I have never been to Boston on March 17th, but I think New York does a pretty good job of celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. Of course the pubs are jammed, and there are shamrocks and all sorts of sparkly green googahs in the store windows and on people's bodies. It's the biggest holiday alongside Christmas. Even strangers on the subway will ask, "where's your green?" A traditional job for the Irish was on the police force and they are out in full, participating in the giant parade down Fifth Avenue.
About 150,000 people march in the parade, so if you want to join in, here are couple of suggestions for how to do that. If you have time, you can find a group that's committed to march and contact them before parade day and ask to join them. Or you can find a group that are not wearing uniforms and mingle in where they are congregated before the parade starts - meaning, talk to them. Once their group gets the signal to join the parade, jump in and start marching with them. One year, I did that. I only marched a few blocks with police detectives, but it was really fun to be a part of it.
The parade starts at a decent hour, 11 a.m., in midtown around 44th Street near St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. From there, it proceeds north up Fifth Avenue to 79th Street. A few zillion people line the parade route - all wearing green hats or sunglasses or shirts, coats, shoes. All loud and cheerful. It's a green day. And this year, it will be a green day against a background of slushy snow.
New York has a law that you can't drink outside - not even on your own front porch - so there's no beer bottles to get broken and hurt someone, but there are plenty of bars along the parade route and they will be rocking. Also, no animals allowed, so you won't trip over a dog leash when you come back outside from the pub.
Of course, if it's your birthday and you live in sunny Los Angeles well...that's a different story.
|Happy Birthday, Cameron!|