Manhattan’s Upper East Side is known as a haven for babies, small dogs and frat boys who will split the check with you at dinner yet still date rape you for dessert. It’s a neighborhood you never go to unless you live there, and I happen to live there.
Underneath the thick film of blandness though, there is a lot to love. Besides the abundance of “good enough to be affordable” restaurants lining the streets, you literally can’t throw a piece of pizza without hitting a drunk, scantily clad girl looking for a one night stand to help her through those lonely post college years. Or you could do what I did and settle down with a girlfriend immediately after graduation. Then you just eat the pizza instead and enjoy the neighborhood’s many other offerings like movie theaters and parks where you can sit on antique benches and regret your life.
But then there is one day where the quiet streets come alive. Bars bleed green into the street, and bag pipes are just as common late 90’s hip hop songs. It is St. Patrick’s Day, and if you plan on going to the Upper East Side, you had better do it right. Leave your class and dignity at home and follow these few simple rules for success.
1. Wear Something Green and Stupid
What better way to show pride in your Irish heritage than to wear giant green sunglasses? It’s perfect! Traditional, but not stodgy. Like your ancestors would have worn regular sized green sunglasses, but because this is 2007 you wear GIANT green sunglasses!
2. Scream Incoherent Things at Random
A few good suggestions include:
“EEEEEEEEEE! (for girls)
“FUCK YOU!” (at no one in particular and for no particular reason, as though this were merely another way to praise St. Patrick for converting all those pagans to Christianity so long ago)
3. Embarrass Yourself
The best way to do this is to slip and fall on ice. Seriously, to the guy who slipped and fell on the corner of 78th and 2nd right in front of me, I wish you could have seen how hilarious it was. You had your blazer on, and it matched your sneakers and when you tried to do that little fairy hop over the puddle and you landed on a patch of ice, your feet went up so high in the air. You were suspended long enough for me to consider saying something out loud, but then reconsider and enjoy the moment in private. The guy from the Lucky Charms cereal box could have handed me a pot o’ gold and you still would have been the highlight of my night.
4. Be a Douchbag, In General
This one is really easy. You simply wake up, look at yourself in the mirror and think, “I’m so fucking awesome!” then start drinking. Then meet up with all your other friends who did the same thing, and drink some more. Then put on a green t-shirt, shotgun a Red Bull and go drink some more in public, never forgetting how awesome! you think you are. Then do numbers 1, 2 and 3. But don’t try to do them, just let them come naturally – like those posters you have to stare at and relax your eyes before you can see the sailboat. Just let the humility come to you.
5. Fall Asleep in a Bar
This is your grand finale. You’ve been drinking green beer for hours, groping girls while saying “Erin go braless!” and spilling every possible liquid around you all over your shirt. You’re so happy with yourself, that you need to sit down. And sleep. In public. It’s the perfect end really because you’ll never look as awesome as you do when a bouncer is carrying you out of a bar. Never. Not even when people are throwing things at you and drawing on your face; not even that penis peeking out of your nose. If you have managed to do all of these things, you are a true Irish hero.