New York City does not have a nickname (in the official sense) and the latest Batman installment The Dark Night is coming to movie theaters this summer. What does one have to do with the other you ask?
A trio of City Councilmen thinks New York should capitalize on the blockbuster-generated publicity wave coming soon so they have introduced a resolution designating New York City’s new nickname “Gotham City," just in time for the caped crusader to grace cinema screens across the country.
Queens Councilman and boyhood Batman fan Hiram Monserrate told The Village Voice blog Runnin Scared that the new nickname will lure tourists to visit the “real Gotham City and come visit our shops.”
“I see that as a marketing tool… taking advantage of this movie which will be one of those gate-breaking, record-selling movies like it always is,” he told the Voice.
Granted, there are a lot more friendly monikers that have been attached to New York over the years than the dark, foreboding Gotham City depicted in the Batman movies, but this one was the first and even “preceded the Big Apple,” according to the resolution.
The name Gotham was first applied to New York City in Washington Irving’s 1807 “Salmagundi Papers,” to draw a favorable comparison between New Yorkers and the shrewd inhabitants of Gotham, Nottinghamshire, England.
“For over the past six decades, New York City has served as the model for Gotham City, the imagined hometown of Batman and his civilian counterpart, Bruce Wayne,” the resolution states.
“Several New York City-based institutions have incorporated the ‘Gotham’ name into its title, including the Gotham Center for New York City History, the Gotham Gazette, Gotham Bar & Grill, Gotham Writer’s Workshop and Gotham Comedy Club…
“Whether it refers to the clever inhabitants of a distant land, or a fictitious city protected by the Caped Crusader, the name ‘Gotham’ will forever be inextricably linked with our great metropolis.”