Irish in the City

So, if you’ve never met me before, it should be known that I have a thing for English and Irish accents.  Although not professionally tested, I’m 97% sure it’s directly related to the number of Jane Austen books and BBC movies I watch.  I may or may not have even joined a British Ex-Pat group on in order to find out where people with British accents are hanging out.  I’ve actually never gone to any of those gatherings, but I like being aware of them just in case I want to hear people who sound like Colin Firth.  I also tried to find an Irish ex-pat group but none seemed to exist.  I was bummed, but was willing to be a creeper and scope out every Irish pub in order to find some Irish guys that look and sound like Colin Farrell before his druggy/hooker days.

HOWEVER, this weekend I found out that I wouldn’t have to go bar hopping (and honestly, I probably wouldn’t have bar hopped because there are about 102938098 Irish “pubs” in New York and I am no where near ambitious or alcoholic enough to try to go to all of them) to find Irish guys–they’re all in the Bronx!  Ok, that doesn’t sound exciting, but they’re playing hurling at the Gaelic Park up there. According to a New York Times article, there are a bunch of Irish dudes playing the gaelic sport and  looking to “make connections and to meet potential spouses, to mingle with friends from the old country and to discover new ones.”  Umm, Hi.  I could be a friend from the new country.

This is Hurling

This is Hurling

What is hurling?  The only reason I know is because when I was 16 and working as a landscaper one summer (what what Lakeshore Landscaping), one of the guys working there was like, “You’re athletic and it looks like you won’t fall down easily (me: um, thanks?) You should join my hurling team.  We need some girls.”  Once getting over the backhanded insult of essentially being called a tree, I considered it and he gave me some info on the sport.  It’s essentially a cross between lacrosse, football and soccer but with a weird stick.  I didn’t end up joining the team because “I didn’t want it to interfere with soccer practice and I’m a huge tool who doesn’t want to socialize with new people”. (I added the last part in retrospect) I regret that decision now because if I had learned, I could be playing with the Irish!

And yet, maybe I’m not missing out on anything.  The Times article is reporting that the number of Irish natives/desecendents aren’t coming to the renovated stadium anyway.

“The type of immigrant coming out of Ireland now isn’t dependent on that social structure,” said Mr. McCarthy, who teaches management at Seton Hall. “There are a lot of people in New York, Irish immigrants, who have never been to Gaelic Park.”

And while the park is currently in its best physical condition ever — a $3 million renovation provided a new turf field and night lighting — other forces have taken their toll. Tightened immigration laws and stricter border security after 9/11 have drained the park of players and spectators, further challenging its historic role as the heart of New York’s Irish community.

Bummer, man.  I’m hopeful though and it’s possible that with the printing of this article, more people will go to the stadium (and maybe Irish guys will hear the call and sign up).  Heck, I googled the league and am hoping to check out a game, because let’s be honest, what else am I doing on a Sunday afternoon that is more appealing than listening to Irish accents while watching a halfway interesting sporting event?

A Bit of Ireland in the Bronx, but Slowly Fading Away [NY Times]

One Response to “Irish in the City”

  1. im from an all irish community in the bronx. im puerto rican but can do the accent quite well, ha!

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