In the United States, the Saint Patrick’s Day holiday has become synonymous with the lifting of , namely drinking.
This week, Patch put up a poll asking Bayside residents at they would most likely celebrate the holiday. won .
But there are other ways to spend the March 17 holiday, which honors the most widely recognized patron saint of Ireland.
Here are five suggestions from Douglaston-Little Neck Patch’s editor:
1. Visit an Irish-themed historic site in the five boroughs: Stop by the Five Points, a once-notorious slum located at the current-day intersection of Worth, Baxter and Mosco Streets. In the 1920s to 1940s, the neighborhood had an influx of Irish immigrants who fled their home country due to famine.
Take a trip to Ellis Island, which was the main entry to the city for immigrants from the late 1800s to the mid-1950s. The first immigrant to pass through the island was Annie Moore, of County Cork, in 1892.
Other key sites include the Irish Hunger Memorial, which pays tribute to those who died in the famine between 1846 and 1850, at Vesey Street and North End Avenue and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.
2. Make some Irish cuisine: This past week, Patch has provided recipes for , , and .
3. Listen to Irish Music: will have a live Irish band on Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Guests will enjoy the musical entertainment of The Sporting Paddies.
Great Britain frequently gets the most credit for the rock ‘n’ roll acts it produces, but Ireland has its own impressive roster.
Van Morrison, a Northern Irish singer/songwriter, is a six-time Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. I’d highly recommend listening to “Astral Weeks,” which is often considered his best album, or “Moondance,” which features a number of instantly recognizable tunes.
Of course, we can’t forget U2, the Dublin-based band that has won 22 Grammy Awards and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their key works include “The Joshua Tree” and “Achtung Baby.”
The 1980s and 1990s alternative rock scene produced two great Irish bands: The Pogues and My Bloody Valentine.
I’d recommend the former’s “If I Should Fall From Grace with God” and the latter’s “Loveless.”
And lest we not forget Sinead O’Connor, whose controversial appearance on Saturday Night Live nearly overshadowed her haunting 1990 album, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.”
4. Read some Irish literature: Ireland’s two greatest writers have produced several of literature’s most challenging works. James Joyce’s modernist avant-garde epics “Ulysses” and “Finnegan’s Wake” exemplified the author’s stream of consciousness style, while “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” is an autobiographical coming of age novel. “The Dead,” which is included in the “Dubliners” collection, is my personal favorite short story.
Samuel Beckett, another avant-garde novelist, is also considered to be among the last century’s most influential writers. The trilogy “Molloy,” “Malone Dies” and “The Unnamable” is considered to be his finest work.
Other Irish authors of note include Frank McCourt (“Angela’s Ashes”), Roddy Doyle (“A Star Called Henry”), William Trevor (“The Story of Lucy Gault”), John Banville (Booker Prize winner for “The Sea”), Colm Toibin (“The Master”) and, of course, Oscar Wilde (“The Picture of Dorian Gray”).
5. Watch an Irish movie: Ireland has a rich cinematic history that includes Jim Sheridan’s acclaimed dramas “My Left Foot” and “In the Name of the Father” as well as Neil Jordan’s critically lauded “The Crying Game” and “Michael Collins.”
Another popular favorite is Alan Parker’s 1991 drama-comedy “The Commitments,” which tells the tale of an Irish soul band.
Two recent Irish films of note include the romantic musical drama “Once,” which won an Academy Award for Best Song, and “Hunger,” a harrowing film that stars Michael Fassbender as IRA prisoner Bobby Sands, who led a hunger strike in 1981.