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by Jeff Wilkin

Type A To Z

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Features reporter Jeff Wilkin on pop culture

Irish spring (with photos)

I generally wear my deep blue, shamrock-spangled tie just twice a year.

The first time is Albany’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on the Saturday before March 17. The second is on St. Patrick’s Day itself, March 17. The rest of the year, it hangs in my closet.

Brought my favorite green out for a rare, late spring appearance last Friday night, for the Irish Fair on Jay Street.

I wasn’t sure how this festival, sponsored by local bars and businesses in the Jay area, would fare. St. Anthony’s Festa, the city’s longtime celebration of all things Italian, opened its three-night stand on Friday. And gray clouds in the afternoon could have meant a devil of a thunderstorm.

Neither was a factor. I guess St. Anthony and St. Patrick played to a tie, because Jay Street seemed crowded for the two hours-plus that I chatted in the street. I suppose the Italian party drew similar numbers. And the rain never showed up.

I’ve never seen Jay Street so crowded. People stopped by the beer tents, browsed the wares of a handful of vendors and ducked inside the Jay Street shops. Live music kept everyone entertained. Click HERE to see some pictures of the local Irish and their Big Night Out.

I found Gazette sports writer Mike MacAdam for a few beers and a few more words. Photographer Marc Schultz found the both of us for a couple quick ones. Also greeted Teresa Buckley, Jim Odato and Cindy Schultz of a Truly Unique newspaper located on Wolf Road. Cindy is another photographer, but no relation to my man Schultz. Also ran into Jimmy Maloney — Jim’s a former detective for the Schenectady P.D., and I knew him as a police reporter for the old Gazette during the 1980s. Can’t fool these old cops; Jim picked me out from across a crowd, and we shot the breeze for five minutes. He now owns Katie O’Bryne’s, the Irish pub off Erie Boulevard, next to the Amtrak station.

I was glad to see I was not out of place nor out of line wearing my St. Patrick’s Day tie so close to the summer solstice. Others had the same idea, and green shirts and caps were part of the fashion for the evening. A nice summer night for the Irish.

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June 24, 2009
6:57 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Wait a minute....MacAdam, at an Irish festival, drinking beer??? No way.......

June 25, 2009
5:14 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Not to be picky, but it was a Celtic Faire. You wouldn't want to enrage the Isle of Man.

June 25, 2009
8:11 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]


June 26, 2009
5:08 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I wouldn't want to enrage any man fearless enough to run through a sidewalk full of wet cement.
Perhaps ... fearless is not the correct word ....

June 26, 2009
7:19 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Not to be picky, but it wasn't a sidewalk. The cement, though, was quite wet (and deep).
And no, fearless is not correct. Let's just say that my left foot was dutifully following orders from the block of cement that kidnapped my cerebral cortex.

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