Thursday, March 18, 2010

St Patrick's Day in NYC

I've never been in a city that embraces St. Patrick's Day in quite the way New York does.  I work in Midtown, and roughly half of the people on the street were sporting green. Business men with green ties, business women wearing classy green linen jackets or sweaters, little girls with green barrettes clipped in their hair. Even the buildings participated, many of them hoisting Irish flags (witness the Waldorf-Astoria, above). And then there were the revelers.  Young students wearing garish green outfits, many of them so drunk they were stumbling in step and in word.  It did not inspire confidence in the future leadership of America. 

I took an early lunch break and my camera and headed into the crowds, trying to catch a glimpse of the parade.  I can report that my first St Pat's Day in NYC consisted of parade-hearing, not parade-watching.  I was simply too late to get a decent spot, and the wall of bodies was far too deep to hope for any chance of seeing the parade.  This is about as close as I got:

I know, disappointing, eh?  It wasn't a total loss, though.  The bagpipes were loud and clear and heart-stopping, in the very best kind of way. I love bagpipes.  I even ran into some guys practicing on a side street, right before the parade started:

I resolved to take the day off next year, so I can reserve a spot right in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral and experience the holiday properly.

To top off the day, I had a delicious dinner with N at Sanfords, a wonderful restaurant in Queens.  On the menu: corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes.  It's been years since I've had this meal, and it felt like a proper end to my first St. Patrick's Day in New York.  My Irish grandmother would have been delighted.

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