Why Is New York City Called The Big Apple?

111This is one of the most commonly asked questions, why is New York City called the big apple? Well, NY has been called so many things-“Gotham”, “The Great American Melting Pot”, “The City that Never Sleeps”-but its most famous nickname know to millions, without any doubt, is “The Big Apple”.

But how did this ubiquitous moniker come from? While there’s many apples tress around the city, but they’re not in a notable quantity. In fact, there are more pigeons than apples in New York, but still we don’t call it the “Big Pigeon”. As with anything New York, there are many contradictions and opinions.

So, why is New York City called the big apple? Let’s have a close look at few reasons…….

There are so many different ideas on why this city came to be known as “The Big Apple”. Many believe it comes from some well-to-do families that sold apples on the city’s streets to make ends meet during the Great Depression. According to another account, this particular term comes from Eve, the famous brothel madam of nineteenth century whose girls were usually referred by many as her “Big Apples”. According to some sources, this nickname comes from a catchphrase used by John. J. Fitz Gerald, a sports writer with New York Morning Telegraph in the early 1920’s in his famous horse racing column “Around the Big Apple”.

At that time, the trainers and jockeys of smaller horses wanted to make a “Big Apple”, the name for big money prizes for big races in and around the city. In fact, Fitz Gerald first heard this term on New York’s racetracks during a conversation between two African-American stable hands at famous New Orleans Fair Grounds and nabbed the colloquialism for his column, where it took off!

Catching On!

midtown_skyline_new_york_wallpaperOnce this term entered the vocabularies of society up north, its popularity soared and started spreading outside of the horseracing context, and soon everything from hit songs and dances and nightclubs in Harlem were named after “The Big Apple.” Most notably, New York jazz musicians in the 1920s, whose habits of using the nickname to reference their hometown in their songs, made the name “The Big Apple” spread outside the northeast.

“The Big Apple” remained the nickname for New York City throughout the mid-20’th century until it was officially adopted by the city in the 1970s. The New York Convention and Visitors Bureau was of the view that using this moniker would definitely brighten the image of a crime-ridden and economically downtrodden city in decline and would help revive the tourist economy of the city.

A popular 1971 campaign to increase tourist inflow to New York City adopted the Big Apple as an officially recognized reference to city. This campaign featured red apples in an effort to lure more visitors to NYC. At that time it was hoped that red apples would serve as a cheery and bright image of the New York City, in contrast to its earlier image as a dangerous and dark city. Since those days, the New York City is officially known as The Big Apple.

In 1997, Mayor Rudy Giuliani decided to give Fitz Gerald his due, and signed a legislation naming the corner where he and his family lived at the West 54’th Street and Broadway as the “Big Apple Corner”.

The article is written by professional photographer Houmaan Photography.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Houston And Why?

035-HOU_HWY_07_04_OilThe massive metropolis of Houston is almost twice the size of the entire state of Rhode Island, and is spread across the Gulf Coast plain of East Texas from its busy port. Even with its heavy urban concentration, Houston is lush and green, characterized by a belt of forest coming down from the north, and bayous and marshlands lined with beautiful cypress trees in southern reaches.

The city has been named by Sam Houston, the former Republic of Texas president. It has a hot and humid climate, but life is more bearable in its close-packed downtown area with city center’s seven mile pedestrian tunnel system full of shops and restaurants. Unlike other cities, downtown Houston has become a hub or residential development, so it remains bustling and busy long after dark.

Houston, the Texas largest city, is not only a sought after tourist destination, but is also a top business destinations for millions across the globe. Gas and oil, computer manufacture, and a large number of medical institutions now account for a much more economic activity, but there are also many good attractions like amazing Astrodome sports pavilion, excellent museums, wonderful theaters and thanks to its cosmopolitan mix of residents, many ethnically diverse cuisines are on offer in its hundreds of restaurants and some neighborhoods. Visitors to this city must see its famed Space Centre mission control.

When is the best time to visit Houston and why?

120During winters, Houston weather stays relatively balmy. With just couple of week’s worth of freezing temperatures, it’s the best time to visit this city. Sometimes there’re brief hard freezes and an occasional snowfall in the last couple of years.

During winter months there are fewer outdoor events, but there’re so many holiday attractions such as ice skating at the Galleria around the world famous 53-foot-tall Christmas tree, or driving calmly through mansions in the majestic River Oaks to look at Christmas displays and lights. Holiday season kicks off in Post Oak Boulevard in Uptown on Thanksgiving with millions of twinkling lights, fireworks and stage shows. During the holiday season, thousands of international travelers the Westin Oaks and Westin Galleria hotels and shopping centers, but you can easily find many rooms elsewhere.

