Saint Patrick’s Day 2017 falls on a Friday. This undoubtedly spells disaster for the streets of the District, which are bound to be packed with binge-drinking hooligans in varying shades of green claiming Irish heritage, and probably starting a fight over who’s more Irish, all happening just before noon. You’ll hear people exclaim things like, “This is the most authentic Irish corned beef and cabbage I’ve ever had!” and “Watch me chug this sick car bomb!” It’s enough to give anyone a migraine. Never fear, though– Brightest Young Things has you covered. My name is Jonny Grave, and I’m here to help.
The Dos and Don’ts of Saint Patrick’s Day:
St. Paddy’s Day is less of an Irish holiday, and more of an American celebration of Irish culture and heritage. All of the goofy green decorations, the ridiculous binge-drinking, the corned beef and cabbage, and even the parades are all part of a tradition Irish immigrants began in the United States. I’ve said it before, and I’ll likely have to remind the readers again next year, the first Saint Patrick’s Day parade was in New York, not Dublin. All that said, there’s nothing wrong with having some fun on March 17th, and there’s even some ways of doing it without being an asshole. Here are some suggestions.
DO: Go to your favorite local bar, get a pint, sing some songs, and maybe dance a jig.
DON’T: Go to a different neighborhood’s bar, get shithoused, request “Danny Boy” from the pub band, dance on a table, start a fight, vomit on a stranger, and get thrown out.
DO: Wear a little green.
DON’T: Pinch others for not wearing green. Fuck you if you do this. Who the hell made it appropriate for you to persecute others for not celebrating your holiday? Seriously, fuck you.
DO: Order a whiskey.
DON’T: Order an Irish Car Bomb, especially if you’re served by an Irish bartender. It’s like going to a French bar, and asking them to make a Charlie Hebdo.
DO: Discuss your Irish heritage, if you have any.
DON’T: Claim to be more authentically Irish than others, unless you actually are Irish.
DO: Try the corned beef and cabbage.
DON’T: Call it a traditional Irish dish. Corned beef and cabbage, like most delicious dishes in this country, comes from pockets in the United States where Irish immigrants lived side-by-side with Jewish immigrants. Pork was unavailable, and lamb was too expensive. The Irish-Americans settled for corned beef, and did just fine without falsely reminiscing about their homeland.
DO: Decorate with shamrocks.
DON’T: Decorate with four-leafed clovers. The shamrock is a symbol synonymous with Ireland, and a allegorical relic of Saint Patrick’s teachings. It has always had three leaves. Never four.
Best Bets for Bars on Saint Patrick’s Day:
Phenomenal; we’ve established the ground rules, and you’re ready to hit the town. Have you got your green? Marvelous. Have you got your friends? Perfect. Let’s hit the pub.
Union Market: Frozen Irish coffees, Guinness-battered fish & chips, fried oysters, and plenty of beer and music. There’s no way to go wrong at this party. Union Market is home to some of the most delicious foods in the District, and is partnering with BYT for an evening of ridiculous shenanigans. Stop here for sensory overload.
The Dubliner: Celebrating her 43rd year of pulling pints, the Dubliner offers 43-cent pints of Guinness on Saint Patrick’s Day from 9am until 10pm. From then on, it’s a non-stop barrage of music, dancing, friends, and merriment. Brian Gaffney is playing at some point in the day, and will probably encourage everyone in the bar to sing along. This is likely going to be the loudest party of the night.
Dupont Circle Hotel: If I were not working, I would love to swing by this place for dinner. The cocktail menu at Bar Dupont offers a handful of tempting Ireland-inspired craft cocktails, including the Tipperary, made Glendalough and Chartreuse. The food menu at Café Dupont features a similar theme; classic Irish dishes, done in a remarkably fancy fashion. Irish food gets a bad rap, usually relegated to “peasant food.” Neither the parsnip and pear soup, nor the rack of lamb, nor the Bailey’s crème brulée sound like peasant food to me.
The Wonderland Ballroom: I am not paraphrasing, I am directly copy-pasting the event’s description from Facebook– “We open at 11:45AM so that anyone determined to earn his or her ‘drinking since the morning’ badge may do so. We will have Guiness AND green beer. We have will corned beef & cabbage AND green trinkets. Our barback will be wearing the Green Man bodysuit. We will have Father Ted icons adorning the entrance. We will have copies of Finnegan’s Wake strewn about. Weather permitting, we will have a safe space for any actual Irish people close enough to the door to allow them to jeer at anyone dressed as a leprechaun. We are limiting our staff to one Pogues song an hour. Maybe we’ll have a mariachi band, who knows?”
Nanny O’Briens: This is just as traditional as any other Irish pub on Saint Patrick’s Day, but will be a decidedly neighborhood-like affair. The party here is lively, but not overwhelming. The beer here is always cold, and never green. The food this year comes courtesy of Smoked & Stacked, with a limited supply of corned beef reubens. And the music comes courtesy of me, and my friends in Slow Down Tommy.
Standup Comedy from Ireland:
It’s no secret Ireland is full of sarcasm, dry wit, and remorseful humor. All of this, of course, makes for a brilliant crop of standup comics. For some reason, there’s few Irish comedians that have become household names, despite their hilarity. If you’re ever interested in seeing how Ireland pokes fun at the rest of the world, look no further:
A Suitable Playlist for Saint Patrick’s Day:
Whether you’re Irish or America, whether you decide to find a bit of fun at the pub or stay home, whether you’re sampling as many whiskies as you can or staying dry this year, this playlist should do you well. Sláinte, dear hearts. May the rains sweep gentle across your fields, may the sun warm the land, may every good seed you have planted bear fruit, and late summer find you standing in fields of plenty.