There was a time when my friends and I treated St. Patrick's Day as if it were a religious holiday and were very serious about its observance. It called for taking a half day from work and starting the festivities over lunch at one of the little bars that we frequented around the corner. The party then, inevitably, moved to the bar called Tir Na Nog on Hamilton Avenue in Trenton. If St. Patrick's fell on a Saturday, the day started much earlier and breakfast at a diner would be substituted for the lunch. The day always began well but ended, well.....drunk. After Tir Na Nog, if anyone was sober enough, one of the local cover bands was usually playing at one of our other watering holes or we would just stop by Eddie's (our neighborhood corner bar) for "one more". Normally, there wasn't much coherance after Tir Na Nog and we called it a night. I have some fond memories of those days, others, not so fond. But I wouldn't trade 'em. Today on St. Patrick's Day I will be going to work and probably just coming home right after. Different from the old days but equally exhausting. Though not having a hangover tomorrow will be a plus. Who knows, though? I could always end up going out, there's always something to do here and there will be plenty of St. Patrick celebrations. The parades in the French Quarter were this past weekend, but Pat O'Brien's (home of the hurricane) and Molly's at the Market will be celebrating along with the hundreds of other bars. And in the section of the city named "The Irish Channel" two rival bars will be holding their annual block party. If I decide to join the party this evening, it won't be anything strenuous. Probably just head over to Frenchmen St. to hear some music, depends on the crowds.
Last weekend, after getting through my first Mardi Gras living in the French Quarter, I was so looking forward to basking in the peace and quiet and just chillin' at the apartment with the doors open and a good book. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. First, I got a text from our roommate, Bryan, telling me that two of his friends surprised him and are on their way to New Orleans and will arrive in the evening. Crap. Then I look outside and see the neighbors from the third floor setting up a table in the courtyard and spreading newspaper on it. That means one thing in New Orleans.......crawfish boil. Crap, again. I am not a fan of seafood of any kind and the steamy scent from boiling crawfish will make me gag, (my BFF, Liz can confirm this) so my mind is quickly trying to devise a "plan B" for the day but is interrupted by the loud, lovely sounds of death metal. Blasting in the courtyard. Crawfish, a crowd of people, AND death metal. Definitely not what I had in mind for my day. Luckily, my buddy Mike was home and I went over to his place. Decided to go eat dinner around the corner at La Peniche....mediocre, at best. We used to go there all the time pre-Katrina and the food was great diner-type food served by sassy, gay waiters. This time it was cold, just o.k. food served by a plain ol' woman. Can't win 'em all, I guess. All in all, it was a good outing. I got to see Lois (our dog that we used to share when we were roommates), hang with Mike, and by the time I got home the party was over. Then Bryan arrived with his guests......*sigh*.
This is why I'm on the fence about going out tonight. I've been craving some peace and quiet and going out on St. Patrick's evening isn't going to provide that. Not by a long shot. But we'll see. I have a four day weekend ahead of me and can have my solitude then. Maybe.