In Houston, spring arrives early. For three weeks from February to March, the Rodeo and the Houston Livestock Show dominates the local calendars with carnival rides, big-name concerts, and much more. Spring also means start of famous baseball season with the Astros. In fact, the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer now have their own state-of-the-art, new stadium.

If you live in the region, and want to visit a place for a long weekend, the shoulder season can be one of the best times to visit this amazing city. You can come here for a quick weekend getaway and get the great rates at some hotels, plus live performances at the theaters and many other weekend-only attractions like the Orange Show.

Hurricane season in Houston dissipates through October, though cooler temperatures prevail, making various outdoor activities palatable. That’s’ why the activity calendar tends to be a bit spotty in the fall. Still, there can be plenty of joyful activities you can indulge in, including the downtown’s Discovery Green, African Forest exhibit at the Houston Zoo and alternative art places like the Orange Show and the Center for Contemporary Craft. Of course, fall is also the time when Houston Texans kick off their NFL season at famous Reliant Stadium. Other annual events include the Cinema Arts Festival in November and Houston’s long-running Greek Festival in October.

What To Do In Los Angeles

There are so many things Angelenos end up taking for granted. To name a few would be the ocean, the mountains, the palm trees, as well as the ability to just pick and throw a stone towards any direction, hitting a unique experience. Sometimes, you could even get lucky and hit a shopping experience that goes beyond your expectations. So, if you are coming to Los Angeles for some vacation time, make sure to ready your cart and push the “add” button just about anytime. It’s a paradise filled with a vintage aura ranging from culture to couture. On the note of what to do in Los Angeles, here are some of the best spots and activities not to ignore.

Checking Out The Grove

20995Every city has its malls, but it is safe to say that the LA part of Southern California has them a bit more special because of the great weather that goes year-round. The Grove by far is the most famous mall within Hollywood’s Fairfax District. The establishment has been around since 2002, built by “The Rick Caruso,” which for some reason automatically makes it a favorite of tourists and locals. Visitors can simply hitch a ride in a trolley exuding with antiquity, strolling across the pedestrian-exclusive complex. As a visitor yourself, don’t forget to get a bite right around the spectral dancing fountains, finding yourself filled with enjoyment just by seeing people walking and talking, going as they come. What makes this mall popular all the more is its heavy anchor stores such as Crate & Barrel, Nordstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Apple, and so on. And, what makes it a landmark would be none other than the Original Farmer’s Market, the real deal, which is aged multiple times more than the nestled mall itself, producing quality goods from food to gifts since the 1930’s.

Crashing By Universal Studios

Don’t ever forget to pay a visit to Universal Studios whenever you’re in the confines of Los Angeles. Everybody knows what Universal Studios is all about, a thematic park that features all of your favorite movies and TV shows. What makes it an interesting destination all the more is that it showcases the most entertaining live shows of all the Southern Californian state. As you go deeper into the passages of Universal Studios, you will have an exhilarating experience with the King Kong Adventure Ride, the Psycho House and sightseeing the famous replicas of a plethora of the company’s home grown talents.

Trekking the Extremes at Malibu

There’s no better way to wind up than to bask under the heat of the sun paired with the giant waves of the water. The Malibu beaches have all that covered for you, especially at Zuma Beach. There, it’s not only surfing that you can enjoy, but also scuba diving, wakeboarding, kayaking and all sorts of extreme water sports.

Hiking at the Canyon of Runyon Park

LosAngeles-California_Intro_345x225If you love climbing or if you’ve always had this unrelenting affinity to delve into such, then the Runyon Canyon Park is something you should never miss out. They have all the safety amenities you need and you can even go zip lining and feel the currents of the wind blow smoothly into your face. Apart from that, it is a place where famous celebrities flock from time to time. And they come for the same reason you do: some seriously fun hiking activities!

There’s a lot more on the list of what to do in Los Angeles and these are just snippets of the bigger picture that you can only imagine. It’s more fun in Los Angeles when you’re there!

Top Things To Do When Visiting Toronto

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario as well as one of the most densely populated cities in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario and dates back to the late 18th century. Here are things to do when visiting Toronto:

Get immersed in spray at Niagara Falls

23541_214_bNiagara Falls is a must visit for first-time tourists to Toronto. You may have to drive for more than 90 minutes from Toronto but the site is worth the effort. Watching the 750,000 gallons of water sliding off a high cliff right before your eyes will surely leave a lasting impression on your mind for life. You can opt to experience the fall from the top by standing barely one meter away from the edge of the Horshoe Falls. Alternatively you can journey behind the falls by descending 38 meters through solid rock in a lift to emerge next to the curtain of water.

