Going Green: St. Paddy’s Day in New York

Due to some mix-up in Mother Nature’s official duties, it seems we have thankfully missed out on the whole “in like a lion” part of winter. Instead, we have spent most of the last few months waiting for the season to rear its ugly head.

March has been no different, with temperatures reaching into the fifties on select days, and inspiring an early resurgence of bike riding and jogging, and an overall early emergence from winter hibernation.

March is one of those months with so little predictability in weather, but one thing we can always count on is the arrival one of New Yorkers’ favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day.

This month, along with a tiptoe toward blooming flowers and April showers, Brooklynites will also celebrate one of our favorite occasions, which we have somehow stretched from a one-day event to a month-long party. St. Paddy’s Day officially arrived in Staten Island and the Rockaways this weekend and as such, Brooklynites crossed bridges donning green as a warm-up for a whole month of fun.

The party will continue with the big parade down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, as always landing on March 17. On this side of the bridge, the Ridge will host a ton of parade-day festivities for before and after the big march.

Lonestar Bar and Grill will be cooking up drink specials and the Irish favorite, corned beef and cabbage, served free starting at noon. Over at the Monk, live Irish tunes will play well into the night, as stragglers from the parade return to the real St. Paddy’s Day central, Bay Ridge.

These are only two of the countless parties Ridgeites will attend to show their green side. The next day, Park Slope will hold its celebration on March 18, packing an extra punch of green into the weekend. It is only fitting that Bay Ridge, one of New York’s greenest neighborhoods, will bring everything to a close on March 25.

I look forward, as I do every year, to every moment of it. Our borough in particular has such a strong Irish-American community and this presence is felt each year at the Brooklyn parades. It seems like all of Brooklyn turns out to wear green for the day, making the holiday all the more at home here. There is something so comforting about these parades, as I join with my neighbors to cheer from the side lines.

Freckled and non-freckled faces smile and sometimes brave the cold temperatures to participate in this jovial, communal feast day, on which all are welcome. This year, regardless of your heritage, join one or all of the parties and go green.

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