The last time I went to Littlest I transferred to the Blue Line and got off at State Street, since it appeared to be the T-stop closest to the bar. This time I decided to walk from Park Street, thinking that the time lost while waiting for the connecting train is about equal to the time it takes to walk a few extra blocks. Besides, I love to walk and I was in the mood for taking in the sights and sounds of the people-filled holiday-season streets of Downtown Boston.
I wasn't exactly sure how to find my way from Park Street, though, and ended up on a somewhat meandering path down Tremont towards Government Center, and then turning right, where I discovered, and saw for the first time in my life, Old City Hall, which was quite grand; lovely, all lit up with Christmas lights.
As I continued to wander through the windy canyons of Boston's financial district - somewhat randomly, in the direction (I hoped) of Broad Street - suddenly I heard what sounded like someone calling my name. I ignored it at first, thinking I was hearing things - certainly nobody in that neighborhood knew me - but I did turn to see, sure enough, Levi - a fiddler I know from Tommy Doyle's - coming up behind me, waving, also on his way to Littlest. This was quite fun to come across someone I knew in the middle of this totally foreign neighborhood. Not to mention, a bit of a relief to have a tall, strong traveling companion through the now-dark city streets.
Levi and I found our way together to Mr. Dooley's - a wonderful, family-style Irish pub. Really, this was such a wonderful atmosphere. People were relaxed and happy and seemed to know each other, and there were even a few children in attendance. Laura and Cormac and Brian sounded great, too; a great combo of voices, whistle, fiddle, and guitar. Eventually, Eric turned up. A funny thought that crossed my mind at the time was, how did my life turn out this way - that at age sixty I would be traipsing through the streets of Boston, bouzouki on my back and fiddle in hand, running into barroom buddies in the middle of nowhere, and also even happening to know someone sitting at the bar (Eric) at an Irish pub I'd never been to in my life? Life is just so, well, interesting. The only downside was, somehow I managed to lose my Charlie Card. Mysteriously, it fell out of my mitten somewhere between Park Street and Mr. Dooley's. I say mysteriously because I double and triple-checked - there was no escape route from that mitten. A drag, especially because I had recently put $20 on it.
Regardless - it was a great night for Irish music in Boston.
|The Locals: Cormac, Laura, Brian.|
Steve Earl's Galway Girl
The Littlest Bar
|The Littlest Bar: Cormac - fiddler/surfer dude from Dublin; Tara - button accordion; Eric - flute; Brendan Bulger - host fiddler; Larry Reynolds - fiddle; Sean - fiddle; Greg - mando, whistle, and tenor guitar.|
|Greg; Tony - bodhran.|
|Laura, right, has dropped in after her gig at Dooley's.|