Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Other St. Pat's Day

I came to a crazy realization yesterday. I haven’t been to the St. Pat’s Day Parade in Albany in four years; crazy because I used to live for this day. I’d get so excited when it was coming close (I’d even celebrate halfway to St. Pat’s Day), and I’d literally be tingling with excitement on the 17th as we made our way into Albany at noontime, decked out in green, for the festivities that would keep us out until one or two in the morning.

Sometimes we stood on the street for a while watching the parade before hitting the bars, but most years we went directly to McGeary’s, and stayed there until evening time. We knew a bartender named Gary and he ALWAYS took care of us. It was great, I mean great. But Gary’s long gone now. I could never understand the guys who got drunk and trashed city property, or private property, or got into fistfights. Why? Who even has the time or will to do that? For us it was about one thing: Girls, girls, girls.

When I was around 25, 26 it stopped being as fun as it was before, but we kept at it, heck yeah we did. Then one year I just didn’t go, and I haven’t been back since. Funny how that happens. Never a second thought. And to be honest I never had a moment of second thought this year either, even knowing the weather would be in the 60’s, a perfect parade day, even as the texts came in and the Facebook pages blew up with parade plans. I’m done with St. Pat’s Day in Albany, I guess. So what did I do instead? Buckle up. This is going to be a full-throttle ride, St. Pat's ppl.

Yesterday, instead of a parade and party, we had ourselves an old fashioned Clifton Park Day. It started with a trip to the Clifton Country Center. First stop: Marshall’s. If there’s a 30,000 person party going on ten miles down the road, don’t go to Marshall’s. As I’m sure you know Marshall’s is already, on any given day, the most depressing place in the world, except for Huck Finn’s in Albany of course, but the depression is doubled on a day like yesterday. So after a few minutes, we split and did a quick lap through J.C. Penney’s. Let’s just say that little trip left me two Arrow polos richer. Cha Ching. Who needs a parade and party?

After shopping we had some dinner at Salad Creations in the Clifton Park plaza behind the mall. (Sidebar: There are NO good restaurants in CP.) Anyway, there was a young guy behind the counter (an employee who had finished his shift), 22, 23 maybe, debating whether or not he was going to go out for St. Pat’s. I couldn’t believe my ears. A debate at that age? I enthralled him (possibly terrified him) with a few stories from my times at St. Pat’s in Downtown. Let’s just say I was as subtle as a bludgeoning. By the end of it one thing was clear: He didn’t care about going out. He liked the female worker who was still on her shift, and trying to get something going with her. This had to be pointed out to me after I literally scolded him for not racing right to McGeary’s. Guess I didn't see that. Sorry, dude.

The night concluded with a quick stop at the Buffalo Wild Wings across the parking lot. It was my first time there. Pretty cool place to have a diet coke and watch the NCAA Tournament games. Drinking diet coke on St. Pat’s Day? 2005 me would’ve hated 2012 me. Finally we hit the huge RPX for the new Jonah Hill movie: 21 JUMPSTREET. The theatre was awesome and the movie was hilarious. Of course it was. Jonah Hill was in it. Then we got in the car and drove the .5 miles back home, and were in bed by midnight. Ah, time.

Next year on St. Pat’s Day I may decide it’s time to kick up the crazy a few notches. Yep, you heard it here first. I think I’ll order myself a regular coke at Buffalo WW instead of a diet coke. How you like me now?

Brian Huba

Times Union Photo Slideshow of Albany St. Pat’s Parade:

Clifton Park Regal Show Times & Ticket Prices:

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