“It’s not so good, huh?” laughs Kathleen Webster, president of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition as she refers to the D- grade that the park received from New Yorkers for Parks. The near-failing grade was issued last year by the nonprofit whose research and policy recommendations help in advocating for more equitably distributed, sustainable and well-maintained parks in the city.
A couple weeks back I was lucky enough to have lunch with Lydia Lunch, a legendary figure in the New York no wave scene and the hurricane-like force behind Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, queen of spoken word, and now a multi-faceted visual artist who remains inextricably tied to the downtown scene of the late 1970s and ’80s despite having left New York City in the dust a long time ago. Understandably, Lunch’s feelings about the city have changed somewhat over the years. “I hate fuckin’ New York,” she told me. “It’s dirty and you’re paying five times too much for every fuckin’ thing. I don’t understand how it can be so expensive and still suck in so many ways. The quality of the food, the subways– I’d rather walk. Rats, disgusting.”
A great green reckoning descends upon the city today. The bars will flood with stumbling, shouting multitudes. Faces will flush red behind oversized shamrock glasses. People will fake accents. As an Irish kid from Boston, I know better than to venture into the city on St. Patrick’s Day. You stay at home, your mom makes corned beef and you drink your dad’s beer. Maybe your nine uncles come over and tell really long jokes. In the event, however, that you are determined to hit the streets, we’ve decided to make it a little easier on you. We’ve compiled a list of Irish pubs in the East Village and Lower East Side and judged them based on everything from the likelihood of getting corned beef to the likelihood of having a co-ed spill a neon-green cocktail on you.