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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Is As Irish Does

St. Patrick's Day in Washington, D.C. mostly involves a lot of movie set type Irish bars advertising corned beef specials and green beer. My Irish roots were overshadowed by my Greek background here in Washington- mostly because the Greek side of the family was louder. But once a year when March 17th rolled around my mother would quietly mention her ancestors and wave her arm vaguely across the ocean.

Otherwise my Irish experience mostly boils down to wearing green to school, and the hours I spent with my friend Dan at Kelly's Irish Times, down near Union Station. When we were at the University of Maryland, Dan would swear he could hit all green lights all the way back to College Park thanks to luck of the Irish. (fueled by the power of Guiness) Later when Dan was in the Merchant Marine, he would call me from "his office"-the payphone in the back of the pub- to let me know that he was back in town. We were never in that bar for St Patrick's Day that I can remember- it was wild enough when they had a band playing, and all of the players were friends of Dan's.

I can't recommend going out on St Patrick's Day, but I learned yesterday that traditionally the Irish didn't go out either. They stayed home eating dinner with their families- more like Thanksgiving than anything else. If you missed it, WAMU's Kojo Nnamndi had a great show yesterday on both Gaelic culture, food and the old Irish neighborhoods in Washington.

Have a stout and check it out.

Happy St Patrick's Day DC ROCKS' readers.

And Happy St Patrick's Day, Dan.

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