Top of the morning to you, Seattle. Today, March 17th is the designated feast day of St. Patrick, the man credited with taking Christianity to Ireland through the symbol of the shamrock and leaving us all with St. Patrick’s Day. With roughly 34 million Americans laying claim to Irish ancestry, today is also a day where people gather in crowds to celebrate the Irish culture in pubs, parties and parades.
This past weekend, Seattleites marched in the parade and dashed in costumes in the annual F5 St. Patrick’s Day Dash, 50,000 people gathered to watch the Chicago river glow a bright emerald green, and today millions have lined the streets in New York, to cheer on the 250,000 people marching up 5th Avenue in the annual St Patrick’s day parade that kicked off in 1762.
This year, however, we wanted to look beyond the leprechauns, the Guinness gulping, the shamrocks and the “Kiss Me I’m Irish” tees of standard St. Paddy’s Day partying to give a nod to the richness of Irish culture that is sometimes overlooked in the sea of green that tends to dominate these celebrations and offer you a different kind of celebratory To Do:
Read anything from this list of great Irish literature:
Ireland is a country that has suffered through decades of poverty, famine, and degradation its literary history is rich with novels that tell of these woes. Tonight enjoy a pint of Guinness or an Irish coffee while kicking back to devour one of these fine works from some of Ireland’s finest literary masters:
Anything by Oscar Wilde
Ulysses by James Joyce
Walter Macken’s The Silent People
John McGahern’s Amongst Women
Molly Keane’s Good Behaviour
Colm Toibin’s The Blackwater Lightship
Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls
Beckett’s Waiting For Godot
Toast to Influential Politicians of Irish Decent:
Don’t forget the Kennedy’s & Ronald Reagan,
Watch a film featuring a great Irish actor:
Don your green sweats and scour your Netflix for anything starring:
Peter O’Toole – Lawrence of Arabia, Ratatouille, The Last Emporer
Daniel Day Lewis – Lincoln, There Will Be Blood, Gangs of New York, The Boxer
Colin Farrell – Saving Mr. Banks, The Recruit, Miami Vice, Winter’s Tale
Pierce Brosnan – Golden Eye, Die Another Day, Tomorrow Never Dies, Mrs. Doubtfire
Gabriel Byrne – The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing, Enemy of the State
Liam Neeson (who, in the true spirit of the day, even once worked as a forklift operator for Guinness) – Taken, Schindler’s List, Star Wars, Batman Begins
Unwind listening to one of these great Irish musicians:
U2, Van Morrison, The Cranberries, Sinead O’Connor, Snow Patrol, The Dubliners, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Johnny McEvoy, The Script
And how could we forget the soothing ballads and orchestral works of Enya.
Pick up a loaf of soda bread from one of these fine Seattle bakeries:
The Essential Baking Company
Wallingford – 1604 N 34th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Madison Valley – 2719 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98122
Georgetown – 5601 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108
Macrina Bakery & Cafe
Belltown – 2408 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
Industrial District – 1943 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98127
And last, but certainly not least, be sure to drop by one of Seattle’s best Irish pubs for a cold pint and a bit of a jig!
Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant
Friendly atmosphere, popular with the after work crowd
801 First Ave, Downtown
Owl N’ Thistle Irish Pub & Restaurant
Opened in 1930, this Seattle landmark is an inviting and lively St. Patrick’s Day destination that is definitely going to be sporting some green on the dance floor tonight.
808 Post Ave., Downtown
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub
If this sunny-ish weather holds up, dine on the view-boasting patio of the Pink Door and squeeze your way through Post Alley’s tourists for a cold beer and whirl around the crowded dance floor of this pub. Kells’ Irish owners have a long-standing tradition of drawing the crowds to seriously celebrate St. Paddy and we’re sure tonight will be no different.
1916 Post Alley., Downtown/Belltown
Seattle local Peter Johnson is owner to several of Seattle’s favorite Irish stomping grounds including:
The Chieftain, 12th ave right across the street from Seattle University as well as Madison Park’s family friendly McGilvra’s; both of which draw friendly locals and regulars, serve up cold beers on tap and offer a menu that is a mix of traditional Irish grub (think corned beef & cabbage, shepherd’s pie) and American bar staples.
The Chieftain – 908 12th Ave, Capitol Hill
McGilvra’s – 4243 E. Madison, Madison Park
Wild Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant
An eastside favorite, this Irish pub in Kirkland features several themed rooms including a billiards room, a fireplace to cozy up to and a library.
111 Central Way, Kirkland.