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04 mar

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in USA

Celebrating St. Patricks Day in any of these four U.S cities? Heres the breakdown on the main activities they offer!

 

Chicago

Time and Date:

Saturday, 12th March 2016, 12:00 p.m

Route:

Downtown Parade begins at Columbus Dr. between Balbo & Monroe.

South Side Irish Parade, along Western Avenue between 103rd & 115th.

Northwest Side Irish Parade begins at Onahan School (6634 W. Raven St.)

Events:

Chicago dyes it's river green for the event! Between Wacker Dr. & Columbus Dr a vegetable dye is used to turn the water green!  Hundreds of thousands watch this spectacle each year.

The Irish-American Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox Ave.) hosts a St. Patricks Festival indoors with Irish dancing, music, food and drink.

There is different pub crawls in Chicago Shamrock Crawl, St. Pats Trolley Bar Crawl and

St. Patricks Day Booze Cruise which all cost between $25- $65.

 

San Francisco

Time and Date : 

Saturday, 12th March 2016 , 11:30am

Route:

The parade starts at 2nd and Market Street via Market Street to the Civic Center Plaza.

Events:

There is a festival which is situated at the end of the parade route. There is drink and food vendors aplenty. You can get green beer, Guinness and Irish coffee. A live band plays though the day on one main stage, with an ever -changing line up of Irish musicians and signers. The area is open to people of all ages.


Savannah

Time and Date:

Thursday, March 17th 2016, 10:15 a.m. ( following Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.)

Route:

The parade begins at the corner of Gwinnett and Abercorn, north to Abercorn to Broughton and turns east to East Broad Street. The parade turns north on E. Broad and then heads west on Bay, past City Hall, where it takes a left on Bull Street, ending at Harris Street.

Events: 

Tara Feis Festival on Saturday March 12th between 11AM and 5PM at Emmet Park. There is a festival of Irish culture with food, arts and crafts, activities and live performance on during the day including traditional Irish dance and music. The main guests this year are Cathy Maguire and Ciaran Sheehan. Tara Feis Irish Celebration takes Saturday, March 12, 2016 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and non alcoholic. P.S If you to to the children's stage, there is a free Irish dancing lessons!

- Greening of the Fountain at Forsyth Park, where the fountain is turned emerald green.

         

Boston

Time and Date: 

Saturday, March 20th 2016, 1:00 pm

Route: 

The parade begins at the Broadway 'T' Station and ends at Andrew Square, South Boston. The best viewing points are along Broadway. The parade goes via Telegraph St to Dorchester Stt. It initially proceeding down West Broadway to East Broadway to East 4th, to 5th Street, and around Thomas Park.

Events:

There is also plenty of places to visit after the parade, you can stroll Boston's Heritage trail which is a three mile trail through the neighbourhoods of Boston Irish most famous personalities and the artists, war heroes and wealthy families. One of the most famous is John Francis Kennedy, former president of the U.S.A. There is the JFK Library & Museum to stack up on knowledge about him.

Author: Áine Ryan

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20 fev

Celebrating St Patrick's Day at the parade in NYC ? Here is how!

If you are in New York City for St. Patrick’s day on Thursday 17th of March then you are in for a treat! The largest St. Patrick’s day parade in the United States takes place there, and calls for a massive celebration through the streets, so get on the green and be sure to pin some shamrock to it as you head down to 5th Avenue for the parade!!

 

Time:
Thursday, 17th March, 2016, 11:00a.m - 05:00p.m

 

The route of the parade:

The parade starts at 44th Street and marches up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street. It continues on via the American Irish Historical Society at 83rd and the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 83rd Street to 86th Street, where the parade finishes. It passes by numerable New York attractions, including St. Patrick's Cathedral and Central Park.

 

Address:

5th Avenue and 44th Str
New York, NY 10173

 

History of the parade: 

 It is the oldest parade in the country, and has been happening since March 17, 1762. The parade is run entirely by volunteers since it's inception and continues as a voluntary committee today. Many of the committed members come from generations of families dedicated to the organisation of the parade, and takes months of preparation. The 2016 New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade will be the largest St. Paddy’s parade in the entire world.

