Well it is time to put on the green in honor of St Patrick. Green beer will be flowing around the city I fear. Green bagels already are being sold in the bakery and “Kiss Me I’m Irish Shirts are showing up all around the city. Tonight at Ralph’s from 5pm to 8pm, we will revisit the traditional Irish Beer of Guinness Harp Smithwicks and Guinness stout or as many refer to it, motor oil. The price of the tasting is just six dollars. All this great beer of old reminds me of when I lived in Seal Beach, a sleepy little town just behind the Orange curtain bordering Long Beach to the north and Sunset Beach to the South. To the city of Seal Beach St Patrick’s day was bigger than Christmas. Considering there are no less than 4 Irish pubs on Main Street alone its no wonder that city waited for increased partiers and crazy behavior of alcohol induced patrons. Stories circulated in long years past of drunken displays of van roof encounters of a sexual nature in full public view! These stunts lead to the closure \ of the all night block party that was considered the highlight of the year. Otherwise conservative working class people just got way out of hand when allowed to explore every vice without inhibition in a drunken state of mind.
In Later years Police were able to keep the revelers to a controlled festive atmosphere, sure the usual scuffles were evident but kept to a minimum and dealt with quickly and calmly. Friends of mine from parts of Huntington and Long Beach were always ready to use my place as ground zero to try their hand at festivities. Car keys were taken and returned not until the next morning after a good breakfast and some aspirin . I care for my friends and would set the rules from the start. If we didn’t want to take a chance of getting arrested for drunk in public on Main Street, I many times offered a corn beef and cabbage dinner that night and plenty of Irish whiskey or beers to keep my friends out of the local jail. If truth were told, St Patrick’s Day is really amateur night, the one-day of the year people take advantage of some inherent right to go get liquored up and celebrate. I recently read that in Ireland they do not even eat corned beef and cabbage on St Patrick’s Day. The article did not say what they ate or why the boiled dinner became so popular by the United States. With New York being the original gateway to the New World for many immigrants from Europe in the 18th and 19th century it is natural to see a huge St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Most large cities take part in color guard displays from the Fire Department and local Police agencies around the city and state. Scottish Bagpipes ring out across the early morning air heralding in the beginning of the various parades. In Long Beach I remember a guy practicing his pipes in the local park. Hearing Amazing Grace on a Saturday morning as I drank my coffee always set the tone for a brighter day.
This year in Downtown Los Angeles we too will have our St Patrick’s Day parade starting from 11 till 2pm, ending somewhere near Pershing Square. Local Politico and celebrities will lead the festivities and if all goes well head to the local green beer parlors for the rest of the day. I know my end of the business will be a busy one today, perhaps with the air of festivities it is nice to put a little weekend in your week. See you at the tasting tonight if you’re wanting a bit of the Irish spirit!