New York Shitty Day Starter: Fists of Fury

February 5, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

From Manhattan Avenue.

Miss Heather

Pugilism In Greenpoint?

May 21, 2009 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

streetfightthumbAfter watching this amazing video yesterday of two youths having an impromptu boxing match on Grand Street (and getting over the What The Fuck factor) my mind has been abuzz with pugilistic thoughts. Namely the following question:

Was boxing a popular sport in north Brooklyn 100+ years ago?

To sate my need to know I pointed and clicked my way over to the Brooklyn Public Library’s online archive of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and did a little searching. It didn’t take me long to get my answer either:

ABSOLUTELY.

Follow are a few articles I found regarding the Greenpoint Sporting Club. Not really being “into” boxing myself what I find of interest is the arcane language (e.g.; “mixing it up in a lively fashion”) and the “monikers” some of these guys have. Politically correct 1890’s Greenpoint was most decidedly not. Enjoy!

August 31, 1897

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October 19, 1897

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December 21, 1897

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December 23, 1897

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Both started in lovely, Burns playing havoc with Kelly’s nose…

Nope, they just don’t write ’em like they used to!

Miss Heather

The Pickleville Pugilist

December 8, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Last week we learned about what life was like in Greenpoint’s very own Dangertown. Today we will explore (albeit tangentially) another colorfully nicknamed part of the Garden Spot (and beyond): Pickleville. Where was “Pickleville” located, you ask? The Eighteenth Ward, e.g.; the sliver of Greenpoint and “East Williamsburg” roughly contained within Meeker Avenue*, Flushing Avenue, Newtown Creek and Bushwick Avenue (as seen on the map to the left). Why was this area called Pickleville? My educated guess is because there was once a rather substantial German immigrant population in this area (just look at some of the street names and you’ll see their legacy). So much for ethnic sensitivity. But I digress.

This post is about one very special Pickleville resident. Her name was Gussie Freeman — but the Brooklyn Daily Eagle preferred to call her the “the slasher of the rope walks.” A typical turn-of-the-century housefrau Ms. Freeman most decidedly was not. You can learn more about how her claim to fame (or infamy) by reading this article dating from November 22, 1891. Enjoy!

Female boxers in north Brooklyn, who knew? This post goes out to you Gussie (“the Gouger”, “Limpy Sal” & company). You make me proud to be a Greenpointer!

Miss Heather

*Namesake of the Meeker Avenue plume which the New York Times expounds upon in today’s edition. I could have told them people were unwilling to have their homes tested for fear it would affect their property values and saved them a trip. Oh well…

Map Credit: www.bklyn-genealogy-info.com

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