Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


I don't think there's a better place in the world to be Irish today than New York City.

The 250th New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade is happening right now. Right this second on the other side of Central Park. 250 years. A quarter of a millennium. And this isn't like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, or even the Ferris Bueller Parade. Floats, cars, balloons, and such are not allowed, and the parade consists of about 150,000 people marching- including military groups, bands, dancers, police officers and name it. As long as it walks, it's here.

The parade is televised, and the commentators are actually Irish. It makes me wish I were prepping for a production of a Brian Friel play, the dialects are so good. Parade Day kicks off with mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and (SC friends, brace yourselves) the highlights from this morning's mass were replayed as part of the parade coverage. Mass makes the news here, people.

There are several bands full of bagpipe players, which confuses me, because I thought that was a Scottish instrument. I also thought that the Scottish and Irish hated each other, so I'm surprised there hasn't been more brawling. I mean, I'm attacking everyone I see in a kilt, but I'm just on one block of W. 75th, and it's hard to know how the rest of my Irish friends are faring across the city. What? Oh. OHHHHHH. My bad. I was just informed that "Ireland and Scotland have a very close cultural relationship as both countries are of gaelic descent. In fact the Scots are an Irish tribe who settled in what is now Scotland from the 4th century onwards." Huh. Either way, bagpipes make me cry.

There are so many police officers and firemen in the parade, I hope there isn't a city-wide emergency. Is there a joke in there somewhere? It feels like it.

It's a beautiful day for a parade- we're getting up to the mid-60's (SC friends, please don't rub it in.) And it's a fantastic day for Irish advertisers! I've seen so many "visit Ireland" spots and so many Guiness spots, I find myself wanting to ride bikes along the winding roads of rural Ireland with a beer in my hand. In plastic, of course. Glass would be irresponsible.

Time to dash. I've left some soda bread baking in the oven, and my bangers and mash are almost ready. Yeah, I'm kidding. Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone! Especially to my Uncle Tommy. This always strikes me as HIS day. :)

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