NYC: Finding the Craic

CRAIC: n. (Gaelic-English slang). Fun, enjoyment or lighthearted mischief. An enjoyable time spent with others.

It’s no secret that the Irish have maintained a long-standing presence in New York City, which, thankfully, means there is also no shortage of Irish-centric activities to enjoy.  Sports, theater, history, culture and Irish pubs, you can’t leave out the Irish pubs.

Gaelic Park: Located in the Bronx, Gaelic Park is the home of weekly Gaelic football and hurling matches hosted by the Gaelic Athletic Association of Greater New York. On first appearance, it does not look like much more than an open pavilion and field enclosed by elevated train tracks, but upon entering the park, it becomes obvious that this is a unique gathering place for Irish immigrants and Irish-Americans alike.

4000 Corlear Avenue, Bronx

Glucksman Ireland House: Located on NYU’s campus in the heart of Greenwich Village, Ireland House serves as the University’s center for Irish Studies. During the academic year, they host a variety of weekly, public events. Former featured guests have included Black 47’s Larry Kirwan, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, Novelist Peter Quinn and former Taoiseach Dr. Garret FitzGerald.

1 Washington Mews

The Irish Repertory Theatre: First opening it doors in 1988 with the goal to bring the works of Irish and Irish-American writers and playwrights to American audiences, the Irish Rep now occupies a renovated warehouse in Chelsea and is the only year-round theater company in the city featuring such plays.

132 West 22nd between 21st and 22nd Street

The American-Irish Historical Society: Founded in 1897, the Society serves as a center for Irish culture and scholarship. Through a series of lectures, concerts, art exhibits and its literary journal, the Society explores the achievements of the Irish in America and the contemporary transatlantic Irish experience.

991 Fifth Avenue between 80th and 81st Street

There are thousands of Irish pubs throughout New York City, you’d have to go out of your way to avoid passing one on the street. As the spirit of Irish comradery extends far off the shores of Ireland, Irish bars throughout the city capture all of the comfort and friendliness of the local pub. Here is a short list to get you going…Sláinte!

The Full Shilling: A genuine piece of Ireland in downtown Manhattan…literally. The interior of the bar is 150 years old, shipped from another bar in Belfast and reassembled upon arrival in New York. The bar provides an intimate atmosphere with limited seating nooks in the front but ample room for larger groups towards the back.

160 Pearl Street between Wall Street and Pine Street

Peter McManus Cafe: One of the oldest family-run bars in the city, McManus is a true relic, as evidenced from the bar’s Tiffany glass front windows and interior wooden phone booth. A diverse, but neighborhood crowd, generally fills the bar.

152 Seventh Avenue at 19th Street

The Dead Poet: A well needed change amid the frat house and 80’s throwback bars lining Amsterdam Avenue. A long narrow bar with billiards and some seating in the back. In living up to its namesake, the bar lends outs the books lining the walls. Don’t worry if you lack the literary prowess to get your work noticed, the bar also offers notoriety in the form of engraved plaques boasting the names of those who reach the 100 Guinness mark.

450 Amsterdam Avenue between 81st Street and 82nd Street

The Emerald Inn: Family run for three generations since the 1940’s, this cozy Irish bar with a wooden interior looks like a rural Irish cottage in the heart of Lincoln Center. Due to a recent lease dispute, the long-term future of this bar remains uncertain, so be sure to sit down for a pint and some traditional Irish fare while you still can.

205 Columbus Avenue at 69th Street (Scheduled to close April 30, 2013 due to rent increase!)