St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday. I like going to theparade when it is on the weekday; my recent offices have been nearby so I watch some and after work go to some packed bar and tip a few to the emerald isle.With a Saturday St. Pat’s I find it best to head the other way—far from the Manhattan madness. The idea that this parade is some kind of religious celebration is simply ludicrous. I got off at the train station in Ridgewood New Jersey that morning. I was on a mom visit. That night there’s a very good Irish Pub where I met with up with friends, all of us having grown up together. I arrived in the suburbs in the morning and there across the track on the other platform was a large, growing cluster of green. Young adults, most in t-shirts even though the weather feilt a little too cool. Saturday St. Pats means the NYC Streets are filled with more kids from the suburbs, even the ones who never cut school.
Them heading in was why I was heading away. I was happy as they are to trade places for the day.
The first time I went to the parade was in College, doing what these kids would be doing, boozing it up and having fun. By sunset, everybody’s trashed, staggering towards one last round or staggering back from that last round towards home. Those green t-shirts be so fresh, their attitude not so buoyant when they return. More than some will have vomited before another St. Patrick’s Day marked off their personal datebook of their life. But they will be doing it together, with friends. They may not be reading Yeats and think Morrison is a Vans sneaker, but they are touch with the deeper messages of Irish Culture this day celebrates – joy of friendship – the fun and satisfaction of being together on this mini-adventure of partying in the city streets will survive far longer than their sobriety of this morning.