Tomorrow, June 13, is the 80th Anniversary of one of the the greatest upsets in boxing history, and it occurred in a venue called the Madison Square Garden Bowl right here in Long Island City. The two fighters were Max Baer, the heavyweight champion of the world at that time, and James J. Braddock, a 10-1 underdog who two years prior was working the docks as a longshoreman.
72,000 people came out to LIC that day, to a location on Northern Boulevard that is just before you get to Home Depot (the shopping center that Party City is in). You can read more about the fight, and the colorful history of the boxers who fought in it, in the links below. As we immerse ourselves in conventional local happenings, such as real estate, restaurant openings, or schools, I’m just looking to point out the history that surrounds us, and give you something to read over the weekend.
The Madison Square Garden Bowl would go on to host two other heavyweight championship fights where the belt was passed on. The venues demise came in the 1940’s and was due to the building of a WW2 mail depot or a Ronzoni Macaroni factory depending on what you read. As for the winner of the fight, he was nicknamed ‘Cinderella Man’ and had a movie made about his life starring Russell Crowe.
//Pre-K rejection letters went out this week, and there were a lot of them. In addition to a lot of irate parents, now all those 4-year olds know exactly how I felt back in 19xx upon going 0-for-7 in my college applications. Not to matter, nothing a 12-pack couldn’t cure. Plus it’ll get them steeled for the big time: kindergarten admissions. Oh man, Harford has nothing on PS78Q when it comes to acceptances.
//The case of the missing Rita. Rita, a barber that used to work at David’s Barber Shop on Vernon, no longer does. She had a large local following, left no contact information, and David is mum on the subject. If you know what happened or have more info, please leave it in the comments section, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baer -Braddock Fight Highlights on YouTube – keepin’ it real in black n white
Braddock’s Wiki – born in Hell’s Kitchen, had an iron chin, and lost the championship to Joe Louis
Baer’s Wiki – born in Nebraska, half-Jewish, beat former champ Max Schmeling in front of 60-thousand at Yankee Stadium, father of ‘Jethro Bodine’ on the Beverly Hillbillies, died of a heart attack at age 50
For a Forgotten Arena, A Star Turn – “It was huge, tremendous,” Mike Silver, a New York boxing historian, said of the place.
‘Cinderella Man’ Synopsis on IMDB– wow, his wife looked just like Renee Zellweger
Full Fight Story – “Gould jumped into the ring, grabbed both of Braddock’s legs and lifted him into the air. Braddock looked down and quietly said, ‘We did it. We did it.’”
Kavala Greek Restaurant to Open mid-July – according to WeHeartLIC, from the owners of SHI, seats 60
Pride Brunch This Sunday in LIC – @ Riverview restaurant
MoMA’s PS1’s Courtyard Is About to Get a Mind Blowing Installation – starts June 23
43-25 Hunter Street Rising Over Construction Fence – meaningful because it’s prominently located in the heart of Court Square on Jackson and across from the Citi building, will be 50-stories, and will really change the look/scope of the immediate area and skyline
Meet Karl Fischer’s Next Building for LIC – 16 stories 166 units
Parents Want New School Built in Hunters Point South – but not the kids
LIC Tours, Queens Cool Uncovered – something to do for the wknd, see how the outside world views us
Founder of NY Irish Center Dies – read about how the Center’s inception