Pack your toothbrush and check out of the hotel, Fresh fans, because we’re heading back into the air and making a beeline for the next stop in the Ridonculous Race to Name the Place! If you’re just joining us, let me break it down: each week we reveal a background still from the Ridonculous Race and challenge you to figure out where Don has sent the contestants. Then, check back on Friday for the answer! And you might want to make sure your tray is in the upright and locked position for this because, you guys… today is Friday! And today’s location is New York City!
New Yorkers will tell you that their city is the greatest on Earth and they’ve got some impressive numbers to back that up! With a population of nearly 8.5 million living in less than eight hundred square kilometers it’s the most densely populated city in the United States. Situated on a major harbour and with a reputation for welcoming “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” it’s also one of the most diverse populations you’ll find: estimates put the number of different languages spoken in the Big Apple at about eight hundred as well!
Where does the nickname ‘the Big Apple’ come from anyway? In the 1920s New York City and the surrounding area were home to numerous horse racing tracks and ‘apple’ was slang for the prize given the winner. The rumor goes that jockeys in other cities like New Orleans coined the term for those big New York track prizes as ‘the Big Apple’, a turn of phrase taken up by New York Morning Telegraph writer John Fitzgerald.
It didn’t see wide use until the early 1930s, however, when jazz musicians began using it in much the same way to refer to New York City as the big time, the premier place to perform! The saying goes, “There are many apples on the tree, but only one Big Apple.” In 1971 a tourism campaign made the nickname official!
Keep checking back here at re:Fresh for more sneak previews for the Ridonculous Race as we get closer and closer to the premier!