New York, much like Paris, is always a good idea. Throw in St Patrick’s Day celebrations and an Irish passport and well, the city is yours for the taking. If the very idea of the festival (home or abroad) sums up images of teens in “Kiss Me I’m Irish” T-shirts imbibing more than anyone ever should, rest assured, the Big Apple holds countless ways to celebrate minus any Paddy Whackery. Make the Fitzpatrick Manhattan your first stop. The Irish-owned boutique hotel located on Lexington Avenue is perfectly positioned for those looking for a stylish bolthole close to the heart of the parade route. Bringing a little of the old world to midtown, with 91 rooms and suites, the intimate size allows for a personal level of service that you would experience at the most upmarket international hotels.
A deluxe suite at the Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel - the perfect spot to relax after a day at the parade
The rooms are outfitted in earthy tones, with dark wood furnishings and chic marble bathrooms. The lobby walls are adorned with pictures of visiting Irish and international celebrities who have all had the pleasure of checking in to the plush surrounds, so you never know who might be enjoying a Full Irish alongside you in The Fitz, the hotel’s quaint restaurant.
The St Patrick’s Day parade is a must-see. Find a spot anywhere on Fifth Avenue in the 50s or opposite The Plaza Hotel for the perfect vantage point. Religious or not, a stroll to St Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue is well worth it, especially since its recent renovation. The architecture and stain glass artistry is otherworldly, and offers a pleasant reprieve from the busy streets. Later, check out the lower-Manhattan walking tour, and explore the “Little Ireland” district of the Lower East Side. Learn about the incredible contribution Irish immigrants made to the overall history of the city, and understand why this day is more popular in New York than it is in Ireland (bigonion.com). Later visit the Tenement Museum (tenement.org), a set of buildings from the 1800s preserved as they were at the turn of the century.
The Dead Rabbit, New York
If it’s night life you’re after, head to 230 Fifth. New York’s largest outdoor rooftop garden has a generous roof terrace and a view of the Empire State Building that will make for a truly memorable cocktail hour, especially as it will be emblazoned in green lights on March 17. If you feel the need to stop off at an Irish bar to support your own, try the Brass Monkey in the Meatpacking District, which offers a relaxed yet lively atmosphere, while The Late Late on the Lower East Side was designed to resemble a typical Irish 1960s residence. The Dead Rabbit, an Irish American bar, which has won countless awards, offers skilled bartenders and an upgrade on all the charms of a traditional Irish bar for the most discerning of bar hoppers. You may never look at an Irish pub abroad in quite the same light. Sláinte.
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