People where I live go to one of three places to watch television in public and this is a night for that. Television binds our nation together and while we could watch it in the comfortable confines of our homes, enjoying a masturabatory, voyeuristic kind of pleasure, in Dorchester, in my part at least, people take to the pubs. C.F. Donnovan's is one choice. Tom English's is another. My companion and I are settling for the third option: The Harp and Bard on the corner of Savin Hill Avenue and Dot Ave.
The food is good, the help is efficient, the patrons are civil and there are more flat screen, high defintion, plasma television sets than a blind man can shake his red-tipped cane at. The Harp and Bard is what it is: a convenient watering hole where people can gather, speak thier minds and then go home or get on the bus. College kids from UMASS Boston frequent the joint and so do old, Irish emigrant denizens long-settled in this neck of Boston for a generation or three. Vietnamese neighbors pop in, have a pint, and join the conversation. Gentleman and gentle ladies from Upham's Corner wander down to add diatribes and observations. The Harp and Bard is a microcosmos of Bostonia, a melting pot, a polyglot nation in miniature of different values and different viewpoints pressed close together trying to reach a consensus.
Walt Whitman never visited Dorchester. If he did he would have felt at home at the Harp and Bard. Citizens make a city, and a nation, great.