Thursday, March 18, 2010

News Flash: Warning-some may find this offensive.

The Irish* don't really care about St. Patrick's Day.

I know a lot of you Irish-Americans out there will find this hard to take, so I understand if you curse my blog and click away from it. But, really, it's true. No one eats corned beef and cabbage (my husband never even heard of this dish until I mentioned it to him). There is no green beer. The River Liffey continues to flow its regular shade of brown - no green tint added. There was a commercial on TV advertising the opportunity for people living in Ireland to win a trip to New York City to celebrate St Patrick's Day. Umm...what??

This was my first St Patrick's Day in Ireland, so I wasn't really sure what most people do to celebrate. I think most Americans will be surprised to find that this is a true holiday in Ireland, which means they get the day off work.On Monday I asked Wes if he wanted me to make him ham and cabbage for dinner on Wednesday. 'Why?', he asked. 'Uh, it's St. Patrick's Day!' 'Oh, no'. Okay, so I asked what most people do for St Patrick's Day. 'Binge drink and fist fights.' Hmmm.....okaaaaayyyyy. I think it's no surprise that neither of these things really appealed to me.But, since he had the day off work I felt compelled to come up with some semi-exciting plans.

I was actually pretty pleased with what I came up with. We went to the Light House Cinema, which is a small independent cinema in our neighborhood, and ended up meeting up with some friends who also live in Smithfield. They were showing Bananas on the Breadboard which is a short documentary highlighting the people and traditions of the market area of Smithfield, Henry Street, and Moore Street. You can read a bit more about it here. I really enjoyed it! I live in this neighborhood and see these people everyday. I buy fruits, vegetables, and fish from these women. So learning a bit more about their history, why they started selling fruit and veg off prams, and the fight they had to go through to keep their source of income, was really inspiring to see. The film also talked about some of the buildings in the area - for example, there's an apartment building that was built by the Corporation (aka Dublin City Council) in 1916 after a tenement collapsed in 1913 killing, I think, seven people. Wes and I had no idea the building was that old. We thought it was built in the 60s. If I can organise my thoughts enough, I'd love to do a post one day about the strength of the Irish woman through history. They are some pretty amazing people!

After the film we went to an Italian place next door and had pizza and coffee. How very Irish of us! After the pizza, we did head over to the Cobblestone for a few pints. We were hoping that because it's not in the city center that it wouldn't be jammed with tourists, but no luck. I'm pretty sure Wes and our friend, M-L were there only Irish people there, except for the musicians and the bartenders.There were lots of cheesy hats, large men wearing tiny bibs, and even a girl wearing dried orange slices as earrings (perhaps it was the only 'orange' she could find for her outfit).

All in all, it was a pretty low key day and we managed to avoid the binge drinking and fist fights!

*At least the ones still living in Ireland.


  1. Wow, who knew? Usually when I'm home in America my neighbors and I have a potluck for St. Patricks day. Here in England, we did nothing.

    I cooked dinner (chicken) for nothing because my spouse came home from Copenhagen and he called me when he got to Heathrow and said " Don't bother cooking ,I got to sit in the good section on the plane."

    Gah! I could use a green beer .

  2. I never venture far from the house on St Pat's and definitely avoid city centre. Avoiding puke and broken glass on the sidewalks walking to work this morning was not fun. Now I sound like a bitter betty. Oh and we had pizza for dinner last night, too :) Slainte!

  3. Yes KD, avoiding the city centre is a requirement! M-L met us for drinks and she was happy to be in the safety of the upper level of her bus as they cruised through the centre. I don't think you sound like a bitter betty...I think maybe we're just old! :P

  4. I think I'd heard that before, that St. Patrick's Day was very different in Ireland. I'd love to read a post about the Irish women if you could do that.

  5. I so agree! I work in an Irish pub in St Louis and after two 18 hour days (Sat and Wed) on my feet amongst the debauchery, I loathe the holiday.

    The Cobblestone is my home away from home!! Seriously, everytime we are in Dublin we are there for many a evenings. My husband used to play there two times a week (he's even got his mugshot on the wall) and is good friends with the owner. My sister in law still plays there once a week. I actually wore my Cobblestone Tshirt yesterday. I figured something actually Irish should be represented. The musicians we have over from Dublin had a great time laughing at the Americans yesterday!

    I would love to hear if that movie comes out on DVD. My father in law used to have a fruit and veg stall in the square in the 80s. I've heard so many stories about the history of the area as well.

    I took great pleasure in bursting customers bubbles yesterday when they would say, "I want a real Irish meal, Corned Beef and Cabbage." "Uh, guess what jerky, not really Irish." Anyway, after 10 years of working the holiday and being puked on and having my hair pulled yesterday I thought I was going to kill someone.

    Sorry this was so long. This post was taken from my thoughts over the last couple days. And it made me miss our family and friends in Dublin. I hope the music was great yesterday, it is one of the best places to hear trad music in the city!