St. Patrick’s Day, U.S. style

The neighborhood bars have donned their Guinness flags; the television anchors are wearing green ties; and the local preschools have asked that children bring in green food – a request taken so seriously that the local grocery stores have sold out of grapes. It must be St. Patrick’s Day.

In London, I barely noticed the holiday. Nobody I knew wore green, marched in a parade, or wished anyone a “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” in a fake Irish accent — or even in a real Irish accent.

Not even my Irish friends seemed to care.

I’ve heard that the celebrations to mark March 17th in New York, my hometown, are far more elaborate than what you would find in Dublin. On the Upper East Side of Manhattan, rivers of green beer would form in the gutters as revelers from the Fifth Avenue parade would drink and sing.

It’s truly become an American holiday.

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