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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Entry from March 06, 2007
Allergy Capital of the World (Austin nickname)

"Allergy Capital of the World” is an unofficial nickname that the city of Austin is not proud of. The term dates from at least the early 1980s and describes the cedar, ragweed, and other pollens that are in the air.


All About Allergies
Austin, Texas:
Allergy Capital of the World!
Many places in the United States claim the title of “allergy capital,” because people in the area suffer significant symptoms. Austin is usually rated in the top 5 worst places for allergies. Different geographic regions have different predominant pollens and seasons. For instance, in the Midwest, “hayfever” (caused by ragweed pollen) may be especially severe in August and September until the first freeze. In fact, most of the US has Fall (weeds) and Spring (trees and grass) pollen seasons.

Austin is unique in having 3 distinct pollen seasons. In the Fall, ragweed and other weeds release pollen from mid August to early November. This season is much longer than in other parts of the country. In the Spring, Oak and other trees like Ash, Elm and Pecan pollinate from February to early June. Grasses pollinate from March through September. The hot, dry, summer weather often kills off much of the grass, so some years there is very little pollen in July and early August.

In the Winter, Mountain Cedar pollen season extends from December to February, and is unique to Central Texas. Cedar pollen counts in Central Texas are the highest pollen counts of any plant anywhere in the world. Cedar allergy, referred to as “cedar fever,” can be intense and debilitating. On days of very high pollen counts many cedar allergic people can’t go outdoors without experiencing severe symptoms. Some people must miss work or school, and can’t get good control of their symptoms despite taking lots of medication.

We at the Allergy and Asthma Center of Austin invite you to call (512-345-7635) and arrange a visit. Whatever your allergy or asthma problem, we can help. 

KVUE News (Austin)
Allergies in Central Texas are nothing to sneeze at. Austin has been called “ The Allergy Capital of the World” by locals for years. Seasonal allergies are a big concern in Central Texas and it only takes one bout with a pollen that you are sensitive to, to make your life miserable.

In fact, allergies are such a problem here that KVUE began a groundbreaking program of sampling for allergens and identifying them right here at the television station in 1996. As far as we know, we are the only television station in the country to have such a program.

Most people will agree that the worst allergy seasons in Central Texas are caused by Ragweed and Cedar. However, you may react to something totally different. To see what may be causing you problems, choose an allergen from the drop-down box or from the allergy links on the right. You will find information about when the allergen is usually expected and how it typically impacts Central Texans.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Fall 2004
Austin Named #1 Fall Allergy Capitalâ„¢
The 100 most challenging places to live if you have fall allergies. In many cities across the country,allergies are more severe in the fall than in the spring, according to an annual research project of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Each year AAFA ranks the Fall Allergy Capitals based on the impact of key environmental and medical factors in each metropolitan area. The Fall Allergy Capitals are considered the most challenging cities for people with fall allergies. Topping the rankings for 2004 is Austin, Texas, which has the largest composite score for factors including fall pollen levels, per capita medication usage and per capita number of allergists in the community. Following close behind on the list of the rankings are two cities in Tennessee, Knoxville (#2) and Memphis (#3). Kansas City, Mo. (#4) and Tulsa, Okla. (#5) round out the top five on the list.

Austin Business Journal
Achoo! Austin is a fall allergy ‘capital’
Austin Business Journal - September 27, 2005
It’s nothing to sneeze at: Austin is among the top 20 fall allergy “capitals” in the country.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America puts Austin at No. 14 on its list. San Antonio is just ahead at No. 13.

Dr. Howland
I see patients of all ages for all types of allergic problems. In Austin we most commonly treat people for Cedar Fever during December and January and other seasonal allergy problems (especially during the Spring and Fall). Austin is known as ‘The Allergy Capital of the World’. I think it often seems to be the “Allergy Capital of the Known Universe”. In addition I treat people with asthma, hives, allergic rashes, and allergy to drugs, foods and stinging insects. I welcome new patients. Our office accepts most of the health insurance plans in Central Texas.
(...)
It is presently Mountain Cedar pollen season in Austin.  The tremendously high levels of Cedar Pollen in the winter are one reason Austin is considered one of the worst places for allergies.  When conditions are right the trees let off so much pollen they may appear to be on fire. 

Random Thoughts
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Allergy Mania
My allergies are killing me. My eyes are constantly itching and my nose running. As bad as my allergies are, this isn’t even a particularly bad year for allergies. I remember previous years being much worse. Last year, I would sneeze 4 or 5 times walking from my car to the entrance of my office building, which is only like 50 yards. Last year, I was hooked on Claritin for a month straight.
It just happens that Austin is one of the worst places for allergies in the US. In 2004, it ranked #1 as the fall allergy capital according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. I don’t think it ranked as high in 2005.

There’s actually a name for the winter allergies here, which is ‘cedar fever’. Many people aren’t allergic to cedar when they move down here, but seem to develop an allergy after several years. I believe my allergies to cedar started in the 2003 season. Cedar trees release pollen in the winter, with it peaking in January. Sometimes, you can see even dust clouds of pollen in the air around the cedar trees. 

Google Groups: net.origins
Newsgroups: net.origins
From: (William H. Jefferys)
Date: Sat, 8-Dec-84 12:36:31 EST
Local: Sat, Dec 8 1984 12:36 pm
Subject: Re: SOR Pamphlet #3

I certainly hope this work wasn’t done in Austin, Texas, the “Allergy Capital of the World” grin

Google Groups: austin.general
Newsgroups: austin.general
From: (deb)
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 1995 22:03:38
Local: Tues, Mar 7 1995 10:03 pm
Subject: Re: TV Show Needs Help: What are Texas towns #1 in?

I heard that Austin was the allergy capital.  It sure feels like it in jan-feb.

Google Groups: austin.general
Newsgroups: austin.general
From: (David J. Lambert)
Date: 1996/09/21
Subject: Re(2): Looking for environmentally decent place to live....

Austin is only getting worse for asthma sufferers because of the increased pollution due to automobiles. That, the cedar,ragweed, and other pollens, the mold spores, and humidity make Austin (and Central Texas) a bad place for asthma sufferers.

(Trademark)
Word Mark ALLERGY CAPITALS
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 044. US 100 101. G & S: Providing health information. FIRST USE: 20030501. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20030501
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Design Search Code
Serial Number 76572030
Filing Date January 21, 2004
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America CHARITABLE, NON-PROFIT CORPORATION D.C. Suite 402, 1233 20th Street, NW, Suite 402 Washington D.C. 20036
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date February 19, 2005

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Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, March 06, 2007 • Permalink