So why is New York City called The Big Apple?

by NYJ Team

As one of the greatest cities in the world, New York City has several interesting nicknames. Have you ever wondered why this metropolis is known as The Big Apple? The story behind it is surprising. This term was first used in the 1920’s by a sports journalist who worked for the New York Morning Telegraph. Since then, the phrase Big Apple has worked its way into mainstream culture on a global scale.

The Big Apple

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History and Facts

John J. Fitz Gerald was a sports columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph during the early 20th century. He first used the phrase Big Apple to describe the significance of New York City for horse racing. It’s widely believed that Fitz Gerald actually got the idea from African-American workers who cared for thoroughbred horses in stables. In the context of the 1920’s and racing, these workers most likely referred to any major city as the Big Apple.

This nickname for New York City was heavily promoted during the 1970’s as part of a marketing plan. Once bustling with activity, Midtown Manhattan fell into unrecognizable decline after World War II. Politicians and citizens of this great city had big plans to restore the glamour and glory of NYC.

The Big Apple was heavily incorporated into visual advertisements that appeared on billboards, plaques and other signs throughout the streets. Clothing, apparel, souvenirs and other items were also marked with The Big Apple logo. Today, it’s quite evident that the innovative marketing campaign has boomed business in Times Square and many other districts in Manhattan and other boroughs.

The Big Apple Comes to Life in the Streets

If you’d like to see symbols of The Big Apple come to life, head to Citi Field in Queens. The stadium of the New York Mets proudly presents the historic Home Run Apple, which used to pop up during the games. Today, you can take some cool selfies near this large artifact that solidifies the city’s nickname as The Big Apple.

The waterfront promenades of Manhattan’s West Village lead to the Apple, which is a bronze installation with a height of 9 feet. The base of this giant apple includes benches that may be used by the general public. As you walk the famous Broadway in Times Square, you might notice the Big Apple Corner on W 54th Street. In fact, Fitz Gerald lived most of his life on this street in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.

Madison Square | Surrounded by Historic & Contemporary Landmarks

by NYJ Team

Situated in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, Madison Square is a public space that’s surrounded by historic and contemporary skyscrapers. This famous square is cantered on Madison Square Park which is a 6.2-acre park that includes monuments of prominent politicians and other leaders. From parades and farmers markets, Madison Square is a popular gathering spot for local events.

Madison Square Park

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Architecture and Sightseeing

Constructed in 1909, the Metropolitan Life Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks at Madison Square. This 50-floor skyscraper has Italian Renaissance and Revival elements that were designed by Napoleon LeBrun and Sons.

In 2015, this historic property was renovated and transformed into a luxurious hotel. Designed by the acclaimed architect Cass Gilbert in 1928, the New York Life Building is another prominent building at this famous square. This 40-floor skyscraper has a Gothic Revival facade that’s been beautifully preserved over the decades. As the name implies, the skyscraper is primarily occupied by the New York Life Insurance Company. A golden pyramid on the rooftop is the signature feature of this elegant property.

In 2011, One Madison Park became the second tallest building at Madison Square. Home to hundreds of upscale residential units, this modern high-rise tower has an architectural height of more than 617 feet. The curtain-wall facade with glass and steel components has dramatically transformed the traditional atmosphere at this square.

Some other architectural landmarks in the neighborhood include the Madison Square Building, Victoria Building and Croisic Building. Built in the 1910’s, these properties were some of the tallest in Lower Manhattan for several years.

As you stroll or relax at Madison Square, you’ll also notice the iconic Flatiron Building. Wedged in between Broadway, 5th Avenue and West 23rd Street, this triangular edifice was erected in 1902. The 20-floor building was one of the tallest in New York City for multiple years. Today, the Renaissance Revival landmark has 22 levels that have been expanded to accommodate modern demands for commercial use. The Flatiron Building is one of the most photographed skyscrapers in NYC. Situated at the southwest corner of Madison Square, the Flatiron Plaza offers awesome views of this iron-shaped wonder.

Located at the northern end of the square, the National Museum of Mathematics is a kid-friendly museum that presents dozens of educational exhibits. Floor 0 includes the Twisted Thruway, Tracks of Galileo, Hoop Curves and other awesome installations. Floor 1 features the Hypercube Room, Harmony of the Spheres, Octahoron Room and other exhibits that will surely stimulate the minds of curious visitors. The Enigma Cafe is a great place to recharge and relax after learning about arithmetic, geometry and other advanced mathematical concepts.

