Best of the Best: The Week in Review. The Top 4 and a Poll

image

Today we are wrapping up our Best of the Best week with our top 4 most viewed posts. It’s been fun taking a look back at some of the stories we’ve brought to you and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading them again or for the first time. Our mission has been, and will remain, to bring you stories that showcase people of all walks of life in the hopes that we can find a common thread amongst us to bring us closer as a society.

Throughout the week we re-posted the complete stories of numbers 10-5. However, today, we will list the top 4 here, since they were very recent to One Unified Project. We encourage you to read the story in its entirety though, if you haven’t already.

We’d like to thank all of our subjects who were so giving of their time and their personal stories that inspired us. Without you (and our readers) we’d just be speculating and talking to each other. Not as much fun.

Once again, we appreciate you for following us and the stories we’ve brought to you. Be sure to take today’s poll to help us make One Unified Project the best it can be.

Here are our top 4. You can click on any story to read the original interview.
#4: School of Rock…Keeping Classic Rock Alive
#3: Another Irish Perspective…Without Corned Beef and Cabbage
#2: From the City of Brotherly Love to Second City…The Road to Comedy
#1: Mitch Schecter…From Local Philly Bands to a Successful Musical Career

Another Irish Perspective…Without Corned Beef and Cabbage.

image
You’re originally from Ireland?
“Yes.”

What part of Ireland are you from?
“From the north, outside Belfast. It’s called Newry.”

When did you move to the states?
“In 1989.”

How old were you then?
“18.”

What made you move to the United States?
“I was an exchange student.”

So you lived with a host family?
“Yes.”

Tell me about that? What made you decide to stay?
“I enjoyed being here. The weather was nicer. It just seemed a little easier to live here. I got along really well with my host family. I connected really well with them. I had come over for six weeks, originally, and just liked it. In Ireland you can go to college when you’re 17 and I had been a nursing student for a year and just decided I was kind of over it, it was not what I wanted to do. So I decided to stay. I liked the culture in America. American people just love the Irish.”

How long did you stay with your host family?
“I stayed with them for about a year. I then returned to Ireland just to see if I wanted to go back to college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I went back (to Ireland). I was very unsettled, so I came back out again (to the U.S.). My host family helped. My girlfriend and I came out. My host family helped us get an apartment that was very close to them. That was it.”

Do you ever miss Ireland? Do you still have family there?
“Well, both my parents are deceased. I have a lot of great girlfriends there. We all grew up together. Had you asked me in my 20’s what I missed about Ireland, I would’ve said nothing. I was too busy over here having a good time. But I think as you get older and you have your own kids, that’s when you start to miss your family. It’s the same as anybody. When you’re in your 20’s you could care less about your family. You can care less about anybody. You’re all about yourself. Then you get older, you have a tendency to miss your family, miss your good friends. So, I do miss Ireland. I would never live there again, I’m very happy that I’m here and here with my children. My children have a better life living here than they ever would in Ireland.”

What do you feel the benefits are of living in the states as opposed to Ireland?
“It’s hard to explain. In Ireland, now, everybody goes to college. When I was younger, nobody really went to college. In my neighborhood (in Ireland), not even 40% of people would have gone to college. Girls just wouldn’t have even considered going to college, maybe 40% would’ve. I mean NOW everybody goes to college, obviously. It you can’t get a job, you may as well go get educated and hopefully get a job one day. It’s just easier to live here. Ireland’s changed as a country itself. When I was a kid, growing up, like most people, you could go out and play in the street. You came home at night when your mom called you in for dinner. Here obviously, you can’t do that.”

Those were the days! It was like that when I was a kid too, here. It has changed over the years though.

