Next story: Thirsty Dudes Review Crystal Beach Sparkling Loganberry
A Kelly's Guide to St. Patrick's Day
by Geoff Kelly
When, as happens from time to time, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday, a mildly alcoholic city such as Buffalo, with a significant Irish population, can feel a little like the Titanic steaming toward its iceberg: How will we survive the inevitable collision? So many people, somuch drinking and carousing.
Despite the last name (the second most common in Ireland, after Murphy), my family’s claim to Irishness is thin here in Buffalo: We are Protestant; my local forebears moved the family out of the First Ward and into the country as soon as they could, and took with them no nostalgia for the place; my father and grandfather were lawyers and Republicans, not union men who worked as scoopers or cops or steelworkers. Despite this tenuous claim to the kind of Irish heritage that prevails in Buffalo, I offer some tips on how to enjoy this weekend:
1. The real parade is Saturday. The Old Neighborhood Parade begins at the Valley Community Center on Leddy Street and ends on O’Connell Street in the Old First Ward. The parade steps off at noon. For my money, O’Connell is the place to be: The marchers are glad it’s almost over, and you’re a quick walk to McCarthy’s on Hamburg Street, Adolph’s on South Park, and the Swannie House at the corner of Michigan and Ohio.
2. That’s right, a quick walk. Or a quicker bike ride. Parking in the Ward on Saturday, and in Allentown if you come to the big parade on Sunday, is a bear. If you must drive, be prepared to park far away. Maybe even plan on it: You can use a Metro Rail park and ride lot (check the NFTA’s website), and the train or bus will take you to within a few blocks of where you want to be.
3. Tip well. If your bartender is too busy to get you a drink—as he or she may well be at a place like McCarthy’s on Saturday—consider the throngs around you and be patient. Or just go somewhere else.
4. Drink what you normally drink. Those who frequent taverns often refer to St. Patrick’s Day as “amateur night” and stay home. If you go out on Friday—and Saturday, and Sunday—try to act like a pro: no green beer, no shots of Jameson, unless that’s what you drink every other day of the year. It’s a long, long weekend.
5. Eat. If you like corned beef and cabbage, that iconic New York City Irish repast, there are plenty of places to find it. (Ulrich’s, the Irish pub with German beer and food, is a good place to order corned beef for lunch on Friday.) But eat something. And drink plenty of water.
6. Every Saturday afternoon, there’s Celtic music at Nietzsche’s. It’s a cozy little scene, and why not choose this weekend to check it out?
7. Try Paddy’s Pig. Want Irish music that’s a little more rocking? Paddy’s Pig, straight out of LA, will be at Duke’s Bohemian Bar and Grove on Allen Street, Sunday, 1-5pm. They’re more than worth a stop-and-listen, and will also be playing gigs all weekend at JP Fitzgerald’s in Hamburg and on Thursday night at the Shannon Pub on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
8. If you go to the big downtown parade on Sunday, don’t…bring your dog, leave beer cans and cigarette butts on the sidewalk, park in front of someone’s driveway, urinate on anyone’s lawn, take your clothes off, kiss someone because they’re Irish. And don’t think that because so many Buffalo cops are Irish, they’ll cut you a break on St. Patrick’s Day. Dealing with the drunken horde can make them testy.
9. If you live in Allentown, and the big downtown parade on Sunday makes you irritable…then leave town for the day. Come back around 6pm, drive down Delaware, and marvel at the ruin. I once saw police on horseback riding down a naked man, painted green, drunk and bellowing and running down the middle of the street.
10. Don’t call in sick on Monday. That, like green beer and cheap whiskey, is amateurish. If anything, get home early on Sunday and take the night off. The post-parade apocalypse on Chippewa and Allen Street is fit for neither man nor beast.blog comments powered by Disqus
Issue Navigation> Issue Index > v12n11 (Week of Thursday, March 14) > A Kelly's Guide to St. Patrick's Day
This Week's Issue • Artvoice Daily • Artvoice TV • Events Calendar • Classifieds