Southie: Where Everyone’s Irish On March 17th

If I hadn’t made it clear already, I live in South Boston.  As an Irish neighborhood with deep roots, Southie is the epicenter for all things Erin Go Bragh once March 17th rolls around.  Prior to living here, I wouldn’t dare venture in for the parade for fear of roving crowds of Guinness-fueled thugs out for blood.  At least that’s what my parents told me.

St Patrick's Day Parade

yeah, there'll be a lot of this.

 Since living there for three years, I’ve realized that Parade Day is more like an apocalyptic college party you’re not sure you want to go to.  Except that it’s happening right outside your front door…with marching bands.  Social norms and basic manners are thrown out the window. It’s St. Patty’s Day!  Get Fahked Up! Public drinking, fighting, and worse are all on display.  I now approach St. Patrick’s Day in Southie with a mixed sense of anticipation and foreboding.  I anticipate some of the excellent people-watching and drunk conversations that I’ll get to experience.  That being said, my neighbor has to put up signs and caution tape in the alley next to her house asking people not to use that space as a urinal.   

Being a local (in a relative sense) is the only way I’d want to operate in Southie this weekend. It’s kind of fun to sit at our neighborhood dive (after skipping the line and not paying a cover since we’re regulars) and commiserate with other patrons over all the college kids who decided to slum it in Southie for the parade. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my Irish heritage and love that we have a day to celebrate.  However, since being with Conor, a legitimate Irish citizen, and having more actual Irish people on my circle of friends, my opinions have changed somewhat about what claims I have to the phrase “I’m half Irish!”

Things that do not normally make you Irish but will just this once on March 17th:

    • Wearing a Sox hat with a green shamrock on the side whilst swilling Bud Lights with eight other dudes on your friend’s/co-worker’s 2’x3′ rickety deck overlooking Dorchester Street and blasting The Dropkick Murphys on your boombox.
    • Painting a 4 leaf clover on your cheek and pub-crawling with your sorority sisters while trying to not forget your North Face fleece at the 3rd bar after your 5th Stoli Razz and soda.  Bonus points if you ask your Irish bartender for a round of car bombs without picking up on the inappropriateness of such a request.
    • Telling everyone you’re going to Southie for the parade but end up sleeping through the whole thing because you got too drunk the night before drinking Harp in Faneuil Hall.
    • Asking anyone with the slightest hint of an accent where in Ireland they’re from and then saying, “That’s fahkin awesome.  I’m half-Irish.” Bonus points if you’ve never been to Ireland, have no idea which of your relatives came from Ireland, and wouldn’t know the difference between their ancestral villages and the Broadway T stop.
    • Pre-gaming on the T from Brighton with Poland Spring bottles full of Jameson and Coke and then stumbling down the street shrieking “Omigawd.  I love Southie! What bar are we going to?” at anyone who will listen.
    • Making out with anyone in a newsboy hat and a Celtics/Bruins/Red Sox hoodie. Leather jackets also accepted.  Bonus points if they tell you Mark Wahlberg’s their cousin.

You better believe that these guy wanna party with you.