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March 17, 2009


Another holiday for non-New Yorkers

Leprechauns in Times Square

I experienced St. Patrick's Day a little more intimately than usual this year because my office is now located right in the eye of the parade storm. While walking around on 48th St and watching crowds of people celebrating the aspects of Irish culture that involve drinking in public before 10am, I realized that some of the most popular and well-known events that happen in New York City are attended almost exclusively by people who do not live in New York City.

There's New Year's Eve in Times Square, the tree lighting in Rockefeller Center, and the St. Patrick's Day parade down 5th Avenue. Today's parade is probably the least disruptive of the three--at least I can more or less continue my regular life while it's going on, and it has its charms, like the clusters of old guys standing around in kilts drinking beer and smoking cigars while sets of bagpipes are strapped to their torsos.

But mostly it's a bunch of drunk kids in "Who's Your Paddy?" t-shirts. Here are a few photos:

Girls on 5th Ave wearing said t-shirts

Girls at St Patrick's Day parade

Marching band in headdresses

Men in a marching band at St Patrick's Day parade

Dudes ignoring the parade to hang out near the port-a-potties instead

drinking on the street at St Patrick's Day parade

Hasidic man doing his best to ignore everything

Hasidic guy at St Patrick's Day parade

Deli that put a more direct message on its sidewalk sign than its usual list of breakfast specials

Beer sign at St Patrick's Day parade

After the parade was over, the crowds around Rockefeller Center thinned out. Because everyone had moved to the other part of New York that out-of-towners love, Times Square!

Irish pot leaf hat on 47th St

Green hat at St Patrick's Day parade

All 7 or 8 of the Irish bars I passed in Hell's Kitchen were packed, especially those with signs out front declaring they were "St. Patrick's Day Party Headquarters", sponsored by Heineken.

Which says everything you need to know about St. Patrick's Day in New York. Heineken: Yeah, it's Dutch, but it's close enough because the bottle is green.

categories: Culture, NYC, Robot-on-the-Spot
posted by amy at 6:19 PM | #

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