 

What to expect at the NYC St. Patrick parade:

 The parade is always led by the 69th Infantry Regiment. It includes marchers include bands, firefighters, military and police groups, social and cultural clubs, county associations, a number of local Irish Dance Companies and many important government and city officials, and politicians, creating a procession line of more than 150,000 people. St. Patrick's Day Parade route normally extends for 1.5 miles down 5th Avenue in Manhattan. It usually takes five-hours for the entire parade procession to complete the route

 

What to expect in the crowd of the parade:

Over two million line Fifth Avenue of NYC to salute their Irish heritage and a lot of people wearing green! If you want to get a great view of the proceeding you should nab your spot by dawn because the parade route gets crowded very quickly, and otherwise you will be left standing five people deep with poor vision to the proceedings.

 

Heading to the pub whilst the parade is happening or afterwards:

Of course, St. Patrick’s day is associated with an indulgence day of alcohol considering there is a strong drinking culture in Ireland and there is few places that will provide you with as much craic as a good Irish pub! All of the pubs around the parade are thronged on St.Patrick’s day and by afternoon expect queues at the counter, and sometimes even out the door. The whole five boroughs go crazy for the party but if you are already at the parade then the best pubs to opt for are those along 2nd Avenue between 50th and 60th street. The pubs and bars in the 20s along 2nd and 3rd Avenue are less crowded in the evening time but have just as good an atmosphere with lots of Irish bands and musicians descending on the city for the day to entertain guests in concerts and pubs alike. Many of the pubs serve speciality Irish dishes on this day such as bacon and cabbage, so you can eat a dish while adding fuel to keep partying into the night. 

 

Author: Áine Ryan

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16 fev

Seven Tips for moving to the U.S.A.

1. Visa

Before moving to New York, it's good to be sure you have all of the right documents for entering the country and even if you are coming here on a tourist visa, U.S authorities are strict on your purpose of visit. Know the address of where you are staying, a point of contact in the U.S to issue them, and be prepared for a grilling at the airport by customs officials as to why you are moving to the Big Apple. If you intend on getting a job over here, it's essential you have the legal documents and the adequate visa to work here.

 

2. Appropriate clothing

New York is a city of seasons, so don't arrive in winter in a t-shirt! Likewise, there is no point wasting precious suitcase (and wardrobe) space packing a bulky rain jacket when you are arriving in June and only staying until September. If you do need to pick up clothing obviously Manhattan is not short of fashion boutiques nor high street/thrift stores. However, because weather plays such a large part in deciphering where a person resides, it is good to research the temperature and weather conditions for your term here so you know what New York to expect - an island that builds snowmen in the January snow, or a sun screen population clad in bikinis on a Coney Island bound train.

 

3. Openness in Attitude

People of all races and religion dwell in New York so be prepared for new perspectives and be willing to embrace other cultures and attitudes in your everyday life. Many ethnic groups live in ghettos and communities where their cultures keep many characteristics of the homeland - expect Hebrew to be spoken and Kosher stores in abundance in areas with a Hasidic Jewish population.

Similarly, don't be surprised or rude if you frequent a supermarket in a Latino neighbourhood and the cashier is only talking to you in Spanish. America is a land of immigrants so remember you have various mannerisms that others might need adapting to also.

 

4. Be open to living in other boroughs beyond Manhattan!

You feel familiar with Manhattan from the movies. You know that's where Times Square and Central Park are located and you've heard about the East and West Villages. Living anywhere outside Manhattan is simply rough blocks of flats or expensive suburban housing, right?! Whilst living in Manhattan definitely brings you closest to the action, fortunately a bunch of cool and fun residential neighbourhoods exist in the other boroughs that may or may not be easier on your budget.

Bushwick and Bed Stuyvesant are current popular choices for artists and students with tighter budgets hoping to enjoy NY. The metro line means that it is super easy to travel in and out of Manhattan. You could even consider Jersey City which is possible to reach from midtown in twenty minutes by ferry and also much easier on the purse strings.

 

5. Don't be afraid.

New York has become a far safer place in all areas of the city over the past decade. The former mayor, Rudy Giuliani did all he could to drive the crime rate down including implementing more police and tighter control on the streets. Thankfully it worked, and once you're not wondering on your own late at night or purposely looking for trouble there is every reason for you to walk freely and safely through NYC. Also the delight of a 24/7 Metro system and the fact that NYC is indeed a city that never sleeps, in certain quarters anyway means there is always people around and someone to ask for help if anything suspect was to happen.

Remember however NYC is still a huge metropolis and hold onto your purse tightly when walking the streets and keep your cell phone in a secure pocket at all times.

