Celebrating St. Patty’s Day: The Brooklyn Way

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 5.18.14 PMMarch has rolled back around and people everywhere are getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Both a cultural and religious celebration acknowledged around the world, it’s celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. Whether you’re of Irish descent or not, and it seems like everyone is a little Irish on March 17th, it’s a day filled with fun and festivities. If you want to get in on the fun there are numerous things to do in Brooklyn, a borough once known for it’s large Irish population.

With a long history that dates back before Prohibition in the 1920’s, the neighborhood once known as “Irishtown” (roughly located between the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Manhattan bridge, portions of which are currently known as Vinegar Hill) may no longer be in existence, but neighborhoods such as Bay Ridge and the combined areas of Park Slope and Windsor Terrace still reflect some of the borough’s Irish origins.

The celebration extends past the 17th with not one but three local St. Patrick Day parades along with numerous traditional Irish bars where you can toast with a pint of guinness. Grab your family and friends and be ready for some bagpipes, kilts, lots of green, and of course a good time!

If it’s drinks you’re looking for here are some pubs to check out:

  • The Wicked Monk – 9510 3rd Avenue – Located in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, this neighborhood pub transports you back to a Gothic Irish Monastery when you walk through the door. The bar with its original wood and stained glass were shipped directly from the chapel in Greenmount Monastery (Gallows Green), Cork, Ireland, which was built in 1897, replacing a monastery, which stood on the site previously since 800 AD.

The Wicked Monk

  • The Harp – 7710 3rd Avenue – A friendly and causal Irish pub in Bay Ridge that boosts both a fireplace and a backyard beer garden for the nights you just want to be outside.
  • Farrell’s – 215 Prospect Park West – Located in Windsor Terrace Farrell’s has been a staple in the neighborhood since 1933, the year prohibition was repealed.

Farrell's

  • Peggy O’Neill’s – 1904 Surf Avenue – Once located in Bay Ridge, this Coney Island establishment offers both in and outdoor seating along with live music, DJs, and of course a selection of lager.
  • Irish Haven – 5721 4th Avenue – This old school Irish bar in Sunset Park was the location where Scorsese shot the infamous “cranberry juice” scene from the movie, “The Departed.”

Irish Haven

If a parade is on the agenda here’s what’s in store this year:

  • Saturday, March 18th at 1pm, Gerritsen Beach – The 8th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will gather at the VFW Post #107 at Gerritsen Avenue and Whitney Avenue.
  • Sunday, March 19th at 1pm, Park Slope Patrick’s Day Parade – The parade runs from Prospect Park West and 15th Street, then down 15th Street to 7th Avenue to Garfield Place, then to Prospect Park West back to the starting point.
  • Sunday, March 26th at 1pm, Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day – The parade will form at Saint Patrick’s Church at the corner of 95th Street and Fifth Avenue, then head to Marina Ave at 11am, and will begin at 1pm. Marchers will travel north bound on 3rd Avenue from Marine Ave to 94th St., then proceed onto 5th Avenue traveling north bound to 67th Street.

Scenery

Labor Day in Brooklyn

Labor Day is fast approaching and while many people head out of town, there’s no place we’d rather be than Brooklyn. Labor Day was first observed in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, as a day to celebrate labor. It has come to be regarded as a day of rest and/or partying, and the last true day of summer.

 

imageJamaican Me Want To Party
Work hard, play hard, right? You will find no one partying harder in Brooklyn on Monday September 5th than the members of the West Indian Day Parade, also known as the Labor Day Carnival Parade. One of New York’s top summer attractions and biggest cultural festivals, the annual event will celebrate its 46th anniversary this year – drawing close to two million people to Crown Heights! Join the crowd waving flags from Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, Haiti and other Caribbean and immerse yourself in rich Caribbean culture and heritage. The march starts at 11am and is a joyful expression of cultural pride. During the seven-hour carnival, steel-pan, calypso and reggae bands wearing elaborate costumes march down Eastern Parkway. Vendors sell home-style island grub along the route, with favorites like jerk chicken, Bajan fried flying fish, rice and beans, and johnnycakes. Admission to the carnival is free.
Eastern Parkway, Crown Heights.

 

Hair For a Good Timebeard
Did you start Movember six years ago and forget to stop? Think facial hair holds sexy secrets and not just leftover food? Here’s one for you… Coney Island’s 9th Annual Beard and Moustache Competition at Sideshows by the Seashore on Saturday September 3rd. Over the past eight years, hundreds of bearded men (and women!) have competed to take home the much-coveted Beard & Moustache Fez trophy. You will see the strangest and most extravagant beards and moustaches outside of Williamsburg, with the New York’s hairiest contestants competing in categories such as Best in Show, Worst in Show, Best Styled Moustache and Best Chops. The event is $20 for both participants and spectators. Doors open at 6pm and the main event kicks off at 8pm.
1208 Surf Avenue, Coney Island.