Of course, St. Paddy’s Day is on the 17th. Do people in Ireland celebrate the holiday the way we do here?
“They sort of do. When I was a kid, on St. Patrick’s day, you went to mass. You’d go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Then as you got older you went to the bar. America celebrates it a lot more than they do in Ireland. Here, everybody is Irish, German, something. In Ireland, you’re not anything. You don’t say “I’m Irish”. Everybody’s Irish. Here’s a prime example. I remember, one time, Good Morning America was in Ireland. They were in a store and they say to the girl working in the store, “Do you think you look Irish?” And she’s like “what!?”. They’re like, “what do you think you look like?” She said “I look like myself”. In America, everybody’s proud to be Irish, they go out and they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. They’re celebrating their heritage. Our parades aren’t like that. Our parades are just a little parade. The kids are up front Irish dancing. It’s not celebrated at home the way it’s celebrated here.

Why do you think it’s a bigger deal here?
“People just wanna go out and party and celebrate. I think with older people; they’re happy and proud but they’re not wearing green or the “kiss me I’m Irish”. They’re wearing their authentic Irish sweaters and little hats. The older generation might have come from Ireland or their parents came from Ireland. I feel like the younger kids go out today and just wear green and drink green beer and get hammered cause it’s St. Patrick’s day.”

Does that bother you? And do you take part in any of the celebrations?
“It doesn’t bother me. Since my children have been 2 or 3, I take them to the St. Patrick’s day parade, believe it or not. My girlfriends kids, the same. For the last 11 years, we all stand in the same spot, every year. There’s 80-100 of us now that stand there. Some of us are Irish with American born children. Every year, there’s a journalist that comes and talks to us. They can’t believe we’re all still there with our kids. The parade also gives me the opportunity to see people I haven’t seen in a long time. And to give the boys a little bit of their heritage.”

image

Are the people you meet at the parade, people you knew in Ireland?
“They’re people that I met here.”

Your friend that you came back over here with; is she still here?
“No, she moved back. She got married and had two kids here and went back.”

Do you have a custom meal on St. Patrick’s day?
“I’ll tell you what it’s NOT. It’s not corned beef and cabbage. I never tasted corned beef till I came to the United States. And we don’t have Irish potatoes or green beer in Ireland. Irish potatoes are awesome, but they’re an American thing. I actually just sent my girlfriend the recipe for them.”

If someone were thinking about traveling to Ireland, what reason(s) should they go?
“The scenic part of Ireland is absolutely gorgeous. Anywhere in Ireland is beautiful, it really is. I’d go in May or September cause it doesn’t normally rain then. Years ago, people used to be afraid to go to north Ireland because of the troubles.
But just to drive the whole coast of Ireland….anywhere in Ireland is beautiful. But Dublin city, any city, is like a city in America. There are parts of Ireland that are very small but in general, if you’re going to a “city”, expect a city. Dublin is full of tourists. You won’t even find Irish people in Dublin. One time I was in Dublin and I was trying to find the guards station (Irish police) and I asked four different people before I found anyone that could speak a word of English. They were all tourists.”

Have you been back to Ireland with your husband and children?
“I was back with my husband and my one son was really young.”

Do your kids seem to have interest in going there and checking it out?
“They have no interest whatsoever. They’re kids, 12 and 14, and could care less. I think maybe next year, I’ll take them.”

Embracing his Irish: From Music and Dancing to Whiskey and Guinness.

imageThere are a lot of Irish people in the world, but you are very into your Irish heritage. Was that a part of you that you always took pride in? And do you have family from Ireland?My mother told me when I was younger that both sides had Irish descendants, but my father was mostly Irish-Scotish. I have a family tree on my father’s side that goes back to Glasgow, Scotland in the 1800’s. The question now: was that Taylor (John Taylor) a Scotsman or an Irishman in Scotland.

What ways do you celebrate your Irish heritage?
I celebrate my Irish heritage in the form of my musical tastes and now in Irish Dancing. I also have a large interest in Irish history, culture & politics. A good portion of my home library is books on Irish/Celtic themes (History, politics, music, dance, Irish authors, Biographies…). My only tattoo is a Celtic circle with Celtic interlace. While in college (late in life), I took a few courses on Irish Anthropology, Literature & History, which furthered my knowledge on my Irishness.

