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An Irish Gal’s Guide To St.Paddy’s (Not Patty’s) Day In NYC

Lifestyle

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.

5. Hydrate

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

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.

Pre-Read

When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.

Highlight

Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.

Summarize

If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.