I can’t recall too many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Pittsburgh. Not because I may have been up to my waist in green beer but it’s not something I ever celebrated unless my family was in town. My dad would give me the “get your ass down here and have a cigar with me!” call and who can say no to those kind of demands?
Last year was the first time I flew solo and that ended… well it was a freaking blast! I knew I wouldn’t be able to relive the adventures of a single dad on the town but I was hoping to experience the parade with my boys. Mother nature put the kybosh to those plans with the rain but what did happen made up for it in so many ways.
Lunch with Pho-Friends
Mario, my childhood altar boy partner in crime and his wife Jennifer were in town for the Maroon 5 concert. Since we had the kids and taking them to bars is frowned upon apparently, we met up at my favorite place in the Strip District to eat – Vietnam’s Pho. I had the Pho Dat Biet (Beef eye round, well done flank, tendon, brisket, beef tripe & beef balls noodle soup) which was once again soul warming and everyone else had… ummmm pho probably. I was too busy with my bowl.
Mario and I haven’t seen each other in over a year so this was a much needed reunion to get caught up. Little did I know we would need more time and the adventure wasn’t over.
The South Side Shite Show Spectacular
I dropped the family off and headed back down to Mario’s hotel to pick them up and shuttle them over to the South Side to visit one of his cousins. If you’ve never driven in Pittsburgh before, this is NOT the weekend to learn. I insisted on driving them over and it was a good decision, people were fall down face in the gutter drunk and all regards for rules of the road were out the window.
I have lived in Pittsburgh for 17 years and this was the very first time I’ve been on the South Side for St Patrick’s Day weekend. Most call it amateur drinking day and I can see why from the college kids barely holding each other up at 4pm to the dude passed out in a shopping cart. This is a 100% people watching spectacular and I suggest checking it out at least once in your lifetime. Yeah you might be all hoity toity grown up now but you know what, these people were having fun so take time off from yelling at people to get off your lawn, pull up a chair and watch the magic.
I will give the local police credit, they had a really strong presence and no one seemed to reach the level of belligerent. No one touched my car so I say that’s a win also.
Mario and crew invited me out to dinner at Nakama which was a few blocks away. That’s right, I’m getting Pho and Nakama in the same day. I like where this is going! At dinner Mario served me a spirit I sadly admit I tried for the first time that evening. It was warm sake and it was freaking gooood. In all of my travels to far away lands in search of great beer, I have never tried sake. In fact Mario is the first of my friends to drink it that I’m aware of and let me tell ya, wooooooooo buddy I want a sake set.
We continued our conversation from lunch over a few drinks and I took a second to think about how far the 2 of us had come from our days of tormenting our teachers since Kindergarten. How many obstacles we’ve overcome to get to this point and how special our friendship is. Then I had a sake burp and we both forgot WTF we were talking about. In fact I probably just made all of that up. I was too busy watching the chef at the table next to us try to set a drunk girl’s green wig on fire.
Green Beer. Green Jello Shots. Green People.
After the South Side I headed home and dropped my car off. Thinking this could be the end of my night I started chilling beers when my buddy Eamon made the call for a night cap at a local bar within walking distance. I’m still in DAS BOOT so it didn’t matter the distance, I was hobbling there.
I have always said that there is a time and place for every beer and this night I had no problem with pitchers of green Yuengling. Not long after we arrived, we were joined by my friends Dudders and Ginger who were wrapping up their night as well. The night was about good times with good friends and being thankful for having awesome people in my life.
The DJ started playing videos on the in-house system around 11pm and we watched in amazement at the ridiculous videos that are apparently still being made. Who on earth approved these and how can I get in on the action? Don’t ask me what the songs were because I have no idea (some hippity hoppity gangsta rap songs about derrieres) but they’re big with the dance clubs and the old dude with silver hair at the bar trying to twerk anyone with a pulse.
2 years in a row I went into the day without a plan and it turned out amazing. The old project manager in me usually needs to know what’s going on at all times so to just wing it was a new and relaxing experience.