Saturday, March 03, 2007

Hoboken Saint Patrick's Day

"'... To paraphrase Col. Nathan R. Jessup (A Few Good Men), "I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for St. Patrick's Day, and you curse the bars. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That St. Patrick's Day, while messy, probably saved (financial) lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, stops trouble. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.'

"On March 3rd, when you see that guy puking in your front yard or urinating in your hallway, keep in mind there was a time when he'd be in the bar instead, and we'd deal with it ..."
- From
Christopher M. Halleron, freelance writer/bitter bartender, writes a biweekly humor column for The Hudson Current and websites in the New York Metro area. He spends a lot of his time either in front of or behind the bar in Hoboken, New Jersey where his tolerance for liquor grows stronger as his tolerance for society is eroded on a daily basis. Read more at

Today I experienced my first real Saint Patrick's Day Celebration. I've never really done more than just try to remember to wear green on the actually holiday. Most years I have forgotten.

But this year - my first year as a New Yorker - we kicked off my first day as a half-Filipina/half-White Irishman at 9 a.m. with bagels and screwdrivers in Annisha's apartment, went to a house party on someone's roof before noon, laughed hysterically as Eileen crashed the St. Patrick's Day Parade and took a photo with a member of an Irish Celtic band, ditched the long bar lines and headed to another house party, where I learned that I can like beer ... and all before 5 p.m.

Later we went to a bar in Manhattan to meet Annisha's boss and a colleague from their London office, had dinner at Lombardi's Pizza on Spring Street, and then I had to call it a night. The girls went on to another downtown bar, and I'm home by midnight. But I'm pretty proud of myself for pulling off a day like today.

St. Patrick's Day in Hoboken was somewhat reminiscent of the college spring breaks of my youth. It wasn't a 9 p.m.-to-noon-all-nighter, but even if I don't have the late-teen/early 20s energy to pull something like this off every weekend, I feel like I've still got it ... or I at least had it today.

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