City Toasts

Time was when almost every city had at least one toast in its honor. A sampling:




And this is good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk to the Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God.
—DR. JOHN C. BOSSIDY, at alumni dinner of Holy Cross College


If you hear an owl hoot "to whom" instead of "to who," you can make up your mind that he was born and educated in Boston.


Then here's to the City of Boston
The town of the cries and the groans
Where the Cabots can't see the Kobotschniks
And the Lowells won't speak to the Cohns.
—FRANKLIN P. ADAMS, in So Much Velvet


To self-satisfied Boston, always serene,
The land of the cultured, the home of the bean,
Where the erudite policemen, patrolling their beats,
Have nothing to watch but the crooks in the streets.




Chicago sounds rough to the maker of verse;
One comfort we have—Cincinnati sounds worse.


Here's to Chicago, where everything dates from the Fair
Where they know the full value of good hot air
When there's prospect of business they'll always stand treat
For their hearts are as big as their women's feet.


Here's to dear old Chicago,
The home of the ham what ‘am,
Where everyone speaks to his neighbor,
And nobody gives a damn.


Neither hog butcher nor broad-shouldered any longer, Chicago is a lumbering hulk with a silly grin; too simple to play the gent, too open to be phoney. That's why I'm so fond of it.


To the horror of Dracula's fangs,
To the evil of Shakespeare's Iago;
Let the nightmares scare, they can't compare
To the snow and the cold of Chicago.




Here's to Hollywood—
A place where people from Iowa
Mistake each other for movie stars.


New Haven


Here's to the town of New Haven,
The home of the truth and the light,
Where God speaks to Jones,
In the very same tones,
That he uses with Hadley and Dwight.


New Haven and Boston


Here's to New Haven and Boston,
And the turf that the Puritans trod
In the rest of mankind little virtue they find
But they feel quite chummy with God.


New York


Vulgar of manner, overfed,
Overdressed and underbred;
Crazed with avarice, lust and rum,
New York, thy name's Delirium.
—B. R. NEWTON, "Owed to New York," 1906


"Our Town"


Here's to our town—a place where people spend money they haven't earned to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like.


Here's to the virgins of_____;
It's not very much we see of 'em.
Here's to those charming, beautiful girls;
Here's to them—all three of 'em.


I would rather be with the people of this town than with the finest people in the world.
Toast proposed by the mayor to his firefighters in the movie Roxanne.




All hail the tranquil village!
May nothing jar its ease,
Where the spiders build their bridges
From the trolleys to the trees.


On the whole I'd rather be in Philadelphia.
—W. C. FIELDS, composed when he was asked to write his own epitaph. It does not appear on his grave as is often asserted.


To old Philadelphia, stately and slow;
As soon as you get there you're ready to go.
That peaceful city of the dead,
Where the greatest excitement is going to bed.




Here's to Pittsburgh; and may it suit you
As it has sooted me!


San Francisco


Here's to old 'Frisco, out on the Coast
The American Paris, her favorite boast
Once in every nine minutes
Just watch them and time it
They'll sing you that song of the glorious climate.




First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League.
This, of course, an allusion to the long-suffering Washington Senators baseball team.