With a light dusting of snow swirling about my head and a chilly wind cutting through my jacket, I joined the throngs of other parade-goers, darting in and out of the local Dunkin' Donuts for hot coffee and Irish-cream donuts.
Billed as New York City's second largest Saint Patrick's Day Parade, Far Rockaway's parade did not disappoint and was well worth the one-way two and a half hour trip from Brooklyn by train, bus and on foot. With nine pipe and drum bands and three Irish pubs serving up cheap green beer, there was no shortage of entertainment on and off the streets.
Locals donned greenery of every variety, from t-shirts and hats to socks and jackets to wigs and sunglasses to feather boas and scarves. Ed dubbed me an Irish lass by wrapping a green scarf around my neck, adding a much-needed splash of festivity to my otherwise "not a lick of green are ya wearing there lassy" ensemble.
After the parade, I spent a couple of hours wandering the beaches and neighborhoods, curious to view the restoration efforts for myself. The grit of dust and sand and the smell of fuel and smoke still penetrated the air and assaulted my sinuses, four months after Hurricane Sandy.
I may live in Brooklyn, but right now,
my heart is in Far Rockaway.