The Black Rose Irish Pub and I had a bittersweet relationship, but I remember her fondly. The pub closed its doors forever on March 27 of this year. I remember Monday nights at the turn of the century when my gang of wannabe working-class Irish boys and I would head out for Smithwicks and Stout on our self-proclaimed Punk Rock Dart Night, the Pogues' "Summer in Siam" filling the air around us. I remember my first introduction to the bodhrán on traditional-music night and the fascination with the instrument's simplicity, which I re-encountered on a Killian's-fueled journey through Ireland.
I remember my boyfriend and his friend, both now gone (God rest their wannabe working-class, Irish-boy souls), stumbling home with pride and awkwardly sharing the only two words they managed to glean from the Gaelic classes they took there. I'll miss walking those creaky wooden steps on cold rainy nights and squeezing into the back corner booth, surrounded by loud and lovely friends, Guinness and vinegar-drenched chips. May the road rise up to meet you, and may the wind be ever at your back, old friend.—D.B.
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