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rockaway st. paddy's day

"the best st. paddy's day ever?"

I'm not sure.

Yesterday was fun alright, but it's weird; it just used to be so much more fun when I was 16. The "scene" (yes, i guess the roc does have a scene) is getting old, or maybe it's just me.

In the morning Carolyn Cryan's little sister stopped by the house for bagels & beer. She's 15, and it was her first RSPD, and it was like a flashback watching her nervously filling her backpack up with beers. It wasn't so long ago that I was doing that, too. And then her friends came and they were nervous, too, and we were letting them know their rights, telling them not to talk to any cops, to drop their beers if they see them, and to never, ever open your bag if they ask.

"They need a warrant, yo. Don't forget it."

Then they went off to enjoy their first day of illegal, underage binge drinking, all in the name of heritage, and part of me sorta wished I was that age, too.

I had high hopes for this day--it's the first year I'm actually 21 so there wasn't the persistant fear of not getting in (as well as the straight-out not getting in & yelling at the bouncer, which happened a few years back). Also, the Clubhouse was back after a year hiatus, which means all the things I love about RSPD were also back--the mud (their ad in The Wave actually told people to wear boots), the crowds, the close proximity to other bars. Having the rugby team party at the Yacht Club last year just meant more walking & having the closest bar be Jamesons, which is terrible. The tradition of breakfast at my house continued, followed by the parade from my corner. This year, though, we watched it from Devin's house across newport, since it faces the parade route and we could openly drink on her porch. That's right, coppers, you can't get us on private property!

And speaking of cops--they just stood there. Before the parade came down we were all hanging out in the middle of the street, taking pictures and being assholes. I kept looking over to the cops on the corner, waiting for them to stop us but they didn't. Part of me was like, shouldn't you be stopping us? Of course the other part of me was just thankful. And a lot of the marchers in the parade were openly drinking cans of beer--not even hiding it in a cup like we were. I guess I shouldn't be complaining, because the complete passiveness of the cops did allow me to have fun. But it gets you thinking.

After the parade we ran with an awesome idea my sister came up with and got stamped at the Clubhouse. We didn't stay, but this stamp & bracelet would guarantee we'd be let back in without a line later on. After that we went to the Walsh's house for their usual party. That meant good beer, and Mr. Boden's Sheppard's Pie. We stayed there for a while and then headed down the boulevard to the Clubhouse, but halfway down we noticed something was up.

The cops and barricades were still around, even though the parade ended hours before. And there were a lot of people hanging out on the street, not in the bars like they were supposed to. We stopped in front of Roger's and saw some people we knew, who informed us of a power outage.

A power outage? God, of all days to have no power--You pick Rockaway St. Paddy's Day??

The Clubhouse was, of course, still letting people in. But without the band or the DJ it was so boring--the Iona pipe band would play every so often, but after sitting through a long parade the last thing i wanted to hear was a bagpipe concert. Kerry and Candace left for Connolly's, but I stayed, mainly because I paid my money and didn't have much left.

Luckily, the power came back on & Shilelagh Law started to play. Typical rowdiness ensued, fueld by taunts from the band that "the crowd up in Woodlawn sang 'fields of athenry' louder." There was crowd surfing, and bartenders up on the bar, and spilled beer everywhere, and lots of creepy drunk guys. Yes, the Clubhouse was back.

Later on I left to go to Connolly's, which was decent. By that point I was tired, and I couldn't find Candace (who lost her phone), and was running out of money. After a while I decided I wanted to head back uptown, where there were more bars and my house was within walking distance. I called a cab and waited. And waited, and waited. I called Deuce's and said "Uh, could I have, like, a cab to Connolly's?" and the smartass on the other line said "Uh, could you give us, like, 40 minutes to send one over there?" I was shocked by their snark--they're usually brusque, but never sarcastic--and I think I said something like "This is your fucking business, assholes, plan ahead", but it didn't matter. I was still stranded, and freezing in my polo shirt & sweater. Damn, when did it get so cold? I waited a little while longer, and then just gave up and started walking.

But then I heard it--the sound of a bus. It was the Q53, travelling down the boulevard, tired from a long trip from Roosevelt Avenue. I ran to catch up with it and hopped on, and enjoyed a warm, comfortable trip home. I think I'm gonna start taking the bus to bars more often.

The day was long, and I took a lot of great pictures (including one with Chuck Schumer). But the best part about Rockaway St. Paddy's Day is the chance to do it all over again in two weeks.

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I wonder if my writing has even improved?