Madison Square Park

The heart and soul of Madison Square is a 6.2-acre park that dates back to the 1840s. The green space includes impressive monuments of Chester A. Arthur, David Farragut, William Seward and Roscoe Conkling. After admiring the bronze figures of these prominent American statesmen, you can pay tribute to World War I soldiers at the Eternal Light Flagstaff.

Madison Square Park has plenty of wide and paved trails that are suitable for walking, jogging and bicycling. You’ll also find lots of comfortable benches under dense trees or near lush plants that beautify most of the grounds. Dozens of restaurants and cafes surround the Madison Square Park, so you won’t have to walk far to grab some treats and drinks.

Location and Directions

You can get to Madison Square by hopping on a New York City Subway train that stops at the underground station on East 23rd Street. The N, Q, R and W routes offer express and local services at this rail station. Carrying traffic heading uptown, Madison Avenue has several stops for Metropolitan Transportation (MTA) buses. Some of the buses also stop on various points along 5th Avenue, which runs downtown. Additionally, Madison Square is considered one of the most pedestrian and bicycle-friendly areas in Manhattan.

Trinity Church | Established in 1698 | A National Historic Landmark

by NYJ Team

Trinity Church, located at Broadway and Wall Street in lower Manhattan, is an active Episcopal parish with a long history. The third church to be built on the site, Trinity Church has been a beacon to ships arriving in New York Harbor as well as to area residents since it was established in 1698.

Trinity Church

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The original Trinity Church was built in 1698. At the time, it was one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan (hard to believe today) and the church’s spire acted as a beacon to ships arriving in New York Harbor. In 1709, the church began a charity school, whose first classes were held in the steeple of the church, and in 1754, a school of higher education, King’s College, was added. That school continues today as Columbia University.

The first Trinity Church was destroyed by a massive fire in 1776 that razed over 500 buildings in lower Manhattan. The second Trinity Church was completed in 1790 and counted George Washington among its parishioners. The second church was hastily constructed, however, and suffered extensive damage in a 1838 snowstorm. It was torn down in 1839.

The present Trinity Church was completed in 1846, designed by Richard Upjohn in the popular Gothic Revival style. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Trinity continues to be an active, vibrant parish.

St. Paul’s Chapel, a nearby part of Trinity Church is the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City. Miraculously, the chapel, located across from the World Trade Center site, escaped damage during the 9/11 attacks and served as a community shelter and source of inspiration for thousands of New Yorkers during that difficult time.

Trinity Church is affiliated with three historic burial sites. The burial ground at Wall Street and Broadway is the final resting place for Alexander Hamilton and his wife, inventor Robert Fulton, printer William Bradford, and several members of the Continental Congress. The Church also maintains a cemetery at Riverside Drive and e.155th St., on the former estate of James Audubon. Mr. Audubon is buried there as well as several members of the Astor family, including John Jacob Astor IV who died on the “Titanic,” and Clement Clarke Moore, the author of “The Night Before Christmas.” The third is connected to St. Paul’s Chapel and is home to many historic, pre-Revolutionary War graves.

Community Outreach

In addition to its school, Trinity Church operates a preschool and day care center; the John Heuss Center, a 24-hour drop-in center for homeless, mentally ill, and mentally-frail residents; and St. Margaret’s House, an apartment-style complex for elderly and mobility impaired residents.

Music at Trinity

Music is an important part of the ministry at Trinity Church. The church’s “Concerts at One,” held since 1962, have become a tradition in the financial district. In addition, Trinity’s Sunday service and musical selections are broadcast on New York’s WQXR 96.3 FM each week.

Visiting Trinity Church

Trinity Church welcomes visitors of all denominations. The church is within an easy walk of New York’s Financial District as well as other sites in lower Manhattan, including South Street Seaport. The church can also be easily reached via bus, subway, or taxi.

Trinity Church holds several worship services daily including at least one Eucharist service. Free tours of Trinity Church are offered each day at 2pm. Visitors may also explore the adjoining museum, which houses exhibits about the church’s long and illustrious history. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 11:45am and from 1pm to 3:45pm. Weekend hours are Saturday from 10am to 3:45pm and Sunday from 1pm to 3:45pm. The museum, too, is free.

Location: 74 Trinity Place, New York, New York
Phone: 212 602-0800

Click to visit Trinity Church official website.