Lifestyle 16 March 2018
It's here, the day you've all been waiting for. Your favorite holiday that, (although you won't admit it), betters Thanksgiving and comes just after Christmas on your top hits, because hey, there's more alcohol.
I've been in New York for a year-and-a-half now and given that my last St. Patrick's Day here winded up in da club with Conor Mcgregor and a gaggle of his adulating fans (by accident), this one promises to be just as entertaining, because it's on a Saturday. I've rounded up a preliminary guide to your day in the city, which is just some friendly advice from mine to yours, and included a smattering of photos of mine from over the years on the day in question for your entertainment.
1. It's St. Paddy's, not patty's
I would like to state on the case of St. Patty's -v- St. Paddy's, that you have been deceived your whole life into thinking that the day was synonymous with a patty ( a.k.a a burger). “Paddy's Day" is short for St. Patrick's Day. In colloquial Irish parlance, Paddy is an abbreviation of Patrick. And for anyone who tries to push their feminist agenda (with 'patty' rather marginally sounding more ladylike than Paddy), on the holiday, please refrain. St. Patrick was a man, ladies, get over it.
2. Start early
Start as you mean to go on. Ireland will play England in a rugby match at 9AM E.S.T, and it provides a great opportunity for an early opener to the day.
Now, while rugby might not be your cup of tea (and that should be Lyon's Irish Breakfast Tea on Saturday, not Barry's, in my honest and completely biased opinion), the fact that Ireland are playing England always makes for a great, atmospheric watching experience. The age-old rivals, (England presided over Ireland's governing for 700 hundred years), will go to battle in what could be an extremely momentous rugby occasion for the boys in green.
Ireland have a chance to win 'The Grand Slam' having beaten every other team in the Six Nations tournament. You won't want to miss this one if you're an early riser, and The Long Hall in midtown is always a safe bet to watch the game.
3. Eat an Irish breakfast
While you might think black pudding (blood sausage) is particularly daunting, the rest of an Irish breakfast happens to be very pleasant. Irish sausages and especially Irish bacon, which is immensely superior to that of the Canadian variety, make up the best of the dish, which (should) also include beans, toast and eggs.
If you've never tried it before, surely this is the day for you.
4. There's never too much (or too little) green
My darling latina editor told me that when she was younger, if you didn't wear green on St. Patty's Day, you would get pinched. This, funnily enough, is an entirely American tradition which began in the 1700s and has something to do with leprechauns. If you don't wear green in Ireland, you certainly don't get pinched.
I will be trying to squeeze an element of green into my outfit on the day, and admittedly there are years I've gone overboard (cue horrifying flashbacks to electric green, skin tight leggings and velour emerald bodysuits), but accessorising for the day is just as fun. In fact this year, in one (slightly awkward) holiday package sent to the office, we received shamrock-shaped nipple stickers, because who couldn't do with a pair of those during a girls-gone-wild moment on the day.
My favorite thing to do for the day however? An irish-flag themed manicure.
For every (American) pint (an Irish pint is larger) / glass of wine / vodka-soda / gin and tonic / shot you do, drink a glass of water. This is not child's play, you'll want to at least last until 4pm, otherwise it's all you'll be hearing for the next week in your group chat. Some of the most lauded stories of my friends' childhoods are those from Paddy's Day, during which they've over-consumed alcohol, under-consumed food and water, and have lived to regret the mistakes they made neglecting their liver (and self-respect) in the meantime.
6. Don't ask an Irish person to speak 'Gaelic'
Hold your horses on this popular instruction from across the bar. As children in Ireland, we're taught our native language, Irish, otherwise known as Gaeilge. Gaeilge is to Irish as Hola or Bonjour is to hello. 'Gaelic' is a language that predates rhyme and reason, and is akin to Old English which, if you've ever seen an original Beowulf text, is mostly incomprehensible to the modern reader.
We will however be glad to share a line of Irish with you, considering it will probably be an insult dripping with sarcasm in the form of “kiss my ass," or, “póg mo thóin."
7. Know your haunts
Word on the street is a Saturday St. Patrick's Day trumps NYC's Santacon for citywide craziness, and I absolutely believe that.
I plan on hitting midtown for a midday peek at the parade and spending a little time on in the row of pubs on 2nd ave. from 49-55th st. These bars (Draught 55, The Horny Ram, Murphy's, Jameson's) are generally pretty quiet and very low-key, so it'll b interesting to see the difference a day makes, but beyond that I'll be staying downtown. Stone St. will provide ample entertainment for any party goer new to the city as will the likes of The Swift Hibernian in Noho or the esteemable Dead Rabbit (which happens to have a larger than usual female staff leading the charge behind the bar). For late night revellers, The Mean Fiddler and Fiddlesticks will expect you.
Moral of the story is: before you head out for your celebrations, know what you like - pubs big or small, uptown or downtown - and figure out the general area you would like to be in. From there, you can't go wrong!
