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Zoom and enhance…

I found it – my old gym. There’s no doubt about it, looking at Google Street View, though it appears to have been a Chinese restaurant in 2019 when the Google van drove down Branch Avenue. I think I remember that Chinese restaurant being there, so the gym was next door (offtopic trivia: did you know the house Queen Elizabeth II was born in is now a Chinese restaurant?).

The Wikipedia article on the neighborhood is illustrated with the picture above, taken in 2014, and you can clearly see Gameday Fitness on the fence (obligatory link to the Wikimedia entry for the photo). I think that’s a different name, but still a gym.

But how on earth did I not remember it was in a historic building? Wanskuck Mills, built in 1862. In the 1880’s, the company spent $20,000 to install electric lights – the first mill to have it.

In my defense, I was only ever there before or after work – in other words, in the dark – and the gym was in what I think was a later addition. It was always apartments above, I think.

In 2015, the feds found 1,400 marijuana plants spread over seven apartments and put the building owner William Ricci in jail for this and other crimes.

But wait! There’s more! Digging behind the mill in 2017, the FBI found the body of Steven A. DiSarro, manager of the Channel nightclub in South Boston, who had been missing since 1993. In 2018 mob boss “Cadillac Frank” Salemme was convicted of the killing. He died last month in prison, age of 89.

I don’t suppose those names mean much to you, but they resonate. Howie Carr (who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Boston mob) was always going on about them. Providence was rumored to be the biggest mafia stronghold in the States (yes, little Providence).

And that’s the story of Weasel’s gym. I kept missing it because I hooked a left on Charles Street. Should have been Branch Avenue.

January 9, 2023 — 7:58 pm
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