|Quinte Hotel, Belleville, December 21, 2012|
So I suppose it's no surprise that the area has, or rather, had, two Quinte Hotels. Had, because in the last two months of 2012, we lost both of them to fire.
post , and again here in my architecture history blog 'ancestralroofs'.
Time will tell what will become of the one undistinguished wing which remains, the five bays to the left in the photo above. All the other walls shown here- which included everything of any architectural distinction - have been pulled down in the course of the fire marshal's investigation.
"I am drinking
I am drinking beer with yellow flowers
in underground sunlight
and you can see that I am a sensitive man"...
We all recognize those lines.
But later in the poem he goes on:
"So he says to me 'Come on'
So I Come On...
& knock the shit outa him & sit on him
(he is just a little guy)
and say reprovingly
'Violence will get you nowhere this time chum
Now you take me
I am a sensitive man
and would you believe I write poems?'"
(from At The Quinte Hotel, in Poems for All the Annettes, 1968)
So finally, I have it on good authority. After serious scholarship by the erudite Eric Lorenzen of Trenton High and several associates of the indomitable Ms. Jean Baird, it has been established that this Al Purdy poem immortalized the Quinte Hotel in Trenton...in spite of other reports, including that of Al's own Eurithe, who recalls the inspiration being the Belleville establishment, officially and historically called Hotel Quinte (sounds more splendid, like the hotel itself was, in the beginning. Before its own basement beer parlour days.)
So the discussion continues, like those rambling debates over tables filled with glasses of beer. There is incontrovertible evidence supporting the opinion that the poem was written about the Trenton hotel. Al is said to have told people that. And Al, by all accounts, knew his bars... and his beer.
|Sherwood Forest Inn (formerly Quinte Hotel), Trenton|
Quinte Hotel/Hotel Quinte? Quinte Hotel Quinte. Perhaps the name stands in for all beer parlours, everywhere?
Everybar. Al was a poet after all.