Explore the shamrock behind the maple leaf

Toronto has been significantly influenced by the Irish tradition. This is evident as you explore the town; however the best place to experience this is at Ireland Park. Here Rowan Gillespie’s sculptures commemorate the arrival of refugees from Ireland’s great famine just like the haunting sculptures at Custom House Quay housed in Dublin. One of the areas that vividly recall the influx of Irish farmers in the 19th century is Cabbagetown, it is so named because farmers who lived here loved to fill their gardens with brassicas. Basically Cabbagetown was once a slum but is currently a decent neighborhood well supplied with vegetables from Don Valley Brick Works Park and Riverdale farm which make it more of a feast rather than a famine site.

Undress on Toronto Islands

toronto_skyline_contactToronto Islands are fantastic cycling and walking site. Here you can opt to get in touch with nature by watching birds or better still you can disrobe on the nudist beach. Visitors to these islands are advised not to come here in a hurry as there are so many breezy sites to explore and many activities to engage in.

Eat your way around the world

toronto_yorkville_largeToronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world. Actually 49 percent of the city’s population was born outside Canada. This explains why places such as Greektown, Chinatown and Little Italy exist as various communities try to bring in a part of their culture into the city. As a result you can eat whatever you crave in Toronto, this include Shushi from Hiro Shushi, dim sum from Lai Wah Heen and ice cream from La Paloma Gelateria.

Behold the delusion of grandeur

SkylineIn the past, Toronto’s wealthy chose to remain aloof from the ordinary people by creating pleasure domes on the hill of Casa Loma. One such tycoon was James Austin whose mansion fondly known as Spadina Historic House&Gardens offers a fascinating preview into how the wealthy lived.

The above are some of the things to do when visiting Toronto, however there are many more attractions in this great city so pack your bags and head to the most diverse city in the world.

This post is provided by Toronto based real estate video agency, HS Media.

Five Main Facts About Chicago

There’re 5 things you have to know about Chicago? Here is a quick overview of some of the most amazing things about this city:

Basic facts about the city

1Chicago became a city in 1837. It’s the 3rd most populous city in the United States with about 2.7 million people. This is after Los Angeles and New York City. However, it’s the most populous city in the state of Illinois. It covers an approximate area of about 60, 000 hectares and its 578ft above the sea level. This city has very many nicknames which include The City That Works, the Windy City, the Second City and the City of Big Shoulders. It experiences four major seasons which include cold winters; wet springs; pleasant autumns; hot and humid summers. Generally, the climatic condition is humid continental.


5-1-stadiumDid you know that “Mother Road” or “Main Street of America” begins from Chicago? U.S. Route 66 which is also referred to as Will Rogers Highway begins from Chicago, via Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, California and ends in Los Angles. It was established in 1926. It’s a total of about 2,448 miles. This highway was one of the most famous highways in America. Furthermore, this city also hosts the 2nd busiest airport in the world; the O’Hare International Airport. It’s a transportation hub.

Chicago’s economy

ChicagoSkyline1It has one of the most diversified economies in the world with over $500 billion gross regional product. It host very many companies which include information and technology, manufacturing, health services and risk management innovation. It’s a well-known financial town with commodity futures trading which had begun by 1884 at the Chicago Board of Trade. The exchange rates sums to 3.8 billion of the annual global derivatives. It hosts one of the best Options Clearing Corporation amongst other financial institutions.

It’s a city which is also known for green economy and has always ranked as the most sustainable cities in the world. For instance, it has over 20 wind energy companies. Its economy has been expanding steadily. For instance, in 2013, there were over 675 both new and expanding facilities. It was also ranked fourth among the metro regions by the Inc. Magazine due fastest growing companies which had a positive impact in its overall economy.


craigslistchicagoThis city also hosts some of the best learning institutions in the world. For instance, University of Chicago is one of the best higher learning institution in the world. Others include University of Illinois, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology etc. The Chicago Board of Education has well defined policies and oversees all educational facilities systems to ensure that quality of education is not compromised.

Best places to visit

millenium-park-chicago_6882_600x450This city has some of the ultramodern recreational facilities and some of the best tourist destinations. Some of these places include the Museum Campus which is one of the most fantastic places to visit; shed aquarium; field museum; Adler Planetarium and Austronomy Museum; the Art of Institute of Chicago; Navy Pier, Millennium Park; Willis Tower and Lincoln Park Zoo amongst other places. There’s a lot to enjoy in this city.

These are some 5 things you have to know about Chicago especially if you’re planning to visit this city. It’s a very big city with amazing things to admire. More importantly, despite the insecurity which is experienced in most cities in the world, Chicago has proved to be a safe city.