Lá Fhéile Pádraig folks, or, Happy St. Patrick's Day
5 Min Read
Elizabeth Warren majorly called out "arrogant billionaire" Michael Bloomberg for his history of silencing women through NDAs and closed-door settlement negotiations. Sound familiar? Probably because we already have a president like that. At this point, Bloomberg may just spend the remainder of his (hopefully) ill-fated presidential campaign roasting on a spit over a fire sparked by the righteous anger of women. A lesser punishment than he deserves, if you ask me.
At last night's Democratic debate, Michael Bloomberg could barely stammer out an answer to a question on whether or not he would release any of his former accusers from their nondisclosure agreements. His unsatisfactory response was basically a halting list of what he has done for certain nondescript women in his time at City Hall and within his own company.
But that certainly wasn't enough for Elizabeth Warren, nor should it be, who perfectly rephrased his defense as, "I've been nice to some women." Michael Bloomberg is basically that weird, problematic Uncle that claims he can't be racist, "Because I have a Black friend." In a society where power is almost always in the hands of straight, white, cisgendered, men being "nice" to a lucky few is in no way a defense for benefiting from and building upon the systematic silencing of all marginalized communities, let alone women. Stop and frisk, anybody?
Here is a brief clip of the Warren v. Bloomberg exchange, which I highly recommend. It is absolutely (and hilariously) savage.
But let's talk about the deeper issues at hand here (other than Warren being an eloquent badass).
Michael Bloomberg has been sued multiple times, yet each time he was able to snake his way out of the problem with the help of his greatest and only superpower: cold, hard cash. Each time these allegations have come up, in Warren's words, he throws "a chunk of money at the table" and "forces the woman to wear a muzzle for the rest of her life."
As reported by Claire Lampen of The Cut, here are just a few of his prior indiscretions.
- Pregnancy discrimination—Bloomberg reportedly told a former employee of his to "kill it," in reference to her developing fetus.
- Sexual harassment—You could literally write a book on this subject (someone did), but for the sake of brevity...
"I'd like to do that piece of meat" - Michael Bloomberg in reference to various women at his company.
- Undermining #MeToo—Not only did he defend the accused, but he went on the disparage accusers every step of the way.
- Defaming transgender people—Though he claims to support trans rights, he has also been qupted multiple times as referring to trans women as "some guy wearing a dress."
Yeah... That's not a winning formula for me, Mike.
Furthermore, Warren points out the simple fact that if, as Bloomberg claims, these instances were simply big misunderstandings (He was just joking around!) then why go to all the trouble to cover them up? Does Michael Bloomberg think women can't take a joke? Or can we only surmise that the truth of these events are far darker and dirtier than we could even imagine?
Certain commentators have called Elizabeth Warren's debate presence "agressive," especially in regards to this instance but also continually throughout her entire campaign. If asking poignant questions to known abusers who are seeking to further their own political power is considered "aggressive," then I am here for it. Bring on the aggressive women, please and thank you.
Calling a woman aggressive for being confidant and direct is a gendered complaint. You don't see anyone whining that Bernie is "aggressive" when he goes off on a screaming tangent. Also, have you seen our president? He's basically the poster boy for political temper tantrums. But still, it's Warren that is deemed "aggressive," for honing in on the exact issues that need to be considered in this upcoming election.
This type of derisory label is another aspect of how our society silences women—much like Bloomberg and his NDAs. Because "silencing" is more than just putting a "muzzle" on someone. It's refusing to listen to a person's cries for help. It's disregarding what a woman has to say, because she's too "aggressive." It's taking away someone's power by refusing to truly hear their side of the story. Because if you aren't listening, responding, or even just respecting someone's words, they may well have said nothing at all.
"Silence is the ocean of the unsaid, the unspeakable, the repressed, the erased, the unheard." - Renecca Solnit
Nondiscolusure agreements are a legal gag for people who have experienced harassment and abuse at the hands of those above them.
Gretchen Carlson, possibly the most famous person subject to an NDA, is one of these people. Her story is so well-known that it has even been immortalized on film, in 2019's Bombshell. Yet she is still forced to maintain her silence. She cannot tell her side of the story even when Hollywood can. She was cajoled into her current position after facing harassment in her workplace. She didn't have the power then to do more than accept her fate. And now, she doesn't have the power to tell her story.
She was, and still is being, silenced.
After her experiences, Carlson was moved to fight for all women to have the power over their truths. In a recent op-ed for the New York Times she declared: "I want my voice back. I want it back for me, and for all those silenced by forced arbitration and NDAs."
Carlson may still be tied to her NDA, but there are those who go a different route. Celeste Headlee, who wrote an op-ed on SWAAY about her experience, chose to break her nondisclosure agreement. Though doing so undoubtedly opened her up to numerous legal ramifications, she knew that she could no longer "sign away [her] right to justice."
Because that is what an NDA is all about, signing away a person's right to justice. Their story is their justice. Their NDA is a lock and key. Headlee may have broken through that lock, but she must face the consequences.
Neither Carlson nor Headlee are any less brave for how they have handled their journeys. They are both actively working to shift the cultural and political norms that led them here, and their work will, with hope and time, lead to real change. But they are just two drops in an ocean of women who are held hostage by their nondisclosure agreements, by men like Michael Bloomberg, and by a society that would rather silence them than let truth and justice be had.