 

6. Money

New York is expensive. Fact. While you shouldn't let cost deter you from moving to the city, groceries, toiletries, food, drink and let's face it, just about everything is more expensive in the Big Apple than anywhere else in the U.S., and most other cities in the world. When you move here at first, expect to find yourself running through money quicker than you anticipated, not least with rent. It is good to have a decent amount of cash saved before you arrive here so that you can enjoy your first few weeks and months in this exciting city without fretting around finance. Also, it allows you time to do some tourist activities and settling in while you search for a job to support you further.

 

7. Health Insurance

The U.S does not offer free or affordable healthcare like many of us European citizens are lucky to receive in our home countries. Average American families and individuals spend thousands of dollars each year on an insurance so make sure you have a plan for health insurance that covers you while you are in the U.S. If you will only be in NY for a couple of months you might be able to get travel insurance that includes healthcare but otherwise make sure you get separate health cover.

Obviously you can risk it, and go without but if any injury was to happen the simplest operation could run a fee of tens of thousands of dollars and you obviously do not want to be in that situation or have that burden. 

Author: Áine Ryan

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09 fev

Travelling across the United States? Plan the best trips!

The United States is a beautiful and huge country so when you arrive there you can be sure you will want to travel through as much of the country as you possibly can. There is stunning and diverse scenery in all of the fifty states, so you can be sure you will be tempted to see more than the city or countryside of the area in which you are residing. Here, I showcase the various transport options available within the United States. Whether you are travelling business or pleasure it is always a wise idea to know what travel options are available.

 

Car

If you are going to be driving in the U.S, it's a good idea to have an international driving licence that allows you to drive legally here first. The U.S is a huge country, and the main form of transport favoured by Americans is travel by motor. If you are in the U.S for a long time it is possible to buy a used car cheaply from a dealer, and gas prices in the U.S and the current climate are the best they have been in years. If you are only looking for to rent a car for a particular road trip there are lots of car companies that offer competitive prices.

Check out car hire companies such as internationally known Avis and Hertz or a smaller company such Alamo, or Enterprise for more budget prices, which also offers to bring the car to you for hire which is good if you are not hiring a car directly from the airport.

 

Train

Amtrak is the main national train provider operating in the U.S.A. Amtrak offers a luxurious city to city travel although it does not service all routes. It is far more expensive than travelling by bus but if you book in advance it is possible to get good price tickets and you get to see beautiful scenery that you would not get travelling by roads or air.

To go from coast to coast the train ride takes three nights, but you could spread it out if you fancy stopovers. It costs roughly $300 do ride via rail from New York to Los Angeles, and is a journey over 3,000 miles. Most of the trains run daily or thrice weekly. Private sleepers or a spacious reclining seat can be booked, and a dining car and lounge car is available on board. The level of comfort on the trains is top class, and if the route is available it might be an easier and safer route than flying (New York to Boston for example.)

The most famous journey is aboard the California Zephyr which rides through Nebraska, Colorado and the Sierra Nevada mountains whilst en route from Chicago to San Francisco. The route covers much of the very first trans-continental railroad route, so it is a historic voyage. Another route highly recommend is the Southwest Chief. This runs from Chicago to Los Angeles through Navajo Indian country and over the famous Santa Fe railroad, next the Route 66. There are plenty of suburban trains from the city centres to the suburbs and commuter trains to the city that are cost effective. I got a train from New York to the pretty beach town of Fairfield, Connecticut for under twenty dollars, and you can also ride to out to the scenic Hamptons for under forty dollars. Book online at www.amtrak.com.

 

Bus

There is a huge network of bus companies in the U.S.A. Whilst lot of Americans were previously slow to embrace public transport of any form beyond air travel to get from State to State, bus travel is fast becoming the 'in' thing. 

Bus travel is fast becoming a favoured mode of transport for its simplicity, and city centre to city centre drop off. If you book in advance it's possible to book bargain tickets that could be less than a tenth of the cost of what you pay for an airfare. 

Greyhound, Americans main bus company have buses to over 3700 locations throughout the U.S. The buses are facilitated with toilets, air-con, tinted windows, reclining seats,  and often entertainment systems are fitted such as a TV for movies during a journey. If you are prepared to do a lot of your travel via bus then Greyhound offers a discovery pass which allows you unlimited access to travel through the country during a set time period which can last up to sixty days. This is the most useful choice if you want to see a large amount of cities and areas and don't want to be tied down to flights. It offers unlimited stopovers so you can stay in a place for as long or as little as you like.

Lots of bus companies offer twenty four hour services so it might be even possible to travel via bus overnight to your destination saving on both time and accommodation costs.  Buses also make rest stops so you can sit down and enjoy some food or purchase a snack for your travel. Alternative smaller bus companies operate in regional areas and you can ask local information desks on information for such companies.

