Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beannachtai na Feile Libh go Leir

Or, if you insist on having it in English: "May the blessings of the holiday be with ye all".

The holiday in question, of course, being that most beloved of all Irish-American occasions for celebration, Saint Patrick's Day. Like many native Irish people, I remain firmly convinced that this is a holiday that is celebrated with far more vigour outside of Ireland than at home. Maybe they honour the day with green beer in some Irish pubs these days, but they certainly never did so in my time.

But, as an expat in Paris, I couldn't let the occasion go completely unmarked. So I celebrated by having a nice dinner at my neighborhood restaurant -
Le Vernissoir
When I say "neighborhood" I really mean it. I am at #16, they are at #18, so their bar is just on the other side of my kitchen wall.
The meal was great, and they were very welcoming -- I got to practice my French quite a bit, and the owners were very encouraging. When I got there at 9pm, only three tables were occupied, but a big party of 20 or more arrived around 10:30pm and things were hopping when I left at 11.

To make up for some of that caloric excess, I went for a nice brisk walk to the Louvre and back after dinner. Who knew Paris had so many fake Irish pubs? Revelers overflowed into the streets, but this being Paris, even the drunks were polite. I managed to make it home without acquiring a whimsical Guinness hat.

Right now Kurt Masur is conducting the National Orchestra of France in Beethoven's Ninth on Channel 3 and I am hoping that my earlier walk will finally cure me of the insomnia that has plagued me since arriving here on Sunday. I leave you with a little cat poem, taken from the awesome book of Cat Poetry Paddy sent with me as a St Patrick's Day gift. Even though her card was well off the standard of tackiness we have come to expect*, her gift more than made up for it:

CAT JACKS by Shel Silverstein

Do not play jacks
With the Jaguar cat -
You'll never ever beat her.
If she don't win,
She'll start to whine.
If she gets an eight,
She'll pick up nine -
She'll say she didn't,
But you'll know she's lion -
She's such an awful Cheetah.

*: this year's tacky Saint Patrick's Day card contest is now officially closed, and this year's winner is .... BRAD. (Details in a future post)

1 comment:

  1. I walked against a sturdy stream of all ages and sorts of people decked in green Mardi Gras beads, hats, and giant shamrocks headed into Old Town Alexandria at 7 p.m. tonight as I headed homeward.

    Brad, look out in 2013.