Friday, December 30, 2011

Salter's Oyster Saloon

It appears this is on Main Street in Greenport and pre-prohibition...probably 1910ish as Mr. Salter's restaurant is in the 1910 phone book.  100 years ago or so will do.

It appears to be something of what we would now call a hard drinking establishment.  Oysters and strong drink. Trouble in River City.  100 years later a martini and a dozen oysters is pretty swanky and expensive - not that they served appletini's much back then.

We think of this coming hard up on New Year's Eve, glad that people are aware that it was a of walking home after a night out and not now where by chance or plan one gets in car and drives. We hope there is more common sense afoot tomorrow night.

We have also been considering that rather nice thought of walking to an evening out rather than just driving and parking. People would see you and you would see them. Say hello, move aside and smile perhaps, faces and glances remembered.  More important it reaffirms a presence and instead of people saying they haven't seen so and so in an age, they could say I saw him just last week coming out of Salter's Saloon.

So New Years at Salters might have been a raucous place but we aren't sure. The big clock would certainly tell you when midnight came but frankly the potential was more likely that Salters was full of solitary men sitting stiff legged and downcast with no real place to go.  We presume the women in their lives or those unattached were far from such a den of iniquity and the New Years of a 100 years ago continues to be a far cry from tomorrow night.

Gas lights, winter cold off the bay blowing up Main St. like a typhoon, brown lights through dirty windows and men bundled against the cold making their way to rooms barren and with no real human warmth.

Such was Salter's 100 years ago tomorrow night.

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