For the best bus fares and discounts it is always best to book ahead and the most popular bus websites in the U.S include megabus.com and greyhound.com.

 

Flights

Travelling through the States by air is far more expensive than traveling in Europe. They do not have many low cost air carriers that dominate Europe.  However, there is a huge amount of air carriers, and it is possible to find good fares if you book in advance, and shop online. Another tip is to be flexible with your dates of travel, so for example it will be cheaper for you to travel on a Monday afternoon than on a Friday evening.

The most similar airline business model to the likes of Ryanair or Wizzair are Spirit Airlines and Southwest Airlines. On both airlines you must pay extra to check in your baggage, seat reservation, on board drinks and snacks and print your boarding pass in advance or a charge is incurred. However, these carriers offer the lowest fares of the industry.

They also offer international flights to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America countries such as Colombia and Peru so you can broaden your travel horizons. Bookings can be made online at Southwest.com. and Spirit.com.

Author: Áine Ryan

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08 fev

Moving to the USA – Discover the American Mentality

With a U.S election happening in 2016, and U.S politics dominating news headlines, one is bound to be curious about the American mindset. After spending four months last year in the U.S, between California and New York, I can give you my opinion on the American mindset on a few topics such as work ethic, multiculturalism, health and friendship.

Firstly, America is a huge country, and there is as many stereotypes about the people as there are States! Some common traits in people living on the East Coast are vastly different than people living along the West coast, and that's before you even touch the Mid- West or the South.


Work Ethic

America is recognised as the land of dreams for people all over the world. In America, a capitalist society is prevalent and you must work hard for your money to survive. It is as possible to get rich here as it is to get poor, and there is very little government support to get  you through the tougher days. Such capitalism has enforced a huge work ethic in the mindset of most people, and you are bound to meet lots of business savvy young people who are eager to work hard and succeed.

Be prepared to carry your business card, and exchange it with people you interact with - business opportunities are everywhere! People have more of an interest in finding out about your career in the U.S. I reckon, rather than in any other country in the world. Don't be afraid to network!

 

Diversity/ Multiculturalism

America has been a nation populated by immigrants from the 15th century when Columbus founded America in 1492. Nowadays, people from all corners of the globe and their ancestors populate the United States and there is always new waves of immigrants entering the country. Prepare for the culture shock of a hundred culture shocks put together when you move to the U.S!

In larger cities for example, such as Miami, New York and Los Angeles, you will find certain ghettos that are an entirely Hispanic populations, and only speaking Spanish. Every colour, race and sexuality is found in the U.S, and despite racial problems that we hear in news bulletins the vast majority of the population mingles with each other freely, and respect is paid to cultural differences.

 

Health and Fitness

For years the U.S was known as the obesity capital of the world. Today, whilst huge portion sizes remain in certain fast food chains, there is also a nutrition and fitness renaissance occurring in the U.S. The country is teeming with gyms, and the car parks for each of them is generally full,  tons of active citizens indoors breaking into sweats.

On arrival to the U.S, you will even get a glimpse at the airports of how many new health food stores and restaurants are breaking through into the dining market. The western world wants fresh organic food these days, and the U.S.A is no different. So if you would like to eat clean and green whilst you are in the States and were worried it would be little but Hershey's and milkshakes, then it's certainly possible.

 

Friendship

If an American can help you, they certainly will. They are friendly and positive people with huge hearts and if they know you are a foreigner in need of extra help, there is no race quite so friendly in the world. They are wonderful hosts and depending on the State and climate you live in, an invitation to a dinner or barbecue party is sure to come your way sooner rather than later.

Americans like to see people do well in life, and will do what they can to help you succeed be it in business, relationships or friendships. Americans are renowned for being generous with money and time, and if they have ancestors from the particular country you are from, expect a good time. 

Author: Áine Ryan

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07 out

Prince William planning to visit New York City

Prince William planning to visit New York City

Prince William is planning to make an official visit to New York in the coming months, PEOPLE has learned. 

The trip, set for later in the fall, may even see him bringing wife Kate with him. Although she has not been part of the original plans, it's believed that the palace isn't ruling out anything where she is concerned.

A "open mind" is being kept as to whether she will also travel, a royal source says.

Much clearly depends on Kate's state of health – she is suffering from severe pregnancy sickness, which has already prevented her from attending an official tour on behalf of Queen Elizabeth to Malta. 

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