Rolling with Stone

By Jessi Stone Guide editor | Mar 12, 2014
Enjoying some Smithwick's at Palace Bar in the Temple Bar District of Dublin — May 2008.

Well here we are again — my favorite holiday is near, and The Guide has everything you’ll need to have an enjoyable St. Patrick’s Day.

Since the big day falls on a Monday this year, I suggest getting your celebrating out of the way over the weekend.

I really had a hard time coming up with something to write about this week — I already explained my obsession with Ireland in last year ‘s column. I love the country, the people, the history, the old customs, wearing green and of course, Irish beer.

If you aren’t too familiar with any Irish beer other than Guinness, I suggest you try some new ones this year. To get you started, I’ve written a little review on page XX about the most popular ones — many of which you can buy at the local grocery store.

If you are planning a party, look at the tips and traditional Irish recipes on page XX. Not everyone gets excited about corn beef and cabbage, but there are plenty of other Ireland inspired dishes to try out. Matt and I will be celebrating our four-year wedding anniversary today (Wednesday).

We decided No. 4 doesn’t constitute a big to-do so this year we will just be in the kitchen cooking some new recipes in honor of St. Patrick’s Day — Guinness Stout dip, Reuben Tortilla pinwheels and bagels with cream cheese and lox. If you are planning on staying in as well, let me recommend some of my favorite Ireland themed movies.

“Once” is somewhat of a musical (but you barely notice) about an Irish musician who meets a Czech immigrant in the streets of Dublin. It’s a modern romance with beautiful original songs. Not much historical value, but the backdrop and music makes it worth it.

In the Name of the Father

“In the Name of the Father” is an Oscar-nominated film based on the real-life experiences of Gerry Conlon, the alleged leader of the Guildford Four. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Conlon, a Belfast man wrongly imprisoned for the 1974 IRA bombing of a pub in the U.K. I love Northern Ireland’s troubled history and this film gives you a closer look at the conflict.

“The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne is a classic. It tells the story of Sean Thornton, a retired American boxer who relocates to Ireland to reclaim his family's farm and falls in love with a fiery Irishwoman. The depiction of Ireland is outdated to say the least but it can be overlooked given the time period.

“Michael Collins” starring Liam Neeson is one of my favorites. Neeson plays Gen. Collins — an Irish patriot who was a driving force in the Irish War. It’s a great tale of Irishmen fighting for what’s right without thinking of the cost. Ireland wouldn’t be where it is today without people like Collins.

The truth is many movies about Ireland are going to be intense and depressing, but they are also hopeful. The Irish have seen some tough times politically, economically and socially, but their optimism never ceases to amaze me. If you are looking for an Irish comedy or light-hearted romance, good luck. My only suggestions would be “P.S. I Love You” or “Leap Year” but you probably won’t learn anything.

And I think learning about Ireland, its history and our Irish heritage in America is really what St. Patrick’s Day should be about. So do some geology research, read a biography on John Hume or Bernadette Devlin, try some new food and learn some Gaelic.  Sláinte! Erin Go Bragh!

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