Saturday, March 17, 2007

Luck of the Irish to you

St Paddy's Day has always been my favorite holiday. I'm not Irish but I might as well have been. I've been hanging with Irishmen all my life. The greatest love of my life is Irish. Fully half of my best friends are Irish and I look terrific in kelly green.

The holiday is lot different for me down here. For many years this night would find me as the bar formerly known as City Cafe. The name changed but a McColgan is still running it. My dear friend Harry, gave it to his son along with a new partner and now it's called Tully O'Reillys. But whatever it's called, it's the best place in the world to spend St. Paddy's Day. The place is centered around the holiday. They have a countdown calendar, like they have for Christmas, so many days until... and everybody in town comes for the festivities.

You see people you only see once a year. You hang with drunken dignitaries of all stripes from judges to politicians to business owners wearing green beads and other cheesy party favors provided by the Guiness supplier and the local radio station, who broadcasts live. And if all that got boring you could go next door to the place formerly known as Harry's, now called The Elevens, and see some kickbutt Irish band.

I never quite warmed up to that side of the place after they changed the name for a lot of reasons, even though I loved a lot of the bands that played there. One of them being when I first met Harry, the place functioned as his private downtown bar. It was only open when he was around and most of the time the door was locked. I spent many a night there with just Harry and Sully and Smitty and maybe a few other old friends, just drinking and thinking. Mostly drinking. Once it turned into a real business, it wasn't the same.

But if I still lived in lovely downtown Noho, I'd be drinking with those bad boys tonight. Ah the blog fodder I could have scored. I suppose I should have gone into town to the Irish bar here but it's not the same when you have to drive home. And the boys won't be there. So instead I'm sitting here alone, drinking a Guinness and remembering my glory days. Somehow it feels right.


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