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In the early hours of Saturday the 17th of March 2001, my family and I drove to Staten Island in New York to then take the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan. This is a great way of accessing New York City, especially if you do not want to take your car into the city. Greeted by a beautiful skyline (in this post you can find some beautiful pictures that I took of it in September 2001 a few days before 9/11), we were promised a beautiful day in the city.

Our habit was to walk up from where the ferries land, all the way to Central Park, which was quite a hike, especially for us kids, my sister was 7 and I was 12. Normally we’d go shopping, climb some sky scraper or even go ice skating (at the Rockefeller Center or in Central Park if the season permitted to do so of course), have breakfast, lunch or even dinner depending if the time of the day and length of our stay.

image But on this very 17th of March, the city was different. We were greeted by the music of bagpipes, drunk men, people dressed in green and even by a green pavement, yes there were some streets tainted green. It was Saint Patrick’s Day! We did not linger much by the side of the parade, as my parents were not too keen on parades, but the glimpse I got sure was interesting. Maybe this is why I love discovering traditions?

What we did during the day, truthfully, I don’t remember at all. I remember that late on the evening we were on the ferry again, but this time heading the other way. We were accompanied by embarrassed women, the wives of some drunken bagpipe players, who did provide a musical background. Dressed in green coloured kilts they sure confused us. Now were they Irish or Scottish, or both or  neither the one nor the other? I don’t remember if we actually found out. Do you know?

The next day in the morning, I got dressed, put green into my braids and made sure to wear something green. I was all set to go to my friend’s Saint Patrick’s Day party. I had been to her Halloween and Christmas parties and now it was time for Saint Patrick’s Day, the theme was GREEN. I was so certain that it was on that Sunday. Just before leaving the house I checked the invitation, it said the 17th on it, I was still convinced that it was on that day, until my mom looked at the invitation and told me that it was the 18th… I was devastated, I had missed a cool party and had not even cancelled, no, I had confirmed that I would come, I was just always certain that the Sunday was the 17th and not the 18th. But really why would the parade in New York had happened a day early???

My friend was hurt that I had missed her party, and sadly she did not invite me again. Now, I know to double check what date and day something is meant to happen on.


© Solveig Werner 2016. All rights reserved.

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