The St. Patty’s Day parade is really just an excuse to drink

South Boston holds a parade every St. Patrick’s Day. Drawing somewhere around 600,000 people each year, it’s known to experience troubles. Alcohol troubles. Also known as drunk people everywhere.

My sister was visiting the weekend of the parade and decided that sounded like a good time. She declared that we should go to the parade. And go we did…


The reports weren’t exaggerating about the size of this parade. When my sister and I took the T, it was incredibly crowded. I’ve never seen the subway that packed in my life:

Boston knows how crazy it gets on St. Patty’s Day, though, and had the foresight to increase train service that day. So we moved through the pack relatively quickly.

And when we finally reached our stop, we found that it was just as crazy as the T:

Southie is historically a working-class, Irish-American neighborhood also known for its long record of organized crime. In recent years, however, Southie has changed drastically: The Boston Redevelopment Authority targeted Southie for redevelopment and property values have increased. And certainly, the day of the parade, there was no signs of Southie’s turbulent history. Rather, there was

…and, of course, the elderly, kids, and their parents. But in a city that has tons of Irish-Americans, and tons of college kids, and tons of people who just want to party, what else can you expect on St. Patty’s Day? We passed by houses full of college parties, tons of people toting their open containers of beer, and plenty of bottles littered on the ground.

Because the parade has had problems with drunkenness before, the police were out in droves:

So my sister and I, along with my suitemate, were content to perch up on a hill to observe. Unfortunately, the T could only drop us off at the latter end of the parade. We ended up waiting two hours before the parade actually reached us, by which time we had to leave anyway. At least the weather was nice.

And we did manage to get a peek at some cool floats.

Darth Vader waving like a boss from a truck. He was accompanied by a squadron of stormtroopers and jedi.


People went crazy for this tank. BECAUSE IT WAS AWESOME!

Although I think I’ve had my fill of bagpipes.

Though drunk people never get old.

This is why I take the stairs

International Village is 22 stories high. There are more elevators than stairwells, and out of the few stairwells there are, only one of them can be used without setting off the fire alarm. Using the elevator is a necessity.

At most times, it’s okay. But at certain times– when everyone is going to class, when everyone is getting dinner, etc., using the elevator can look like this:

And that’s why I take the stairs.

College kids inexplicably love Target

Kids pack for college. They move in. They forget stuff. It’s the inevitable fate of the college freshman.

Target knows this. Target capitalizes on this. They’re allowed to. It’s a free-market economy. So, as part of “Welcome Week” at Northeastern, we had this:

Target sets up special times where they invite students from one college to come to Target. It’s only kids from one school. There’s sales, they said. There’s music. Free coupon books. The day before, they had workers on campus handing out little Target bags and coupons. It’s enticing.

Which is why, at the time of Target night, we had this down at Forsyth Circle:

Target had ordered 12 buses to ship kids back and forth from campus to their store. My roomies and I had managed to slip into the front of the line, so we decided to go.

And when we got there? It was a madhouse.

It was crowded already. And got more crowded as NU kids started to file in. As Target had promised, there was music…

and free samples…

He gave us both two for our trouble. I continued to walk by that booth the whole night.

…and even a mascot.

But truly? Target night at NU is a tad overrated. For one, we might have been the only college there at the moment, but we sure weren’t the only college there that day. The shelves were ravaged. Some, empty. My suitemates failed to buy a full-length mirror because they were sold out.

Shower liners are in high demand, it seems.

Nothing was on sale, either. Those coupons? Not too good.

But it was a good time anyway. Nothing is more exciting than the atmosphere of rampant consumerism! Kids loaded up with Target goods. My suitemate bought over $200 dollars worth, I believe. I myself bought some Q-tips, makeup remover, and a box of crayons. This sight was common as we got back to campus: