From the rowdy to the reverent: How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like a Bostonian #ahcj13

Photo by Tinker Ready

A look at some of the issues, sessions and ideas to keep in mind for those planning to attend Health Journalism 2013, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

You don’t have to wander too far in Boston to find a bit of Irish. The place is still full of Foleys, Sheas, Dooleys, Doyles, McGreevys and Murphys – to name of just a few of the 222 Irish pubs that come up on a Yelp search.

The Seaport area hosts two – including one in the lobby of the Westin. Like much of the neighborhood, they are new. So, expect a little pre-fab ambiance with your Guinness. For the real thing, or closer too it, you’ll have to wander a bit. The MBTA Red line out of South Station runs to Cambridge’s Central Square – home to The Field, The Phoenix Landing  and The Plough and Stars – or on to Davis Square to The Burren. (See the film “Next Stop Wonderland” for a preview of that pub.)

Or, wander down D Street to Southie to get to the heart of Irish Boston. Once famous as the flashpoint of the Boston busing battles, South Boston is now a mixed neighborhood of townies and young professionals. They apparently get along so well that a new reality show failed to deliver on its promise of full-out class warfare.

Photo by Tinker Ready

Southie hosts Boston’s big parade and, this year, it happens on St. Patrick’s Day. If you don’t mind huge crowds and loud, beer-soaked, emerald-clad revelers, it’s the place to be. If you do, you can still go and head for one of the family-friendly zones set up by parade organizers. They offer a history of the event on their website; the Globe offers an unsanitized version. If, after reading that, you want to skip the main event, you can still go to the Peace Parade, a separate march that offers refuge to the gay Irish contingent, which was banished from main parade.

For a less rowdy event, the legendary Durgin Park is serving up corned beef and cabbage and along with its usual New England fare.  And The Black Rose – an Irish pub around the corner – is the real deal. Or get rowdy all over again in punk rock bagpipes way by scalping a ticket to the Dropkick Murphys annual St. Patrick’s Day stand at the Hard Rock Café. Yankee fans be warned – it’s across the street from Fenway Park. Finally, if you are looking for a leprechaun who can shoot baskets while doing a flip, the Celtics are in town on Saturday night.

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