A week and a half ago, I pulled out of my street in
With stinging culture shock and festering loneliness, my first priority here was finding a place to box.
There's no air conditioning, not even a merciful fan: you only go here when you’re very comfortable oozing sweat-rivers in front of others.
The owner Mike, a former New Yorker, is always perched on a picnick table blocking the main door.
On Saturdays he has a beer in hand. Last Sunday, he had a black eye.
“Bar fight,” he tells me. He didn’t win, he says, but that’s because there were two guys.
The speed bag is new, the stationary bike, a little worn -- but it gives you hell, especially to the overhead speakers cranking out Queen’s “Find Me Somebody To Love.”
Though almost everything here is straightforward/no frills, Mike frequently shows off the colored lights he strung along the walls.
“It’s like Vegas,” he explains.
The gym’s only shower was free when I finished my first workout, but I didn’t bother.
It felt too good to walk outside into the Freret Street fair, dripping in sweat, feel the breeze, smell the empanadas, guiltlessly throw down two, buy a little black slip-dress for $20, and walk back down Napoleon to catch the streetcar.That same day, walking down Canal Street, I found the statue of Ignatius from A Confederacy of Dunces I'd been looking for since I got here: