Monday, March 17, 2008

It Took Me 246 Years to Get Here, but I Made It.

This is the oldest St. Pat's parade in the US started in 1762.

Looking down 5th Ave. (and looking down at the drummers! Joke, guys.)

The boys in the band. And reveler.

There are events, milestones, meccas,"rosebuds" in life that a pipe band piper drams, er, dreams of achieving in his lifetime. Sort of a "100 Things a Bagpiper Must Do Before He Dies." Probably the big one is playing (not to mention winning) at the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland. Another is marching down the high street at Cowal (preferably with local youth holding trophy in front of the band) and another for any Irish-afflicted piper has to be playing in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City.

My namesake pub. One of them.

I am not saying I can die now by any means (I have yet to have a play produced Off-Broadway), but marching up 5th Avenue today in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York was quite a feeling. We waited in the cold, windy and shady wings of 47th Street just off 5th and then an hour and 10 minutes after our start time we turned the corner and marched into the sun and the crowds on 5th Avenue. We marched past Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral and all the high falutin shops on upper 5th, by Bergdorfs, the Plaza Hotel, the Apple Store, my old place of work - the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, the Pierre, the Frick Mansion and past the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a blowing, gasping, exhilarating bus tour of bagpiping through Manhattan.
Bridget and Alice from the Monaghan Society. God love 'em.

We ended up at an Irish Pub on 2nd Avenue (A Shamrock Gulch of Irish pubs) and played for the face-painted, green-tied, FDNY off-dutied masses. It was excellent.

County Monaghan banner. I am pointing at...
Sean Connolly. Good name, that!

I had another event to go to as is always cool to say in New York (and even if it is not true which in this case it was) so I bid my adieu to the lads and got on the cross town bus in my kilt with my pipes and headed back to the West.

As I marched I thought about my dad, my mum, my grandparents, my siblings, Maureen, Margaret, et al and for that moment I knew why I was there and it was all okay.


Tony Westbrook said...

Faith and Begorrah...Manly yes, but I like him too!
Congrats Patrick!
When Irish Eyes are Smilin', and yours are!!!

acmetonemongers said...

Right on Patrick, thanks for broadcasting your NYC St. Paddy's parade experience. Funny how I feel like I already know your bandmates, except for the slightly different accent... I'm stll laughing over that comment about the color pallette available at Celtic Tile in Stamford(?)...