Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Paddy’s Day round-up

The scene was sedate when I arrived at the Attic about 8:30 p.m. The crowd ebbed and flowed in bars through out uptown on Saturday night. According to Paid to Party’s Throw Some D’s, there was an hour and half wait to get inside Cans at one point on Saturday. By 9 p.m. there was no line. When I headed home about 12:30 a.m., there was a line outside of Cans.

This is the first time in seven years that St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday. Some bars opened at 8 or 9 a.m. Judging from the looks on the face of Attic co-owner Tommy Timmins, many bar and restaurant staff worked all day to accommodate the mass of people.

I started at Galway Hooker Pub about 5 p.m. then worked my way to uptown, and finished at Dixie’s after midnight.

Where did you go for St. Patrick’s Day? And how was it?

St. Paddy’s at Galway Hooker Pub

To everyone I met in Galway Hooker Pub on Saturday afternoon, I apologize if I smelled funky. I came straight to the pub after teaching a motorcycle class at Mitchell Community College that afternoon.

When I arrived at Galway, there was a line to get inside. Once inside, I met St. Patrick - he didn’t have any snakes. The pub drew a mix of families with children, couples and throngs of young people having a good time. The band Spin played a mix of Irish drinking songs and oldies, such as Simon & Garfunkel.

I learned the song “Whiskey In a Jar.”

A Family Affair

Ron and Debbie stood near the wall in Madison’s about 9 p.m. Saturday watching UNC take on Michigan State and soaking up the atmosphere. They proudly wore their Rich & Bennett St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl T-shirts. It was their first time, and maybe Debbie’s last, on the crawl that drew more than 2,300 people uptown.

Organizers say it could be the largest crawl in the U.S. ever and the second largest in the world. By 9 p.m. most of the crawlers dispersed to bars throughout uptown, but they had a day full of memories. Mayor Pat McCrory toasted off the crawl at Dixie’s at 1 p.m. Then he posed for pictures with crawlers for more than an hour. As Paid to Party scout Throw Some D’s said, the bar crawl toast was McCrory’s Bill Clinton saxophone moment.

Friends of Ron and Debbie took pictures with McCrory. The older couple came up from Rock Hill to participate in the crawl with their daughter and son. Ron sounded hopeful that he’d return next year, but Debbie sounded tired.

Who wouldn’t be? They started the crawl at 1 p.m. That’s a lot of Guinness.

St. Paddy’s at Madison’s

Since the Attic was slow, I stepped next door in Madison’s. The crowd was also sedate and many people watched the UNC basketball game. Then O.A.R.’s song “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker” came on. A guy near the front of the lounge started dancing alone. A group of men and women near the bar were dancing with each other. Two girls jumped around. Nearly everyone sang the lyrics “I say of, you say a I say revolution, and you say Jah I say of, you say a I say revolution.”

I realized that for white people that song is what Frankie Beverly & Maze’s “Before I Let Go” is for black people. When it comes on, people start dancing and singing at the top of their lungs.

The O.A.R song resuscitated the crowd at Madison’s. By the time Detroit Red and I headed next door to Attic, the group of wild folks moved from the bar to the center of the club near the flat screen TV. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something fly across the room and hit the wall. I thought a person had slam danced into the wall. Then I realized a partier threw the cardboard cutout of the Sam Adams man into the wall. They picked it up and began karate kicking it. One guy did some sort of breakdancing thing.

Big shouts to Tyler, an avid Paid to Party reader who I met in Madison’s.

St. Paddy’s at Connolly’s

By the time we arrived at Connolly’s about 10:45 p.m., there was a line to get inside and it cost $20. The patio, tent, upstairs and downstairs were all packed. The wait for a drink and the bathroom were never-ending.

John King stood on the patio wearing a kilt and talking to friends. He and 30 other firefighters and friends from New Haven, Conn., came down to Charlotte to surprise Shannon Richards for her 25th birthday. King and his friends are tight with Richards’ dad Billy. She recently had a bone marrow transplant so they wanted to surprise her.

Upstairs in Connolly’s, Detroit Red spotted Jennifer Martini. He swears she’s Brooke from “Real World: Denver.” She showed me her license and said she wasn’t. You decide.

St. Paddy’s at Dixie’s

A guy stood up in a booth inside Dixie’s Tavern and started singing. A female friend tugged on the hanging lamp and pointed it at partiers to put them in the spotlight. The security guard walked over and gave them a menacing look.

At 11:30 p.m., Dixie’s was crazy. There was a line outside. They stopped letting people in because they said they were at capacity. People spilled onto the patio and filled every cranny of the pub. Dixie’s was the start and for many people the end of Rich & Bennett’s pub-crawl.

One woman was asleep in a booth, and then her friend pulled her up and dragged her onto the dance floor. The music was all over the place -- rap, rock, pop, country and hillbilly country. Partiers danced and sang to it all.

My cutie of the night was Lucas. See his picture on Party Pix. He’s adorable.

Shout outs to Full Court Press. If you were telling me the truth last night, sorry you lost your job at Quaker Steak and Lube because of one my columns. Better luck at your current gig.