Why do you like Celtic music so much? What sets it apart from other forms of music for you?
My love of Celtic music came about in the 90’s. I wrote a story called “My Celtic Awakening” which covers much of my interest/obsession in Celtic music and all things Celtic. My I-Pod contains only Celtic music and has over 3,000 songs, hardly any duplications by the same artist. I own over 200 CD’s of Celtic music, where a large portion is Irish music. The artists range from The Chieftains to Dropkick Murphy’s to Ashley MacIssac to Celtic Woman to Brother. While I love almost all genres of music (rock, blues, jazz…), I find that I favor the Celtic music more because it talks to my soul.
It makes me happy, makes me want to dance, almost always.

In 1993, I walked into a store named “Einstein’s” in center city Philadelphia. The store sold science oriented, creative and educational products and toys. I remember that I was shopping for a gift for one of my sons. While I was in the store, a song came over the store’s sound system. Although it was many years ago, I can still feel the melody going through me. It was one of those tunes that you feel, body and soul.

image

​I asked the store clerk, “Wow, what is that song?” He responded, “Trip To Skye” by Eileen Ivers and John Whelan. It was on a new album called Celtic Odyssey, a compilation of Celtic artists. Eileen Ivers and John Whelan were, and still are, major artists in the Celtic music arena. I bought it on the spot. This would be my first Irish/Celtic album (actually a cassette at that time), the beginning of my personal Celtic Odyssey and my Celtic Awakening. I went from this one CD to Blackthorn (a local Philly & New Jersey Celtic Rock band) to traditional Irish bands to my current favorite bands; Scythian (a Washington DC band), Enter The Haggis, Glenngary Bhoys and Brother, an Australian Celtic Tribal band. Since 1993, I have seen Ivers and Whelan in concert a few times and have many of their CD’s.

One of the reasons I love Celtic music so much, is the sheer diversity in the genre. I get my fix of new and old Celtic artists by reading the Irish Edition, listening to Pandora, going to Celtic festivals, and buying Celtic CD’s with compilations of artists. There are Irish songs, Scottish songs, Cape Breton melodies, Afro-Celtic music, and Australian Tribal music. The songs contain ballads, love songs, rebel songs, funny ditties, touching stories of a lost homeland and the tragedy that is Ireland.

You recently started classes to learn Irish dancing. What made you decide to learn that at this point in your life as was it intimidating? Are there other people your age taking this class?
I have always loved dancing. I used to dance with my Aunt Margaret & mother when I was a child to the Big Band music & 50’s & 60’s music. As a teen & adult, I would dance at any opportunity. While I don’t dance well, I love to dance. I wanted to go to dance classes & learn Swing Dance or Latin dances, but never did.

When I got into Irish & Celtic music, I was fascinated with the various Step Dancing I watched. I signed up twice in the past & the classes were cancelled due to lack of participation.

I signed up and started my Adult Irish Dance class in October 2014, one month short of turning 60. I am the only male in the class. The other three classmates are a mother and two daughter group. I am the oldest in the class. As a group, adult male Irish dancers are in the minority. From the books that I’ve read, it’s extremely rare for anyone to start Irish Dance classes at my age, male or female. They generally started as kids and continue to dance over the years.

I never felt intimidated. Occasionally I feel embarrassed by my mistakes, but feel so overjoyed that I am learning to Irish dance, especially at my age, being male & considering how disabled I have been over the years with back problems.

