Finnegan's Awakeby Megan Finnegan
- Dialed down St. Patrick's Day
- A first time for everything
- Talking religion in 2011
- The uncertainty of prayer
- Smithsonian should have kept "ant-covered Jesus"
Dear readers, I've been sorely remiss in blog posts, but rest assured that Irish themes are never far from my brain and my life. I've started a full time job as a reporter in Manhattan, and last week my reporting duties took me to the American Irish Historical Society on 5th Avenue on the Upper East Side. The society is housed in a strikingly beautiful Beaux-Arts style townhouse, meticulously restored and grandly appointed with such trappings as 18th century Irish-crafted tables and treasures like the original flag that flew over the General Post Office during Easter Rising in 1916.
Around St. Patrick's Day, the best and the worst elements of American Irish culture come fully to light. Those who aren't Irish don ridiculous green hats and drink themselves idiotic in the name of a saint they wouldn't recognize if they tripped over his cardboard cutout; those who are either do the same or take a step back and marvel at the horror of it all. (Not that I have any room to judge, as evidenced by the accompanying photo of me, from two years ago, wearing what I called "Irish antennae"). We get the mayor making ill-timed jokes about Irish people being drunk all the time, followed by equally cringe-worthy self-righteous condemnations of such statements.