Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ST. PATRICK'S DAY: A Tale of Two Bars

As it turns out, I celebrated St. Patrick's Day at two locations, at the Blarney Rock Pub in Manhattan and at Angry Wades in Brooklyn, the first to soak in the flavor of the parade just a few blocks away and the second to chow down on some traditional Irish food.

I strolled into a packed Blarney Rock around noon, nudged myself into a corner seat where a few of the regulars were hanging out and began to watch the drunks get stupid. This was a perfect spot. I had a commanding view of the entire length of the bar, plus I could watch the shenanigans unfolding outside the big picture window behind me.

St Pats Day at Blarney Rock -

While a few dozen green clad revelers sang along to Bon Jovi songs they played on the jukebox, outside bouncers were shooing away kids who looked as young as 14 and 16. Many of them already had beers in their hands, stuffed in brown paper bags. In New York, the legal drinking age is 21, but on this one day, the owner decided to ban anyone from coming inside unless they were 23 and had two forms of I.D to prove it. It was pathetic watching two friends trying to hold up a girl who couldn't stand on her own. I felt like I was watching a female version of "Weekend at Bernie's," you know where the two buddies cart their dead friend around town, as if he was alive.

After a while, I had enough, said goodbye to the regulars and the bartender and headed to Brooklyn, where I popped into Angry Wades for a few drinks. But, I was really there for Wade's big St. Patrick's Day spread, which included corned beer and cabbage, boiled potatoes, carrots and traditional Irish soda bread. He does this every year and doesn't charge a dime for it. They were doing the same sort of thing a few blocks away at the bar Moonshine. Most of the food was gone in less than 90-minutes. The crowd here, unlike Manhattan was much more civil and at this pretty early hour, no one appeared to be visibly or annoyingly drunk. I left before the big night time crowd of party goers arrived. This was probably a good thing.

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