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.

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Lobster Trick (Lobster Shift) (10/20)
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“The more you eat, the more you want” (Cracker Jack slogan) (10/20)
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Entry from April 09, 2006
Urban Jungle; Concrete Jungle; Asphalt Jungle
New York City has been called an "urban jungle" and a "concrete jungle" and an "asphalt jungle." These terms have been applied to other cities as well.


The Asphalt Jungle was a 1950 film directed by John Huston. The tagline was "The City Under the City." The Criminal (or The Concrete Jungle) was a 1960 British film directed by Joseph Losey.

Newspapers.com
4 March 1924, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, "Just a Minute" by Clark McAdams, pg. 16, col. 5:
And yet the country cast as large percentage as the city vote.

Compare their arduous labor with the lily-fingered denizens of the asphalt jungles, the curled and perfumed darlings of the limousine districts, the adipose Apis of the market temples chauffeured to the ballot box.

Newspapers.com
5 July 1925, The Sunday Sun (Baltimore, MD), Photogravure Section, pt. 3, pg. 6, col. 1:
It's positively foolish to live in the "concrete jungles." Buy in Ten Hills and start LIVING.
TEN HILLS
"The Country Suburb"

14 March 1926, New York (NY) Times, pg. SM2:
WILD URBAN JUNGLE HAS
NO TERRORS FOR MAN
Humanity Adjusts Itself Quickly to the Cliff-Dwelling
Life Here and Learns to Survive Its Dangers

Newspapers.com
23 April 1937, Chester (PA) Times, "My New York" by James Aswell, pg. 30, col. 2:
NEW YORK, Sept. 23 -- I never knew the effects of living in Manhattan on the veritable children of the asphalt jungles until I carried a rather typical taxi driver and his wife to the country for several days.

9 April 1948, Washington (DC) Post, "Hellinger Mixed Real Manhattan" by Richard L. Coe, pg. 24:
THERE IS NOTHING quite like the affection of a transplanted New Yorker for his native concrete jungle. New Yorkers like to think of themselves -- especially once they get out of New York -- as hard-headed cynics who've seen everything and are impressed by nothing.

This conception, of course, is utterly false. WHen speaking of his towered isle the genus New Yorker drips honey. His eyes become misty, his words glow with childlike wonder, and though he may never have visited Ebbetts Field, the sight of the neighboring Bums in a newsreel will set him cheering.
(...)
To the Palace now has come a newspaperman-turned-producer's "tribute" to his native Manhattan -- "The Naked City." By a quirk of fate, Mark Hellinger died before his film was released and so the picture has an added sentimental aura. It's a good picture on the chase theme, with New York's Finest tracking down a murderer. You're bound to find it engrossing.

18 February 1949, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, "Looking at Hollywood" by Hedda Hopper, pg. A7:
Metro bought W. R. Burnett's novel, "The Asphalt Jungle," a police force story. The title implies that without law enforcement agencies to keep crime in check, big cities would be nothing but asphalt jungles.

21 August 1949, New York (NY) Times, pg. BR8:
THE ASPHALT JUNGLE. By W. R. Burnett. 271 pp. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $2.75.
(...)
Mr. Burnett's jungle is an unnamed one in the Midwest -- a city huge and sprawling, with very much a character of its own.

22 December 1954, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. B14:
"How did you -- a kid brought up in the concrete jungle of Manhattan -- develop such a love of farming?" I asked.

1 December 1957, New York (NY) Times, pg. 163:
West Side Story -- Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins have turned the Romeo and Juliet story into a tale of teen-age gang violence in the concrete jungle. "A profoundly moving show."

21 June 1964, Chicago (IL) Tribune, "The Traveler's New York" by H. P. Koenig, pg. G14:
Sylvan Retreat in Concrete Jungle:
That's Central Park

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Sunday, April 09, 2006 • Permalink