At the end of my first dance class, I said to my instructor, Lauren, “If I am to do this, and do it well, I guess I need the proper footwear.” Lauren gave me the names of two local dance stores, one in Harleysville and the other in Lansdale. That Friday, I went “male Irish dance shoe shopping,” I stopped at the Harleysville store, they were closed. I stopped at the Lansdale store the following Monday and had success.

image

​I didn’t know what to expect, but they were not the most “manly” shoes. When the store employee showed me the shoes, I just rolled my eyes. She said, “What?”
I responded, “Nothing!” and proceeded with another eye roll. She laughed. As I took off my sneakers, she saw I had on sweat socks and asked if I brought dress socks with me, I said, “No.” ​She then handed me a box of those stocking booties and said, “You’ll need to use these.” One more eye roll from me with a “Kill me now!” had her laughing again. The first stocking I “tried” to put on, I put my foot right through it. There I am in this store filled with dance clothes, tutu’s and dance paraphernalia, in my jeans with bootie stockings and male dance shoes, pardon, male jazz shoes. God, kill me now, I thought. What a picture! I did a few dance moves I learned. The shoes felt comfortable. I was now a proud owner of these things called male jazz shoes.

Do you ever plan on taking a trip to Ireland?
We planned to go to Ireland twice in the past twenty years. Both times my employer laid me off before we actually put any money down. I PRAY I can get to Ireland before I die.

What did you do on St. Patricks Day as a kid and how do you celebrate now?
My mother would cook either Corned Beef or make Irish Stew, with Lamb. If I remember, it was my grandmothers recipe from their Irish roots. Mom would also decorate the windows with Irish decorations.

As I got older, I would celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, dressing in green, eating Corned Beef or Irish Stew & drinking Irish beer & whiskey.

Now, I celebrate in a similar manner. If I’m at work I decorate my cubicle, dress in green, continue listening to my Celtic music, but limit it to only Irish musicians. My wife makes Corned Beef or Irish Stew and I ALWAYS have a shot of Irish Whiskey (usually Tullamore Dew) and a bottle of Guinness.

image

The Luck o’ the Irish. Coincidence? Happenstance? Or Just the Right Outlook on life?

cloverSt. Patrick’s day is tomorrow and among the many things that we associate with the holiday, and with the Irish, is the concept of good luck. Certainly not exclusive to the Irish people, the concepts of good fortune or good luck go back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The notion of luck and the associated ideas and symbols vary by country and by culture, but perhaps few more recognizable than the four-leaf clover. A universally recognized symbol of luck, it closely resembles the Irish shamrock, which is a three-leaved clover used by Saint Patrick to illustrate the Trinity. It (the shamrock) has subsequently become a national symbol of Ireland. Perhaps it is why we have adopted the notion of the lucky Irish or the luck of the Irish to our American vernacular.
Do you believe in luck? Do you have a good luck charm? We talked to someone who takes the idea of luck and good luck charms to a whole other level.

ARE YOU IRISH?
I am half Irish. But I am American. My grandmother was born in Belfast. Both of my parents were born here. My mother is Irish and my father is Italian.

SO DO YOU BELIEVE IN LUCK?
You could say that.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT LUCK? DO YOU BELIEVE IT JUST HAPPENS OR THAT YOU SOMEHOW ATTRACT LUCK TO YOURSELF?
I think it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I mean, maybe some people are just born lucky, but I think if you have an outlook of a lucky person, if you think lucky thoughts, if you believe that you will have good luck and good fortune than that is what will come back to you.

AND HOW DO YOU PERSONALLY DO THAT? HOW DO YOU THINK YOU ATTRACT LUCK?
Well, for me personally I always think positive. If I get a scratch off lottery ticket, right before I scratch it off, I think to myself how great it’s going to be when I win. Or if I enter a contest, I imagine what I am going to do WHEN I win the prize or whatever it is.

AND DOES IT WORK FOR YOU?
I think it does. I mean, I’m not saying I win every single thing I try to, or that things go right all of the time, but I think, and have been told that I am a very lucky person.

DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THAT AT ALL TO BEING IRISH?
Well, I definitely embrace the idea of the luck o’ the Irish. I don’t know if that is why I am lucky, but I don’t think it hurts. I keep that notion in my head, kind of like my mantra.

