Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jacob Wirth: Boston, Mass.

Jacob Wirth is a historic old tavern in Boston that I have been eating and drinking in since I was a snot-nosed Boston University undergrad. I have an old poster from Wirth's in which they quote a waiter Fredrick Fritz Furth (1875-1951):

" Yesterday it was the fathers who were my friends. Today, it is the sons. Yesterday, a man came in and brought his boy. Today, that boy's son came in and calls me Fritz...

I look at the young man and see the father, and my memory goes back to many things when I should be thinking of frankfurters and pumpernickel bread.."

JACOB WIRTH ( Boston, Mass. 1868 to? )

The sawdust

on the floor

has gone the way

of all dust.

But it is the hard slap

of the house dark

on the dark, mahogany bar

that sustains me.

Yes ,

they have made


to a high

definition TV

but the ancient

beaten ivories

of the piano

still hold its torch songs

on Friday nights.

It seems

there is still a wholesome, yellow statement

of cornbread,

and a saucer of

baked beans.

The long dining room

has stretched over 100 years

and in the rear

there is a pay phone

in its battered booth

before you hit the head.

And that din of laughter--

(and I admit

I miss the cigar smoke)

and the bright red--

sheaves of corned beef

sprouting from dark bread.

What was once alive in this city

is still

not quite


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful. I miss the cigar smoke too — different places, but the same longing and sentiment.