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Weider Magazines, fitness, Breslin, and Schwarzenegger

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:10 pm    Post subject: Weider Magazines, fitness, Breslin, and Schwarzenegger Reply with quote

Hudson County Fact:
Jersey City was the home of the first formal offices of the Weider bodybuilding magazines:
"Even if I could have afforded it, paying Manhattan prices for workspace was nuts. I set up shop just across the river in Jersey CIty where costs were much cheaper, but was just as close to the action and the wonderful resources and talent - photographers, writers, artists - that I needed. The location worked so well that I never moved my offices more than a mile for 25 years."
Joe Weider in Brothers of Iron

The initial location was on Ocean Avenue in 1947, and then 16 Hopkins Avenue in 1950. That location was described by Jimmy Breslin, who got his start working there, "Joe kept the barbells up on the third floor. Every time somebody dropped a barbell upstairs, my hands flew to my head."

The final Hudson County move was to Union City:
"In January 1957, the guys loaded one last moving van and then I locked the doors forever on Hopkins Avenue. About a mile north of there we celebrated the opening of a brand-new headquarters at 801 Palisade Avenue, Union City, New Jersey. Finally I had a building custom-designed for my businesses with the name Weider on the deed. It was a single-story, red brick structure with big metal letters over the entrance that read "Weider Enterprises." After Hopkins Avenue, the place was a palace but still pretty modest and simple. I picked up the lot for a song from the Union City municipal government, which had recently acquired it for one dollar. I might have put about $80,000 into it - a substantial amount in 1957, but not so much for a company headquarters that became a legendary locale to muscle men and muscle kids the world over."
Joe Weider in Brothers of Iron

The Weider publications were extremely important in popularizing fitness. It's hard to imagine now, but up into the late '60s exercise was a controversial activity. Some doctors maintained that all exertion was intrinsically harmful. Also, in additon to giving Jimmy Breslin his first job in journalism, Joe Weider made history with yet another break. In 1968, he brought to the United States a young bodybuilder from Austria, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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