ARE YOU SUPERSTITIOUS ABOUT YOUR LUCK? DO YOU HAVE ANY GOOD LUCK CHARMS OR RITUALS ASSOCIATED WITH IT?
I do have a pretty big collection of good luck charms and just things that I collect that I just feel are lucky things.

ARE ANY OF THEM IRISH RELATED?
They are. I mean, I have a collection of lucky Irish items that I keep on a set of shelves in my bedroom. I collect these celtic crosses that I have hanging on one wall in my house and I call it the “lucky wall”. I collect claddaghs, which are really more of a symbol of love or friendship, but I find that all of mine represent exceptional luck to me. On my Irish shelves I have like 16 different shamrocks, and a bunch of other statues, figurines, and symbols. But not all of my Irish stuff is about luck and not all of my lucky stuff is Irish.

SO WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE? WHAT DO YOU KEEP THAT’S LUCKY THAT ISN’T RELATED TO YOUR COLLECTION OF IRISH ITEMS?
rabbitsfeetI have a whole key chain full of rabbit’s feet (not real feet). I have a bunch of these little bronze horseshoes too. Someone told me horseshoes were good luck once, so when I saw one of these little bronze figurines I bought one. The next thing you know, everyone was buying me horseshoe stuff. Basically anything that says ‘luck’ or ‘good luck’ or anything like that people who know me will buy me when they see it. I have a lucky shirt that I wear whenever any of my teams are playing. Like, I have one lucky Eagles shirt, one Phillies, one Flyers, etc. And I have a lucky outfit that I will wear whenever I want something positive to happen as a result, like to a job interview, or if I am up for a promotion or something. I even have lucky shoes!

AND DO YOU TRULY BELIEVE THAT THESE SYMBOLS HELP YOU IN SOME WAY? THAT THEY MAKE YOU LUCKIER?
I do. I mean, is it really my lucky shirt that is making my team win when I wear it to the game? Or is it coincidence? Or is it just my positivity that puts a good spin on everything so that I feel lucky? I kind of feel like that is what everyone should do though. All I know is I am 25-0 for Eagles wins when I attend the games in my shirt. And I think I am about the same or a little higher for Flyers games. Maybe it is total BS. But I think if everyone were to walk around with an attitude like ‘I AM lucky’ and ‘good things ARE going to happen today, with me, with this game, with this job interview, whatever, the world would be a much better place, don’t you think?

INDEED WE DO.

An Irish Perspective on St. Patrick’s Day and More.

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU CAME TO THE U.S.?
I came to America when I was 18. I was only supposed to stay for the summer. My mum bought me a ticket because she hated my biker boyfriend.

AS A MOM I CAN RELATE. SO WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO STAY AND MAKE A LIFE HERE INSTEAD OF RETURNING TO IRELAND?
I left school at 16 and went to college in Belfast. When I came here in 1986, the employment rate in Ireland was sky-high. It was easy to get work here. I made new friends. I loved that it didn’t rain every day and of course, I was getting away from ‘The Troubles’.

WHEN YOU SAY “THE TROUBLES”  YOU ARE REFERRING TO THE NAME COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE ONGOING POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS FIGHTING IN NORTHERN IRELAND?
I grew up in Northern Ireland. I have been kicked out of stores because of bomb scares and been witness to two bombs in my town. It was normal to see the British soldiers with their guns all over town and to be stopped and searched. I had to pretend friends were not Protestants so they wouldn’t get beat up. There were certain parts of town we couldn’t go to or certain pubs we couldn’t go in. In 1998, shortly after my wedding, my home town of Omagh had one of the worst bombs in the history of The Troubles. 31 people were killed. I’m including my friend, her unborn 8 month old twins, her mum and two-year old daughter.

