Happy Saint Patrick's Day Shamrock PictureThe Irish have a long history in New York City dating back to the first waves of mass immigration in the 19th century. Today, the Irish influence is ubiquitous–pubs are named after Irishmen, Catholic churches play important roles in many neighborhoods and men and women with Irish last names hold positions in politics, public service, entertainment and just about everywhere else. Every year on March 17th thousands of New Yorkers take to the streets to celebrate the Irish heritage of New York City.

On St. Patrick’s Day everyone in New York is Irish, those hailing from the Emerald Isle as well as those from Mexico, Africa, Eastern Europe and Queens. The main festivities take place in central Manhattan with a massive parade making its way through the city. New York Habitat has dozens of accommodations in the Upper East Side close enough to the parade to hear the beating drums and piping bagpipes.

Starting at about 11 a.m., the parade runs along 5th avenue, from 44th (right between Midtown East and Midtown West) to 86th streets in the Upper East Side. If you’d like to catch a spot on the front row of the route plan on arriving a few hours before the start of the parade. The St.Patrick’s Day parade features over 100,000 marchers from all over the metropolitan area including local marching bands, Irish culture societies and members of the city’s police and fire departments. The parade route can become severely overcrowded in the 50s where a lot of the rowdier spectators seem to congregate, for a more spacious and family-friendly experience head uptown, above 80th street. The crowds are smaller up here and the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art might be the best place in the city to watch the festivities.

New York Apartment: 2 Bedroom Apartment Rental in Midtown East (NY-12498)
New York Apartment: 2 Bedroom Apartment Rental in Midtown East (NY-12498)
Just about every bar in the city is jam packed on St. Patrick’s Day, many feature live music or free giveaways. Beware Irish pubs along the parade route–they’re overcrowded and patrons have been drinking in these joints since early in the morning. If you still want to get a pint of Guinness take the train downtown where many Irish pubs have traditional bands and the same ambiance as the places up town, just without the inebriated crowds.

Consider apartment rentals in the Upper East Side or accommodations in Midtown East to stay close to the parade. Just north of the parade route is this 1-bedroom rental accommodation on the Upper East Side (NY-12551). The apartment has great views and a spacious 1,100 square feet. Just a few blocks to the east of the parade is this beautiful, classically decorated 1-bedroom vacation rental apartment on the Upper East Side (NY-14749). This elegant 2-bedroom rental apartment in Midtown East (NY-12498) is steps from the parade route on 56th street and dozens of Irish bars and restaurants.

Every nationality comes out in force to watch New York’s St. Patrick’s parade, and for one day a year they all wear green and speak with an Irish brogue. Join us in New York for Saint Patrick’s day and comment below on the experience!