St. Patrick's Parade Success (If Your Eyes Were Closed)

On Saturday afternoon, I took a 10AM break from my weekend chores to visit the normally staked out St. Paddy’s parade route. The route was empty except for a half-erected LarkStreet BID canapy. Later in the day, a fellow traveler, Carney, showed up and we explored the  parade route an hour in advance of the parade and then 20 minutes in advance of the parade…still, no spectators but our hopes were high as Albany had just pulled off a miracle win in basketball and the kiddos would need fertile party ground.

We camp in front of the deserted Subway shop watching the stationed APD patrol (or NOT patrol) for opportunities to ticket drinkers of the ales. I was quite entertained as each cheer from the arriving students brought a police officer to turn his back on the scene and smile. It appears, the ever creative student drinkers had disguised the gin and juice in Dunkin Donut Styrofoam cups (yes, that’s a double for Albany legislation…an open container and Styrofoam violation…be still my heart!!)

I was told the traditions outlined in my previous post were limited in their annual glory at North Albany’s Limerick parade. I hear that only two of the regular “Irish” were found in the bar at the American Legion post as a lonely “Mayor” Sheehan hung her head at the gate of the Post. The group made quick work of the North Albany Parade and some headed on over to the much anticipated Central Avenue parade.

I held my vantage point, with my violations of the “Sheehan edit” cooling in my pockets.  At precisely 2PM, a drunk youngen’ with no “open container” fell backwards over a CDTA bench smashing his head against the sidewalk. The APD turned their back and a fellow pedestrian took on this drunk as his personal protector. No ambulance was called…..though the thud was heard throughout the intersection.

Carney and I moved down to the Iron Gate where we popped a top on the contraband in time to toast “Mayor” Sheehan’s arrival. She waved and waved to no one until finally finding a few tiny kids whose parents nudged them to wave. A popularity contest she’ll not win.

We  toasted each elected official as they trooped by…as soberly as possible. Most laughed before realizing that they should show some sort of alliance with the “Mayor.” Carney and I were the toast of Washington Ave as the student eluders saluted our willingness to buck the idiocy of a “pretend” ban on open containers on St. Paddy’s parade day.

Out of respect for the APD, who had no say in this “Sheehan” ban, I did not flaunt my open container participation as I watched those “hiding” their own drinking participation. (Well, except to toast all the elected in the parade!!) One young man, obviously, shall we say, “under some influence,” hugged police officers and joined all the parade participants while hosting a street bathroom, under a stoop, and running a pretty heavy duty business venture to the “non-drinking” student.

As was the course of the day….everyone looked the other way.

For me, I much prefer people exhibiting their beer rather than hiding it. No more were the families, who braved every parade regardless of the weather, no more were the back slapping hugs from our favorite marching police officers and fire fighters…welcome secret drinkers, drug dealers and stoop peeing non-open container drinkers….I guess it’s all good as long as you stay away from the “Mayor’s” vehicle.

(please note the under-stoop pissa)

(Aside: I heard from some elected last night that the business downtown really sucked…and the Mayor tried to blame it on the weather. Remember back with me…has the weather EVER had an effect on the Albany St. Patrick’s Day parade? That answer would be no.)


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