Neither my mother nor my father was of Irish descent. Still, our family's front door was festooned with shamrocks, leprechauns, and glittering pots of gold—wearin' o' the green—once a year in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. It was a day off from school, too—a Catholic school bone. But St. Patrick’s Day assumed an even higher significance to me because it was a harbinger of both spring and the start of baseball season. Of course, the day also meant that stickball games were one fair-weather weekend away. While not ideal conditions, we played with temperatures in the low forties and even colder windchills, which in retrospect was better than playing in ninety-degree heat and humidity.
That was the scenario forty years ago. Fast-forward to the present and I still look forward to— if nothing else—springtime. However, I feel like I’m marching through madness. This goes a long way in explaining why I rarely watch regular television anymore, particularly news coverage. I’d rather peruse the various news accounts and view—on my terms—selected snippets of videos. It is vital that I acclimate myself to the subject matter and mentally prepare myself for any fallout.
For one, there are certain personages that I just can’t bear to watch live under any circumstances. It’s like being in the company of individuals whom you fear will embarrass you. I have a few of them in my life circle—loose cannons who say and do inappropriate things at inappropriate times. I feel no need to import that kind of thing from the wider world. And so I reflect and muse—read all about it—on the day after St. Patrick’s Day 2019.
I noticed in the news this past week that many high-school kids demonstrated and demanded action on climate change. A noble cause indeed—particularly to the younger generations—but I'd ask them if they have any plans for accepting less. You know, to kick things down a notch and not have to go to the most expensive colleges half-way across the country, or have the biggest HD TVs in their bedrooms, or the very latest in smartphone technology. Just sayin' that talk is cheap. Real action demands a little sacrifice every now and then.
When this very McDonald's first opened its doors in the old neighborhood over forty-five years ago, it was a big event. Those were the innocent days before the invention of the Egg McMuffin and the serving of breakfast. Suddenly, and without fair warning, this past week, the place closed shop and a fence was erected around the property. It always seemed busy inside with cars perpetually lined up at the drive-thru. So, I don't know if the work permits on the fencing indicate a remodeling job or a death knell. Has this McDonald's location sold its last Big Mac? Because he regularly patronized its bathroom while making his appointed rounds, my mailman is especially traumatized at its unexpected closing. One man's hamburger joint is another man's comfort station.
I suppose that there is nothing like Christmas and St. Patrick's Day in New York. It's just too bad I have seen parents throwing cheese slices at their babies. Makes me sad to be a member of the human race.
Time enough at last...
Seagulls appreciate St. Patrick's Day, too...
For starters, more tourists around means more discarded fare.
And the seagull motto has long been: What's fare is fair game.
I frequently pass this gate and ponder...well, the gate is closed...
A not especially wise man once told me that "thoughts lead to other thoughts...which has to be helpful." Well, I spied this sign yesterday and thought about an old game show called Sale of the Century hosted by Joe Garagiola. Was that helpful?
I know what an aria is, but what's an orea?
A picture taken off the Number 1 train. Old Glory peacefully flies over a New York City Transit bus depot on St. Patrick's Day. Department of Sanitation smokestacks loom large in the backdrop.
The city is in the process of modernizing its subway system. Perhaps one day its ubiquitous blue lights might go green for St. Patrick's Day.
Or would that cause a lot of accidents?
Thoughts lead to other thoughts...Blue's Clues...
Life is really whizzing by...
And since I can't do anything about that, I'd rather New York City transit go to the dogs than be for the birds.
I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Oh, wait, here it is...
(Photos from the personal collection of Nicholas Nigro)