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The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazin
8B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, November 1, 2001
BY DAVID KATZ
When it first opened its doors on the Southwest Side of Chicago, Marazano's Miami Bowl was located in a
neighborhood consisting mostly of European immigrants. Since the '50s, the demographics of this neighborhood
have changed dramatically from mostly Italians and Poles to a melting pot including African Americans and
In the '50s and '60s during the hay-day of bowling, companies in close proximity to the alley, like Campbell's
Soup, provided free bowling for their-employees as a recreational outlet from the hardships of factory life - Miami
Bowl had three shifts of leagues every day as opposed to the single shift operating currently. The competition and
the individual nature of the sport attracted many of the blue-collar white factory workers from the surrounding area.
In the mid-eighties there was a significant shift in the ethnic make-up of the community. In the '60s and
'70s, many of the blue collar white immigrants who bowled at Miami in the '50s were able to increase their
socio-economic status and move to middle income neighborhoods in other parts of the city and suburbs. This left
a void on the Southwest Side that was eventually filled by Blacks and Latinos. As the demographics of the
neighborhood changed, so did the diversity of the bowling alley. If you stroll through the alley today it is uncanny
how evenly represented Whites, Blacks and Latinos are at Marzano's.
With the increased diversity, one might think that racial tensions might brew - but that is not the case.
Danny Marzano, owner of the bowling alley says that he has not seen one fight due to racial tensions. When I asked
him why, he suggested that people come because they love to bowl and escape the battles of everyday life. It isthis
love for bowling, in an ethnically rich part of Chicago that makes Marzano's Miami Bowl special.