HARD TO EVEN IMAGINE. I THINK AMERICANS SOMETIMES THINK OF BEING IRISH AS BEING ONE BIG PARTY. YOU KNOW, THE STEREOTYPE OF THE DRUNKEN IRISH PERSON…ANY STEREOTYPES THAT EXIST IN IRELAND OF AMERICANS?
Most Irish people I know, including myself, can’t stand when someone with an American accent says ” I’m Irish too!”… when I ask where they are from, they have no idea where their great grandparents came from! My personal pet peeve is when someone hears my accent and automatically assumes I’m a Catholic who supports the IRA ( or worse, asks if I’m Catholic or Protestant…something you would NEVER do in Ireland). Americans assume we all support the IRA. After 9-11, I would compare the IRA to those terrorists and people started getting the idea.

OBVIOUSLY ST. PADDY’S DAY IS BIG HERE. IS IT AS BIG OF A DEAL IN IRELAND? ARE THERE DIFFERENCES IN THE WAY IT’S CELEBRATED?
St. Paddy’s Day is huge here! At home it’s more of a holy day. The schools and shops were closed and up until the 1970’s, so were the pubs. We wore a bunch of shamrocks and went to mass, that was it. It was also a day that we could break lent. All the kids would eat sweets (candy) and all the adults would drink.

HERE WE DO ALL THE GIMMICKY STUFF, THE ERIN EXPRESS AND PUB CRAWLS AND ALL OF THAT. IS IT LIKE THAT OVER THERE?
I haven’t been home for St. Patrick’s Day for years but I hear it’s changed. A lot of tourists are going there and Ireland has succumbed to the hype for them. Parades and green beer, just like America. When the Irish first came to America, they were not welcomed. ” No Irish Need Apply” signs everywhere. As the years went on and things got better, it was a huge deal to be allowed to celebrate their heritage. There are so many Irish Americans now. I think that’s why they made such a huge deal out of the parades. They have parades and pub crawls in Ireland now but there never was anything like that when I was growing up.

I’M ITALIAN, AND IN MY HEAD I THINK OF KIDS IN ITALY SITTING AT THE TABLE WITH THEIR PARENTS DRINKING WINE FOR DINNER AT 13, 14 YEARS OLD. I THINK OF PEOPLE  SITTING IN THE PUB WITH A PINT IN IRELAND DOING THE SAME. WHAT IS THE LEGAL DRINKING AGE IN IRELAND? IS IT WELL OBSERVED?
The drinking age in Ireland is 18. Growing up, I was in the pub at 16. They never carded back then. I believe they card now but the kids all have fake IDs. It blows my mind when I go home and see all the kids in the pubs. That’s what they are, kids. Drunk kids.
We drank as kids, grew up in pubs and it’s still the same. Young kids who drink a lot! Drinking is a hobby, a pastime. It’s almost expected. It doesn’t rain in the pubs. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot to do. Kids started bands, went roller skating and got drunk. My American husband is always amazed at how many young people are stumbling, totally wasted around Omagh at the end of a night out. There are definitely Irish people don’t drink. I don’t know any, but I’m sure there are some!

Now for a public service announcement….. NEVER call St. Patrick, St. Patty!
Patty is a girl’s name!!! Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Last Call: Is St. Paddy’s Day the Craziest Bar Night of the Year?

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
I co-manage a bar. I also bartend there on the weekends.

greenbeerWHAT KIND OF BAR IS IT?
It’s an Irish pub. It’s also kind of a sports bar. We do a lot of business during all of the games.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
We’re in Philly. I actually don’t want to say the name because we didn’t clear it with the owner.

THAT’S OK. WHAT IS IT LIKE ON A TYPICAL NIGHT?
Depends on the night really. I mean the bar itself is always full. Sunday’s during football season we’re packed. If there’s a big game of any kind on, we’re packed. On the weekends if we have live music, we’re packed.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST BAR NIGHTS FOR YOU?
We’re really busy New Year’s Eve. We do a lot of business on Fat Tuesday, Super Bowl Sunday, the night before Thanksgiving, and of course St. Paddy’s Day. Easily our biggest day by a mile. You know, the whole Irish bar thing.

