Saturday, March 17, 2007

March 17, 2007: St. Patty's In J'lem

In LA, I always spent St Patty's at Tom Bergin's House of Irish Coffee, the oldest Irish bar in the city - a cozy wood panelled inn, where regular's including your's truly have a shamrock with their name on it, on the wall. I've been going there since I was old enough to drink and Mike the bartender and Harold the bouncer always let in all of my underage friends. For that we gave them enough generous tips to buy a Swiss chalet. Alas, Mike and Harold are gone, but Bergins is still there.

Thanks to one of my students, Dave Collard, we found an adequate substitute in Melbourne - the Dan O'Connell. They don't make Irish coffee like Bergins but they pull a good pint of Guiness and on St. Patty's they rope off the entire parking lot, with a rock band outside and a traditional Irish band inside, as well as good Aussie sausages. And, it's within staggering range of our house, just 2 blocks away.

Alas, being here, it was not to be this year. We went to a pub in west J'lem called the Dublin. It had a good ambience and all of the right Irish beers and whiskeys - drinking a litre of Guiness and a shot of Bushmill's was de riguer to get the obligatory promotional Guiness T-shirt. I've rarely missed celebrating St Patty's, so this was better than nothing, but it's not quite the same when all the signs are in Hebrew and the only Irish to be seen were on the tacky Riverdance videos being screened on the TV's placed all over the pub. The Guiness was also not the best, as it became a bit syripy as it warmed up. Still, I was grateful to be able to celebrate St Patty's here in the Middle East- after the 7 pillars, comes the 7 pints, and then the wisdom (thanks Sue).

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