Chitown, and that's just a total load of horseshit, too.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-13-2018 at 03:13 PM.
  #26  
Old 01-14-2018, 01:15 PM
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One reason is that mailing addresses use neighborhoods. When I was growing up mail to us was addressed "Bayside, NY 11364." Not Queens, not New York. Mail addressed to New York, New York went to Manhattan.

I suspect some of these places were independent entities before New York swallowed them up. Flushing was pre-Revolutionary - John Peter Zenger worked there.
To clarify, by tradition the post office used old municipality names in *Queens*. Some people use neighborhood names now on addresses which weren't used by the USPS pre-zip code. Since zip code, the letter will get there if the zip code is correct whether you put 'Queens', as some businesses in certain parts of Queens give their addresses, Fresh Meadows, as would now be the custom there, or Flushing, which is what used to be correct in Fresh Meadows back when it made any difference what you put. Postal addresses in all the other Boroughs use the borough (Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island) or county (New York ie Manhattan) name.

And I'm not sure people from Queens answer where they are from so differently. I'm originally from Fresh Meadows but very few non-NY'ers have ever heard of that so I'd say Queens, maybe northern Queens, maybe 'near Flushing' for people of some but limited familiarity. It would depend on the situation. And people from various Brooklyn neighborhoods likewise might give their neighborhood or not depending on the situation. Another thing is that neighborhood names have proliferated in recent decades. Although, it's probably true Brooklyn has more of a left over unified identity as a city itself prior to 1898, when Queens was still a rural or at most suburban area. But further back the major Brooklyn neighborhoods were towns in rural Kings Co., and 'Brooklyn' meant what's now Downtown Brooklyn.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:33 PM
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Moved back to IMHO.

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This Big Apple thread is a Hot Potato.
  #28  
Old 01-14-2018, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Yes, all those businesses catering to tourists like barber shops, neighborhood grocery stores, meat markets, and the such (like the BBQ and fireplace joint in East Elmhurst, Queens, NY. Definitely "for the tourists.") ... Look, I don't generally refer to Chicago as "The Windy City," either, but, when a nickname is needed, it is one of several used. (Samt with "The Big Apple." People outside of New York don't generally call it "The Big Apple" unless they're fishing for a nickname for whatever reason. The same reason I have to call Chicago "The Windy City" is the same reason I'd have to refer to NYC as "The Big Apple." Being a denizen of it or not has nothing to do with it.) Similarly, some folks claim that "only tourists" call this city Chitown, and that's just a total load of horseshit, too.
I'm not sure that trade names count. There is a chain out here called Big Apple bagels - you don't want to know about their bagels. Do people use it? No one ever did when I was growing up. Nor were there any Big Apple anythings.

As for city names, only tourists use "Frisco" for San Francisco. You'll get a stinky eye from natives if you use that name. I don't think I've heard any Bay Area resident use Frisco in the 20 years I've been out here.
  #29  
Old 01-14-2018, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Corry El View Post

And I'm not sure people from Queens answer where they are from so differently. I'm originally from Fresh Meadows but very few non-NY'ers have ever heard of that so I'd say Queens, maybe northern Queens, maybe 'near Flushing' for people of some but limited familiarity. It would depend on the situation. And people from various Brooklyn neighborhoods likewise might give their neighborhood or not depending on the situation. Another thing is that neighborhood names have proliferated in recent decades. Although, it's probably true Brooklyn has more of a left over unified identity as a city itself prior to 1898, when Queens was still a rural or at most suburban area. But further back the major Brooklyn neighborhoods were towns in rural Kings Co., and 'Brooklyn' meant what's now Downtown Brooklyn.
I went to Francis Lewis High School, so I sure as hell know where Fresh Meadows is. I think I went there more often than I went to Bell Blvd. Do you use Fresh Meadows in your address? Francis Lewis, I know, is officially Flushing, but maybe the border is on the LIE.
Brooklyn has neighborhoods, sure, so does Manhattan. But only in Queens was our neighborhood drilled into us thanks to the post office. Zip codes didn't change that - I'm old enough to remember the pre-Zip Code years quite well.
We had zones, which became the last two digits of our zip code.

Last edited by Voyager; 01-14-2018 at 09:54 PM.
  #30  
Old 01-15-2018, 01:18 PM
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Brooklyn has neighborhoods, sure, so does Manhattan. But only in Queens was our neighborhood drilled into us thanks to the post office. Zip codes didn't change that - I'm old enough to remember the pre-Zip Code years quite well.
We had zones, which became the last two digits of our zip code.
The zones were often based on the old Queens towns, not the modern neighborhood names. Addresses in Fresh Meadows, again as example, have zip codes 11365 or 11366. Prior to that it was Flushing 65 and Flushing 66, not "Fresh Meadows 65". The use of strictly neighborhood names in addresses dates from the adoption of zip codes...which made the names superfluous.

Also the neighborhood names the USPS attaches to Queens zip codes were those recognized by them in the 1960's. So for example the Utopia neighborhood next to Fresh Meadows is part of a Fresh Meadows zip code per USPS. Likewise some zips just west of there are 'Flushing, NY' per USPS, even south of the LIE, in what's now known as Pomonok as neighborhood name.

The current neighborhood names in Queens were not drilled in by the post office. The origin of less a single Queens identity v Brooklyn is that Queens was a collection of suburban/rural towns when Brooklyn had become a single city.

But again you can put whatever you want , NY on letters to addresses in Queens and they will arrive if the zip code is correct.
  #31  
Old 01-15-2018, 02:15 PM
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But again you can put whatever you want , NY on letters to addresses in Queens and they will arrive if the zip code is correct.
Thanks. I never had reason to send a letter to Fresh Meadows.
I know about the zip codes. When I was in college we competed as to who could get a letter to ourselves through with the strangest looking address. We never, ever used Cambridge (our fair city) MA.
  #32  
Old 01-16-2018, 08:30 AM
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I figure the term applies to all five boroughs but when I hear the term I think of Manhatten, specifically Times Square.
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