By Raine Marlowe Graves
St. Patrick’s Day (SPD) always causes an existential crisis for me.
On one hand, I am blessed with red hair, greenish eyes and pale skin. I like my look. I love that I am social enough that I am able to drink like a sailor and still stand like a lady. This is thanks to my Celtic heritage on my Mother’s side, a lady of Eire.
From my father’s side I am blessed with a strange sense of humor, a love of literature, and the appreciation of a proper tea. Dad is English.
So where is the problem? Apart from the strange Euro-Brit-American accent, I wound up with the genetic predisposition to overindulge in the bubbly. Moreover, SPD is usually a hotbed of old-school political disagreement in my house. I don’t hold with discussing politics or religion, so I try to stay open-minded and even a few times just plain drunk for the week leading up to the day. This year, lads and lassies, I decided – in true therapy-style – to confront my issues and celebrate them. All week!
Join me in honoring the green within – as they say, everyone is Irish on Paddy’s Day!
Monday – 12 March
Start your week off with some culture. The Irish Repertory Theatre is hosting the American premiere of the Northern Ireland set DEFENDER OF THE FAITH by Stuart Carolan. Ciarà¡n O’Reilly directs. Government secrets, informers and paranoia abound (sounds like a regular day in the news!).
Performances of DEFENDER OF THE FAITH are Tuesday – Saturday at 8 PM . Matinees are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets are $60 and $55 and can be purchased by calling The Irish Repertory Theatre Box Office at (212) 727-2737. NOTE: DEFENDER OF THE FAITH contains mature language and subject matter and is not intended for young audiences. For more information, call (212) 727-2737 or visit www.irishrep.org.
Tuesday – 13 March
I’ll have what the man on the floor’s having!
The Friends of the “Fighting 69th” will be hosting the first official St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef Cook-Off Contest hosted by Food Network’s George Duran. The event will raise money for the New York Regiment and Fisher House (69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Ave). Entertainment includes the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes and Drums. The event begins at 6:00 PM. For tickets or information, please visit www.69thfriends.org or call (914) 747-6600, ext. 11.
Wednesday – 14 March
Need a break from the sauce? Try the civilized art of tea. All across the world tea is a daily mainstay, and something most everyone (no matter their political, religious or fashion agenda) can agree on. In the spirit of friendship and solidarity, visit my absolute favorite spot to recharge and toss my diet out the plate glass windows – Tea and Sympathy. (108 Greenwich Street – 212.989.9735) OK – not technically Irish, but British, but who cares – both the Brits and Irish know their tea, and this place rocks! Cozy to the point of causing a claustrophobic episode, but brimming with kitsch and personality, order your afternoon tea of fresh scones with decadent clotted cream, deliciously delightful finger sandwiches, and cake (chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, please!!!) I love you, Nicky Perry (proprietress)!.
Thursday – 15 March
No proper Irish celebration would be complete without the Pogues. Catch this fantastic Irish band of troubadours perform live at Roseland Ballroom (239 West 52nd Street – 212.247.0200) – even if it’s just to see the legendary Shane McGowan for one of his trademark shambolic performances.
Friday – 16 March
Instead of watching the parade among the hedonistic throngs, spend some contemplative time at St. Patrick’ s Cathedral. A bit of reverence before the big day tomorrow. 5th ave at
There are several good reasons for drinking
and one has just entered my head.
If a man can’t drink when he’s living,
then how the heck can he drink
when he’s dead
OK, so you knew it couldn’t last – head downtown to Roisin Dubh (22 Warrant Street – 212.571.0776) for happy hour cocktails. This “Black Rose” is seriously thorny. Wildly inventive killer cocktails – like the “little green leprechaun” – had me dancing a punk-rock céilà a few days ago. Should you also see those little emerald buggers, sit a spell for a traditional drinker’s dish – fish and chips. Crunchy and appropriately greasy, close your eyes (try not to fall over please) and think of Ireland.
Saturday – March 17th – PDAY!
Time to wind down- we all know going out on the day is strictly for amateurs! Chill out early at the comfy SLANE (102 McDougal Street, 212.505.0079) for a yummy Full Irish Breakfast (don’t forget the Guinness) and watch the Six Nations rugby match – 9:30 AM Ireland v. Italy – $20 cover.
May the winds of fortune sail you,
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other guy
who says, “this drink’s on me.”
Stagger home with a bottle of fine Irish Whisky for your Irish Coffee and pop in a New York/Irish classic DVD, like “Gangs of New York.” Drift off into the land of the fairy and be glad you have another year until next SPD!