NATURALLY. SO HOW DOES THE CROWD DIFFER FROM THE OTHER BIG DAYS?
Differ, well…. It’s just so packed. I mean from morning til night, open to close, the bar is full to the doors and rolling out onto the street.

HOW IS THE CROWD? ANY DIFFERENT?
Um, it gets a little rowdy. I mean, any of the big nights can get rough. If you get the right combination of factors any night can go wrong. It’s just harder to manage all of those people. Plus, everyone is drinking. I mean everyone. Sometimes on Super Bowl Sunday people are just in to watch the game. They might eat some wings, drink soda, whatever. On St. Paddy’s Day, everyone is out to drink. I mean, green beers and whatever. If you’re coming out on St. Paddy’s Day, 9 times out of 10 it’s to get hammered! Plus, people are in and out, in and out. Bar hopping, pub crawls and all that. So, it’s like a revolving door for like 16 straight hours.

ARE THERE A LOT OF FIGHTS OR TROUBLE VS OTHER DAYS? ANY ST. PADDY’S DAY HORROR STORIES?
Probably 80% of the people are just happy drunks. Just out to enjoy the night, wear all their green gear, and get smashed. Then like 10% are kids who can’t hold their liquor. They tend to be more of the fall down, puke in the bathroom, pass out kind. Then the other 10% are your assholes. The beer muscles, shit attitude, I’m gonna do whatever I want kind. They suck.

SO YOU’VE HAD PEOPLE PASS OUT IN THE BAR?
Oh yeah. That’s not even a St. Paddy’s Day thing (laughter). People pass out, they fall asleep, they hook up with strangers. Working in a bar is the ultimate people watching experience. People lose stuff all the time. I’ve had people lose their wallet, their keys, their money, their phones, their shoes.

THEIR SHOES?
I know right!? I’ve found shoes, single shoes, in the ladies room. All I could think of is how did this person leave the bar and get to wherever they were going with ONE shoe on!? I don’t get it.

SO, ARE YOU IRISH?
Nope. Not a lick. My grandparents came over from Armenia. And I think on the other side they are Dutch and German.

SO HOW’D YOU COME TO BE CO-MANAGING AN IRISH PUB ON ST. PADDY’S DAY?
I needed a job and I live really close. I was walking my dog one day and I saw a little sign. I thought that was weird. Who puts an actual ‘help wanted’ sign in the window anymore. So, I went in. I was like, why am I not having to apply on Monster.com or something? But, I liked that. It’s cool. I walked in and applied to be the Tuesday and Thursday night bartender. And I swear the owner is Irish, the manager is Irish, every other bartender, barback, busser, whatever is freakin’ Irish or part Irish. And then there’s me. I look like Pocahontas standing next to her (the other bartender working- strawberry blonde and freckled).

SO FROM TWO WEEKNIGHTS BARTENDING TO A MANAGEMENT GIG AND BARTENDER ON THE BUSIEST NIGHTS OF THE YEAR?
Yeah, it probably seems like I’m sleeping with the owner or something (laughter). Right after I started working 3 girls left to go back to school, so I took the weekend gig. Then the manager left to spend more time with her 2 kids. It just kind of fell into my lap.

ST. PADDY’S DAY IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER ARE YOU READY?
Always. It’s a Tuesday night so you’d think it wouldn’t be as crazy, but it still gets nuts. That’s the other thing, some of the busier days are effected by what day of the week they fall on, I mean except those that are always the same like Super Bowl Sunday and Thanksgiving Eve. But, St. Paddy’s Day could be on a Tuesday, a Thursday, it doesn’t much matter when it is or what else is going on, people want their green beer and they’re gonna get it!