Tag: parties

Getting our Irish on (and up)

Monday, March 17th, 2008 | All Things, Friends

Erin Go Bragh! Despite the Catholic Church’s decision last summer to reschedule the March 17 holiday for March 15 so as not to coincide with the second day of Holy Week, New York City held its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade this morning. The Church has a history of involvement in these celebrations: in 2000 and 2006, when the holiday fell on a Friday in Lent, during which Catholics are to abstain from eating meat, the Archdiocese of New York issued a special dispensation allowing its 2.5 million Catholics residing in Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island and several upstate counties to eat meat on March 17. Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens received no such pass from their Archdiocese, and were instructed to perform another act of penance if compelled to indulge in corned beef on that day.

Unlike last year, the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day festivities fell during normal work hours, so I missed out on the parade fun along Fifth Avenue. Guinness is behind Proposition 3-17 — a campaign to make St. Patrick’s Day an official holiday in the United States. No matter, I was able to catch the all inclusive parade in Western Queens earlier this month.

At Irish bars throughout Manhattan, the drinking had begun in earnest well before noon, but my plans for the evening involved a trip on the 7 into Sunnyside, which along with neighboring Woodside, is one of the city’s historic Irish enclaves. Since the 1990s, while other ethnic communities have moved into these neighborhoods, the Irish population has dwindled as longtime residents move out of the city or back to Ireland, spurred by the country’s renewed economy and the end of the Troubles of Northern Ireland.

The Empire State Building aglow in green, of course:

St. Pats ESB

At RM’s home in the Gardens, we caught up with friends recently seen and not so over cold beer and treats from El Shater. The night was marked by valiant attempts at Irish dancing and a rousing, lyrically mangled rendition of “Danny Boy,” (which sounded rather like this one)… by all accounts a fine, fun gathering marred only by a brief, but mortifying episode which included the most appalling party exchange since… well, in a long, long time.

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