Drooling on the Pillow

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Boyle's Thirty Acres 

I enjoyed Cinderella Man a lot and didn't expect it to do much when Gong Season rolled around as 1) they only throw Ron Howard an award once a decade and Beautiful Mind was just five years ago, and 2) its about a principled and courageous man of unshakable red-state values. So 1947. So Capra.

The only thing that disappointed me was the lack of local color. So much of the story took place in my stomping grounds, but, except for the dock scenes and the New York scenes it all seemed like Generic Low-density Urban. The words said Jersey, but the backgrounds said Canada.

That's okay. I've been reading the book, by Jeremy Schaap and it has tons of local color, characters and facts about the North Jersey fight game in the '20s and '30s. The book was put together after the movie and there's a little bit of a slapped-together quality to the prose, but the character sketches are colorful and the scene setting is quite vibrant.

Among the many Chill Town references that were entirely new to me was a wooden sports arena that was built by Tex Rickard specifically for the Dempsey-Carpentier fight in 1921. It was called Boyle's Thirty Acres and was at the present site of the Hudson County Schools of Technology and the Montgomery Gardens Housing Project, just down the hill from the old Jersey City Medical Center which is metastasizing into condos. I pass it every day.

It was built to hold more than 91,000 and was jammed for the fight. The gate was an unheard of $1,789,238, which, in 1921, was more than enough to keep The Goddess in shoes.

Braddock fought twice at Boyle's Thirty Acres before it was torn down in 1927.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com Listed on BlogShares