Written by: Matt McGraw
As the middle of March rolls around, temperatures warm, the first buds of spring appear on the trees, and Philadelphians join rank with the millions of others worldwide who don green clothing and go out to celebrate. Yes, St. Patrick’s Day has arrived once more and throngs of people over the legal drinking age take to the streets to go to bars, have a wild night, drink a few too many, and stumble on home.
Originally an exclusively Irish holiday commemorating the death of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick; the holiday has spread along with the dispersion of the Irish throughout much of the world. It has also lost its original meaning and (like with many other holidays) simply become a justification to go out and get drunk. As a 22-year-old, college student of Irish decent, this holiday has always been a good excuse to do just that, and especially since I’ll be graduating in May, this felt like one of my final chances to go hit the local, Temple-area bars that I’ve come to know and love during my time here. On the evening of March, 17, my roommate and I—sufficiently pre-gamed and armed with the cash that we could rustle up from our bank accounts—marched off into the night, men on a mission with only one goal: complete a Temple bar crawl.
The first stop on the tour was Masters Bar since it was the closest to our house. We started off our night with a pair of beers each and watched, laughing, as the already drunk girls at the bar sang along obnoxiously to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. As we paid our check and prepared to leave, I hit the head and was dismayed (but not surprised) to see that someone had taken it upon themselves to defile the urinal in the men’s room with the contents of their stomach, but what would St. Patties Day be without those who get a little too sloppy?
After Masters, we walked up to Cecil B. Moore, high fiving those passersby who are also wearing green and out to celebrate, and hit the Draught Horse. There we got more beers and talked in length about life and graduation and what the hell we plan to do with our lives once we get out of college. My roommate and I reminisced about those friends who aren’t with us as well as the things we’ll miss the most about our time at Temple, and after we finish our fourth drinks of the night, we pay the check and head up the street to Pub Webb.
When we get there, we are surprised and elated to run into another old friend and her roommates and once we get into the packed bar we take shots and drink Guinness’ (both stouts and blondes) and clink our glasses to graduating and friendship and let the alcohol take over as we dance in the neon lights of the strobes over our heads.
For the final stop on the crawl, we paraded over to Maxi’s and get Irish car bombs and beers, and I bum a couple bites of my roommates’ pizza as we chuckle at the intoxicated individuals around us—not that we aren’t ourselves. After Maxi’s we stumble on over to the grassy courtyard behind Beury Hall and light up, passing around the cigarette as we sit in colored, plastic lawn chairs and talking while we stare up at the sky.
While I’m as much of a fan as the next guy of going out and having a good time, in that moment I reflected that the debauchery of St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t nearly as satisfying as just sitting down with a couple very close friends and talking to one another. I reflected on the amazing people I’ve met in my four years at Temple and of the great memories I’ve made with those people, and thought to myself that perhaps the point of this holiday isn’t necessarily to go out and get slammed, but to instead take some time out of our busy schedules and spend some time with the friends who make your life worth living.