St. Patrick’s Day Blogfest

This is part of the Luck of the Irish SPD blogfest, hosted by Colene Murphy and Alexia Chamberlynn.

I’m not Irish but I’ve always enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day. Any excuse to day drink is good in my book and everyone gets to be Irish for that day. To be honest, I’m not sure that the parade in Boston is even on St. Patrick’s Day, so this memory may not exactly follow the rules. But I remember this particular day really well because I documented it. I don’t keep a proper journal anymore but I did once. And in 2004, after attending the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Southie, an area of Boston that is primarily Irish, I wrote these words:
Today I really liked Boston.

No small feat, considering that my time in Boston involved reading, studying, writing, and taking exams for graduate school. Don’t get me wrong, I had my share of fun. Perhaps too much fun on some days (St. Patrick’s day was likely one of those days.) But I never felt as if I got to know the city because I always saw it as an extended layover. New York was waiting for me and I was waiting to go.

But that day I walked from Southie to Allston, which is about 5.5 miles (if I read google maps correctly), and I saw the entire city. Through the smell of urine and beer, listening to the sound of soft r’s, past Mom and Pop mini-marts, pubs and taverns, past rickety fences and wide open boulevards, over crippling cobblestones, into arrogant brownstone territory, and down Commonwealth Avenue as the trolley bell clanged. And all the while, the stoic Prudential Center stuck out into the sky.

I always think that you get to know a city best when you wander through it, when you feel the way it curves and bends, how it rises up and falls down. And I liked Boston best the day I walked it. It’s not every day you document being happy. But it seems appropriate that happiness was related to St. Patrick’s Day.
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16 thoughts on “St. Patrick’s Day Blogfest

  1. “I always think that you get to know a city best when you wander through it…”

    I love this line! That's how I felt about D.C. I'd been there plenty of times on school field trips, but it wasn't until I was older and going there with friends that it turned from “that field trip place” into an actual living, breathing city. Very cool.

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  2. I totally agree with you, that walking a city is the best way to get to know a city (though in Boston, that duck tour isn't bad)–I bet though, that St.P really brings out the true Bostonian in people… sounds like fun!

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  3. Hello, fellow blogfester!

    I like this. I've only been to Boston once and I got so disgusted with the traffic getting into the city I don't think I really gave it a fair shake. And I agree, you never get a real feel for a city until you've wandered around and let it soak in a little.

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  4. Walking a city is really the only way to see it and get a feel for the rhythm and culture.

    Tracy, you must have gone before the “big dig.” Now you can drive underneath the city and never even see it!

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  5. Brilliant description of St. Patrick's Day!
    I lived for noine years in Ireland, that's how I know.

    Check out my post for today.

    Agree, too, that to get to know anywhere is by wandering.

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  6. What a great memory! I feel the same way about walking. Whenever me and hubs travel we end up hiking all over the place. It really does give you a better feel for a place.

    Thanks for participating!

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  7. Hi, Melissa! Hopping over from the blogfest. I love Boston.. such a great town. ANd you're right, that is THE best way to experience a city. I love strolling thru.
    Nice to meet you and Happy St. Patty's Day! 🙂

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  8. Your descriptions sound beautiful. It's always been a dream of mine to live in Boston. I just fell in love when we visited when I was younger. I am in love with Colonial American History so, am so attracted to those old towns.

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  9. Oh, and I saw your tweet on the side, my daughter takes gymnastics. Is there any way I can help? I'm not an instructor or anything, but she's been in it since she was 2 (she's 5 now).

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