A look at St. Paddy’s Days past—and what’s going on this year.
By Hannah Wallace
I thought I remembered Main Street awash in St. Patrick’s Day revelers not too long ago. I’d never seen it like that—from Five Points down packed so tight with people it took a full 45 minutes to walk to Gulf Stream and back. Hordes crushed together to purchase green beer from trucks parked in the road. An Irish mosh pit. Sheer madness.
Turns out that may have been Cinco de Mayo. Those drinks were probably margaritas. OK, well, I guess we’ve got that to look forward to in a couple of months.
Last time St. Paddy’s fell on a Monday, Little J showed up at our Gillespie Park apartment after work and declared, “Well, I’ve been laid off.” Which, I decided, was reason enough to hit the town. For some reason I remember it so clearly: We made friends with a 40-ish woman at the Gator Club’s upstairs bar. She told us all about herself, her husband—“he looks just like a white Samuel Jackson” (he was playing pool behind us, and yes he did)—and then bought us shots of Patron.
Yes, tequila. And yes, that actually was St. Patrick’s Day.
I also remember last year’s March 17, a Saturday, drinking green beer with CCB at O’Leary’s. We had hamburgers at Mickey’s on Pineapple (alas, no more) and headed up to what was supposed to be an Irish shindig on Lemon. We may have been there early, but the street was desolate. Not the most impressive introduction to downtown Sarasota; fortunately CCB’s seen livelier displays since.
This year? For me, the magazine’s to-do at the grand opening for Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse on Lemon and State Street trumps just any green-dyed, Guinness-swilling frat party (of the kind I would otherwise be happy to attend).
More on St. Patrick’s Day goings-on this year:
>>Though I won’t be able to make the final judging in Venice, I couldn’t resist entering the Crow’s Nest’s (www.crowsnest-venice.com) limerick contest (of course I couldn’t). I have to tell you, it’s not the men from Nantucket that I find horribly offensive in most limericks—it’s the haphazard meter. The way some people molest their syllables, it’s downright disgusting. Here’s my entry: cleaner in subject matter than I prefer, but check out those upstanding lines—not a foot out of place.
The Crow’s Nest draws many a yachter—
It’s named for the spot of a spotter,
From which one could spy
If land was nearby.
But here you can gaze at the water.
(Hey, it’s the restaurant’s contest; I figured I’d write them an ad jingle.)
>>Who knew a cheese restaurant on the south Trail could make such a splash? Admit it, you already know I’m talking about C’est Cheese (www.cestcheese.net). In a meta-melting pot to make Duchamp proud, the French-named restaurant is celebrating the Irish holiday with a Swiss dish in a melting pot—complimentary fondue, made with Irish cheese, of course.
 I’d love to know what else is going on. Post a comment below and tell me about your plans for St. Paddy’s Day. Heck, even if you’re out of town, let me know what’s going on in your neck of the woods.