A Supposedly Fun Blog

July 9, 2009

Bow & Arrow

Filed under: Uncategorized — myglesias @ 10:32 pm

By Matthew Yglesias


Unlike Annie I liked the written-in-voice section about Poor Tony and Roy Tony. But more to the point I wanted to blog about it for the sake of mentioning that though the Bow & Arrow Pub, which comes up a couple of times in the sequence, no longer exists it once did. Indeed, there’s an entire Infinite Jest Tour of Boston up on Flickr courtesy of Tim Bean that offers this photo of the block it used to be on until its closure sometime in, IIRC, late 2000. In addition to its cameo in Infinite Jest, the bar is notable for being the location of the “how do you like THEM apples” scene from Good Will Hunting. I may be wrong about this, but even though the old Bow & Arrow was at 1 Bow Street, I think its physical location actually wasn’t the current 1 Bow Street but rather than storefront next door that currently houses Grafton Street.

At any rate, Wallace’s fairly scrupulous attention to real Greater Boston geography and locations is an interesting counterpoint to the fact that he’s fabricated an entire town, Enfield, and plopped it down next to Allston where I guess Brighton would be in the real world.


  1. very cool.

    Comment by kate — July 9, 2009 @ 11:40 pm | Reply

  2. The Good Will Hunting overlap may not be unintentional. Q.v. this interview between Foster Wallace and Gus Van Sant: http://www.badgerinternet.com/~bobkat/dazed.html.

    Comment by Zac F. — July 10, 2009 @ 12:07 am | Reply

  3. “How you lie them apples” happened at Dunkin’s, next door to Bow & Arrow. He got Skylar’s numbah at Bow & Arrow.

    Comment by jg — July 10, 2009 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  4. A lot of things aren’t in Harvard Square any more.

    I’m too busy mourning Elsie’s to worry about some yuppie bar.

    Comment by davisxmachina — July 10, 2009 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

  5. Grafton Street and the Bow were both there when I was in school, so I’m pretty sure the Bow was located a few blocks further towards Boston.

    Comment by Chris Yeh — July 10, 2009 @ 10:28 pm | Reply

  6. miss the Tasty too.

    Comment by mistersmed — July 10, 2009 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

  7. The Bow and Arrow Pub was exactly where this picture shows, down the hill from Dunkin Donuts on the corner of Bow and Mass Ave.

    Comment by mistersmed — July 10, 2009 @ 10:32 pm | Reply

  8. There isn’t a bow and arrow pub anymore ? Oh nooooo ! Yes it was at the site which is now Grafton Street. Also, you weren’t born yet, but until 1978 if was Father’s First part of a chain of 6 bars featuring hot dogs steamed in beer.

    Ah gentrification.

    Comment by Robert Waldmann — July 11, 2009 @ 12:33 am | Reply

  9. David Foster Wallace actually used to live in Brighton.


    Comment by SJC — July 11, 2009 @ 12:34 am | Reply

  10. No loss to an Ivy League school could be greater than the loss of the Yankee Doodle in New Haven.

    Comment by Freddie — July 11, 2009 @ 1:02 am | Reply

    • No loss to anything in New Haven could be greater than the loss of places like the Bow & Arrow and the Tasty. And the Bow & Arrow was anything but a yuppie bar.

      Comment by slappy — July 11, 2009 @ 4:23 am | Reply

  11. actually, this bar wasn’t that great. it was full of the lame-o dudes who couldn’t get into fraternities but still wore the shorts/jeans and sandals that frat guys would wear. basically, a great metaphor for boston.

    Comment by dreambot — July 11, 2009 @ 6:18 am | Reply

  12. Larry Summers also fabricated an entire town and plopped it down next to Allston. No, make that: on top of Allston.

    Comment by Matt Daniels — July 11, 2009 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  13. I take it slappy never ate at the Doodle.

    Comment by Freddie — July 11, 2009 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

  14. Enfield was actually a real town in Mass once upon a time, but it was turned into part of the Quabbin. No where near Allston, tho.

    Comment by JoeF — July 11, 2009 @ 3:31 pm | Reply

  15. :::sighs:::

    I get the clear impression that at 64 I’m older than most of the commenters here. The list makes me very sad. I grew up around Boston, and lived/worked there most of my life until the last seven years.

    My daughter (28) points out: Some of those were overdue and some got bought out (no-one needs travel agencies, and all Coffee Connections got bought out by Starbucks 15 years ago)… and some were chains that folded chain-wide. Which leaves about half that are actually, “daaaaamn” entries.

    While almost none were of existential worldly importance, they made “the squayah” what it was, and one of the greatest college hangout areas in history. Now its just another mall, without a roof, and a mall with lousy to non-existent parking at that.

    Comment by efgoldman99 — July 11, 2009 @ 9:29 pm | Reply

  16. Oh yeah, don’t forget The Skewer.

    Comment by mistersmed — July 11, 2009 @ 11:29 pm | Reply

  17. Many fond memories of the Bow . . . .

    Comment by max — July 12, 2009 @ 3:45 am | Reply

  18. Oh yeah, don’t forget The Skewer

    I loved the Skewer; closed while I was in school, along with the typewriter repair shop next door.

    Comment by myglesias — July 12, 2009 @ 3:20 pm | Reply

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  20. Gone, all gone!!! So sad….

    Ivan Velasco, Jr.
    Harvard, ’98

    Comment by Ivan — September 21, 2009 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

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  23. I used to work at the Bow & Arrow while I was a college student, back in 1991-92. Great place…

    Comment by SAJ — December 14, 2010 @ 9:12 pm | Reply

  24. The Bow and Arrow was formerly Father’s Six, part of the Father’s group of bars. $1 ptchers of Rheinbeck on Wednesday nights, dime hot dogs on Sundays, and 75 cents for screwdrivers or Bloodys on Sundays. No helmets, white t-shirts, black leather jackets or colors allowed. Also no Arlington addresses on IDs (for males). No kidding.

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