Letter from the Drinking Town #7 – The Pint

Dear Worcester

It is amazing what happens to my mind after going to 160 different bars in Worcester, everything begins to seem the same. Actually, it is not that it seems the same, it actually is. The same. I am going to the same bars again. Now more than ever.

I started this project over three years ago and for a long stretch of that, most of the bars were places I had never been before. The buildings were new, the people I sat next to were new. Everything about the process had a aire of exploration. But we are now past that sense of newness. Now I am going back to the same places because they are now new bars, new restaurants.

The old bar went out of business, or the owner retired, or the place decided that it desired a new skin, a new name and now it was something wholly unique.

In this version of the tour, I have been to five bars and three of them are places I was at before. I like going into joints I never been to before. I like that sense of fear. That apprehension. That surprise that the place is good looking or feels bigger inside than it does from the street. I like that self imposed vertigo of being the new guy in town.

But what I feel now is deja vu. “Oh, that hasn’t changed from when it was the other bar.” “Look at that, they just cleaned the bar and called it new.” “Look at that, they didn’t clean the bar and now it has a new name.” There are differences of course. The walls are now orange. The bartenders now wear ties. Oh, how I miss going to a part of town I never have been and go into a building I have never entered before.

All of this was on mind when I was at The Pint, 58 Shrewsbury Street. This used to be Scorz, which I thought was one of the lousiest bars I have been to for a gin and tonic. The place had a weird lay out and it just made me sad. The people who worked there that night seemed to be unhappy to be there. I was not surprised to hear it went out of business. I mean if the folks pouring your beer don’t want to be there, why do you?

The Pint was filling up and people were having fun, talking loud. At nine, the door man took his place, expecting the flood to appear. It is a bar. A pretty decent one. The gin and tonic was seven fifty and was alright. That’s another piece of deja vu. All the well originated gin and tonics taste like the ones I had before. I took a sip, and then asked the drink, “Haven’t we met before? Perhaps on a Mediterranean cruise?

What makes the Pint unique is the white elephant jumble sale that are the walls. Every wall has a lot of art or poster or tchake. To call it eclectic gives the art presentation more premeditation than it probably deserves. This is not me complaining. If an art museum suddenly became a live,  sentient being, this would be it’s subconscious. This is an art collection’s fever dream. I took pictures of one small wall and the art there. In the space of three feet we have: a print of children and a dog hiding in a nook of a treek, an ugly framed folk art portrait of girl who looks like she is fifty years old and balding, a pastel of hands, a photo of a goldfish blowing out of a wine glass filled with water, all next to what I think is a walking stick mounted to the wall. Other walls have a portrait of Boba Fett and other pop culture wall hangings.

It definitely has a personality. Is it the personality of a bar you want to drink in? That’s up to you. It wasn’t my thing, but I watched people ambling in, the bar getting busy. Maybe the decor means nothing. Maybe the sense of sameness and deja vu is just a passing phase. Maybe I should just shut up and order another drink. It doesn’t matter what wall art or architectural space you are wrapped in, just drink up and enjoy.

Until Next Time

Dante  

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