Albany St Patrick’s Day Parade 2011

Jerry Jennings walks into a bar. No, really. Jerry Jennings walked into a bar. The Mayor of Albany walks into a bar. On St Patrick’s Day 2011. Into Pauly’s. Pauly’s Hotel. Pauly’s hotel that recently re-opened after being shut down for general unrulishlessnessery.

I made it up to Quail and Central, my usual spot for the parade, just before kick-off time and headed into Pauly’s to grab a beer. Quail and Central is also the start of the parade, so many of the first walkers for the parade are also nearby. Just after I got my beer, Jerry Jennings appears (out of thin air, because he is a man of mystery) behind the bar and starts shaking hands and chatting with the people. “God, this sums up so much about our city,” one of my friends sighed.

Color Guard! So yeah, I’d heard about the car flipping and riots around the student ghetto. I was a bit wary of what the parade would be like, but it was Albany as ever. Someone was getting into a fight with someone else about being a crack head a stone’s throw away from Albany’s finest.


There were a few senior’s busses. At first I thought this was kinda eh- if you’re going to be in the parade, be in it! But they were throwing Smarties and beads out of the window. It was pretty funny in an old people kind of way. I hope they were at least sipping peppermint schnapps inside.

After that, we crossed the street because we thought we saw someone we knew on the other side.

One of the glorious things about the parade, is that you can join it at will.

What. Is. That?! It looks like a pimp rat fox ready to go to Mardi Gras! Way to go, West Sand Lake Fire Department – that’s awesome.

I had a beer can accidentally thrown at me. Some group was trying to throw it out, but it somehow ricocheted and hit my hand. Either way, I didn’t think too much of it. I mean “shitshow” pretty much sums up Albany on parade days. But they were super apologetic, and even insisted on giving me a beer for my troubles (unopened, so no threat of roofies).

Oh, and the dude in the bookbag was fucking hilarous – he kept joining the parade to hug firemen.

I was waiting on some friends to come down. They ended up missing the parade entirely, lol. But we told ’em to meet up around Lark Street. We were going to meet at Pauly’s, but the bouncers turned into jerks after the parade was over. I understand it’s been a long day, but WTF? They were just power tripping and making fun of girls for no reason. The bartenders were okay, but it was like 3:30 hit and the bouncers were like “Turn into jerk mode”. I mean, I’d rather spend my money some where someone wants it.

So we walked over to Oh Bar on Lark Street and had two delicious beers for $6. Omg, I fucking love you Oh Bar!

Everyone was super sweet there, from the staff to the crowd. We felt like bar hopping, so we left. I kind of wish we hadn’t though. Such a good time.

But such is bar hopping. The girls took off to Hollywood, leaving the boys in the dust.

Hollywood was fun, too. PACKED with people. I’m not usually a crowd person, but I was feeling festive, darn it.

And then we ended it the way it started. Bombers! Albany John and I were downtown before the parade started and walked up to Central and Quail, with a pit stop at Bombers along the way for tacos. Then after Hollywood, we girls decided that sweet potato fries would be an awesome way to end the night. Soooo freaking good.
Overall, not too bad of a parade for me.


Oh, and I found out that the chanting I hear from students isn’t just some random gutteral “ohhh heeyy” but, it’s actually “U A”, like University of Albany. Where they go to school. Jeeze, how dense am I? I’ve been hanging out with students for too many years and I had no idea that’s what they were chanting.

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