Sunday, January 21, 2018
Events

Column: Get Irish from the comfort of home this St. Patrick's Day

A couple years ago, St. Patrick's Day fell on a Monday, the most dreaded day of drudgery. On top of that, it was pouring rain. It was a perfect evening to hang with my friends Sweatpants McGee, Netflix Lewis and DiGiorno Pizzastein.

Still, for some inexplicable need to seize the day, my friend Lisa and I decided to brave Dunedin's street festival anyway. Surely the rain couldn't be that bad! Not with our winning attitudes at play!

It was that bad. We spent the night huddled under a tent where firefighters were distributing T-shirts. We finished the night inside a pub, still cold, still uncertain we made the right choice.

Here's hoping it doesn't rain again on St. Pat's because I do want to attempt to go out. Robbyn Mitchell has a handy guide to some big St. Patrick's Day events in town, wrapped around a five senses theme (wait until you find out how St. Patrick's Day smells).

But say the weather is bad, or you just don't feel like wrestling with parking and inebriated people pinching you. I offer this companion piece to Robbyn's story, exploring how to use your five senses on St. Pat's — inside the house.

Watch Irish movies

The films of Ireland can get dark (looking at you, Angela's Ashes). But, this is a party day, so let's try and keep it on the light side. How about Darby O'Gill and the Little People, Disney's 1959's classic pitting an Irishman against leprechauns? Or for the lovers, there's Once, the 2006 flick that brings together two struggling musicians through song. Confession: I fell asleep during 2015's Oscar-nominated Brooklyn with Saoirse Ronan, who plays a young Irish woman in New York, but plenty of people loved it. And if you are, in fact, feeling intense, there's always The Crying Game.

Listen to Irish music

Maybe you're in the mood for traditional Celtic music. Or maybe the Corrs Pandora station is calling your name. You probably know about Sinéad O'Connor, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Enya and the Cranberries, but did you know the Script and Snow Patrol are also Irish? And yeah, there's always U2 (see this story for details on a Bono look-alike contest in town).

Taste an Irish feast

While your Irish tunes are spinning, whip up some shepherd's pie and cabbage braised in beer. Swing by Publix on your way home, where it's pretty easy to find Irish soda bread around the holiday. And, of course, you'll top it all off with a Guinness. You're not a monster.

Smell Irish scents

For accuracy, I would direct you to Bog Standard, candles "inspired by Ireland, made in Ireland, loved by Ireland." But it will be tough to get one delivered in the next few hours. Order one at bogstandard.ie for later, and stop by our readily available Yankee Candle to get through your calming Irish fest tonight. You can get a large jar candle in Irish Cream or play it super on-the-nose with the St. Patrick's Trio scent.

Touch your Irish FOMO

Scroll through your phone and observe the pictures of your friends out partying. If you plan your evening right, you won't regret a thing. And you'll feel way better at work on Friday.

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