I’ve had the benefit of being in Chicago twice around the time of St. Patrick’s Day. My first time was done properly, St. Patrick’s Day, freezing cold, forcing my friends to watch a parade, starting our drinking in the mall in the afternoon and finishing our night by dancing to Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody (for the 3rd time in one night). By far the coolest thing about being in Chicago on the proper St. Patty’s weekend is the dyed green river. And while you might think, “oh it’s probably greenish all the time, with big city sludge and such.” Well not only are you wrong and a spoilsport but you’re a fool. That green river is not just an “eww what died in there?” green, it’s comic book green.
I couldn’t stop staring at it, I was sure that Superman was going to fly down and wrestle a bad guy before falling to his doom in the Kryptonite river. In fact, I was only finally forced to leave because my fingers were about to fall into the river. Maybe I should have stayed, I could have had them sewn back on and then lived my life with awesome neon-green fingers. I could have started a band called Neon Green Fingers and been semi-famous in the hipster community. Life’s Regrets.
My second time in Chicago was when I traveled with Up With People in 2008. I was staying on the South Side and the week before St. Patrick’s Day the South Side holds its Paddy’s Day parade. I wish I could tell you that it was the most kick ass parade ever but not only did we accidentally sleep in but it was Daylight Savings time as well so we only saw the last float and the poop picker up guy. I got lucky though and was invited to a party at an actual Catholic’s house, I mean his name was even Patrick. That’s too legit to quit.
The cool thing about celebrating the ol’ wear green, drink green stuff holiday in Chicago over somewhere else is there is an energy. While the mission is the same, get drunk. It feels like a more noble process than in college or when sitting at home alone in my apartment drinking green apple pucker out of the bottle. Chicago, March 17th, worth a visit.