 

12417992_1077709758927003_6880316649301149185_nPoets and They Know it
If you partied a little too hard over summer and are ready to take it down a notch, check out this Brooklyn Heights event on Saturday September 3rd – Brownstone Poets. This group has been inspiring Brooklyn since 2005, encouraging poetry, fostering creativity and celebrating great talent. Brooklyn-born poet/collagist, Steve Dalanchinksy – winner of several awards and prizes – will present his work, along with Mike Jurkovic, whose poems and music criticisms are forthcoming globally and feature in various print media. Also performing will be poet and visual artist Yuko Otomo, who pens haiku, art criticisms and essays, and contributes regularly to a collective critical writing forum. The event starts at 2:30pm at Park Plaza Restaurant. Entry is a $5 donation, plus the cost of food and drink available on the night. Don’t be shy, there’s an open mic!
220 Cadman Plaza West near Clark St and Pineapple Walk, Brooklyn Heights.

 

Tempting TintypeCapture
If Labor Day is the worker’s holiday, there’s no better time to recognized skilled and hard-working individuals such as Julie Orlick. Julie will present her solo exhibition, Tintype Photography & Film, on Saturday September 5th between 7pm to 10pm at The Living Gallery in Bushwick. The evening of analogue experiences will feature up to twenty one of a kind wet plate collodion tintypes and five 16mm short films by Julie Orlick, a director, analogue/alternative photographer and 16mm surrealist filmmaker currently working and living in Brooklyn. The tintype work was hand processed, developed and shot in Brooklyn, featuring visual artists and “creative weirdos” that inhabit New York city’s art scene. The exclusive work featured in this show has not been released elsewhere and the selected films explore floral landscapes, in-camera edits, double exposures, the surreal experience, lust for love, confusion and wonder. $5 suggested entry.
1094 Broadway, Bushwick.

BK for a Memorable Memorial Day!

Can’t decide whether or not to book a trip or stay in town for Memorial Day weekend? It just so happens there is a lot going down in the Brooklyn borough on Monday May 30, and we’re not talking about day-drinking and sample sales! Memorial Day is about honoring the men and women who have lost their lives serving in our armed forces, so wherever you end up, take a moment to pay your respects.

 

imageProud Procession
What’s red, white and blue, 149 years old, and ends with a 21-gun salute? One of the oldest traditions in Brooklyn, the iconic Brooklyn’s Kings County Memorial Day Parade, starts in Bay Ridge and ends at John Paul Jones Park for the memorial service. Catholic war veterans lead the march with local service organizations like the NYPD and FDNY. Brooklyn high-school bands perform, and antique fire trucks and cars are on display. The parade is the perfect way to show your pride and honor fallen soldiers and their families on Memorial Day.
Monday May 30, from 11am. 3rd Ave and 75th St, Bay Ridge. Free.

 

Graveyard Gigimg_2007_sm
A cemetery wouldn’t usually be our first choice for a concert venue, but Green-Wood Cemetery’s Annual Memorial Day Concert is a NYC favorite. Best of all, no bag checks or wristbands – this one is free! Bring a blanket, pick up some food and drinks from local vendors, and get comfortable, surrounded by the sounds of the ISO Symphonic Band, founded in 1995 to sponsor talented NYC students. Listen out for the works of Green-Wood’s permanent “residents” Fred Ebb, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Leonard Bernstein. Organizers encourage you to reserve your spot online so they can gauge attendance, and consider making a donation, to ensure they can keep putting on these events.
Monday May 30, 2:30-5pm. 500 25th St, Greenwood Heights. Free.

 

nVYIn the Navy
For over 150 years the Brooklyn Navy Yard churned out America’s most famous fighting ships, from the USS Maine to the USS Missouri. On Memorial Day weekend and especially during Fleet Week New York (May 25-31), it seems fitting to celebrate our sea services and explore the Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present and Future. Over three floors of Building 92, the exhibition tells the story of the waterfront site. You will learn about the site Native American history, its role in the American Revolution, the great naval ships designed and built there and the Navy Yard’s emergence the innovative industrial park you see today.
Saturday May 28 or Sunday May 29, from 2pm. 63 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn Navy Yard. Admission to BLDG 92 is free. Public tours by bus, $30. Public tours by bike, $24.

 

A Fling Fit for a KingKings-County-Fair-640x488
Open now until Memorial Day, the Kings County Fair claims to be Brooklyn’s most popular family event, and with endless cotton candy, a roller-coaster, Ferris wheel AND a tiger, we think they might be right! Returning to Aviator Sports and Events Center for the seventh year, you can count on a fun-filled fair with rides and games for kids of all ages, and carnival cuisine including corn dogs, hamburgers, hot-dogs, pizza, pretzels and funnel cake. New this year is The Tiger Encounter, which raises awareness on the plight of the tiger, and the Mega Pass ticket ($25 for admission and ride bracelet).
Thursday May 19 – Monday May 30, from 5pm weekdays and 12pm weekends. 3159 Flatbush Avenue, Floyd Bennett Field. Entry, $5. Ride tickets vary.