By: Kevin Traynor
This year marked the 278th St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City. Lead by Grand Marshall, Michael J. Gibbons, the parade marched up 5th Avenue from 44th Street and ended at the Irish-American Society.
With Spring Break in full swing, this provided Marist students an opportunity to head into the city and partake in the fun that is St Patty’s Day. One student who took advantage of her day off was Ashley Linda, a senior.
“I took the bus in from Jersey,” Linda said. “It was an easy trip, and we got in around 11am, saw a little of the parade and went to a few pubs.”
A true marcher’s parade, no floats or balloons accompany the marcher’s. There are two types of people who attend the parade: those who march, and those who don’t.
“For the past couple years I’ve marched with the fire department,” said Dan Melia, a FDNY Battalion Chief. “This year my daughter turned 21, so we went out for a little afterwards, and got home in time for dinner, it was a good day.”
When the parade concludes, the day is just beginning. For Ashley and her friends, the question of where to spend the rest of their day was a unanimous decision: McFaddens.
Irish bars line 2nd avenue in midtown, but the place to be on St. Patty’s is McFaddens. Originally owned by Steve McFadden, the pub has changed hands since opening, but has kept the name.
“The place was packed,” Linda said. “I spent a majority of my day standing shoulder to shoulder in a sea of green shirts.”
McFadden’s offered traditional Irish food throughout the course of the day including corned beef, soda bread and an assortment of blood puddings which make up the traditional Irish breakfast.
“I’m not a big fan of any of that stuff, really, but some of the guys I was with had some corned beef,” Linda said.
The day ended relatively early for Linda and her friends, but they didn’t complain.
“I ended up home around 8pm, which is early for a regular night out, but my day usually doesn’t start at 11am either,” Linda said.
St. Patrick’s Day in Manhattan is an experience onto itself. There are no biases. Everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s day.