Erin Go Bragh Humbug
After New Year's Eve, readers always write to us to grumble about the parties they went to at bars and clubs. Common complaints: Lines were too long; the bar was too packed to get a drink; there was nowhere to sit down; the rooms were too crowded, I couldn't get anything good to eat, etc., etc.
Those sound exactly like my complaints about most St. Patrick's Day events.
I've been to parties all over town in years past -- the Dubliner, the Irish Times, Nanny O'Brien's, Flanagan's, Biddy Mulligan's, Fado, the Four Courts -- but I rarely enjoy them. There's something about trying to drink a Guinness while crushed like sardines that just doesn't appeal to me, especially when the bar thoughtfully provides port-a-johns right outside the tent they've erected to squeeze even more bodies in. Even worse: Most places make you pay for this privilege, and then shut their kitchens down for the day. Drinking on an empty stomach -- not the best idea.
Don't get me wrong. I love hanging out at Nanny's with a pint listening to traditional Irish jam sessions, or sitting in one of the windows at Biddy Mulligan's and watching Dupont Circle go by. But on St. Patrick's Day? Forget it.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Would you wait 20-30 minutes and pay $10 to get into a crowded Ireland's Four Provinces on a Friday night if you knew there was nowhere to sit down, nothing to eat but cold corned beef sandwiches, and they were only taking cash at the bar?
Then why do so on St. Patrick's Day?
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