Day 1:    Erin Go Blahh !!!

Main Page > 2007 Stealing the Steel City

 

St. Patrick's Day is a celebration of a course of Saint Patrick and Erin Go Blahh. Wait, you say you do not know the story of Erin dear reader? Well here is the new old story of Erin Go Blahh.

 

Back in the day,

the lad's use to say,

Erin was a foine lookin lass.

She was perky and cute, with just the right amount of sass.

On the first St' Paddy's day,

Erin went out to play,

drinkin' the Bushmills and Guiney's.

More than 10 rounds,

they went down

all to a dramatic effect.

Sadly after the 12th round,

Erin went down,

and with a loud noise began to "ralph !!!!"

Or as they say,

Erin that day

said "Call me ma,

cause Erin go Blahh !!! "

 

 

Remembering the very sad story of Erin, Bone left the Downtown Pittsburgh Hotel he spent Friday Night in to pickup Mike and start the party, when .............

 

Let Me out of this Cage !!!

Peter Gabriel, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

Normally the Boys love a good Parade, in fact they made an entire Mike and Bone Adventure trip out of the New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade. Apparently that Saturday Morning all the Irish-Catholics in Pittsburgh liked a good parade as well, since the entire downtown was clogged up with the annual Pittsburgh St. Paddy's Day Parade !!!! Because of the early morning drink-fest,  Bone was delayed an hour in picking up Mike, so once they connected, they both had worked up a voracious appetite and boogied to the Oakland section of Pittsburgh for a couple of original 'dogs at the Original !!

The Original Hot Dog Stand

"So, what is so original about the Original?"  The Essie's Original Hot Dog Stand opened down the street from Forbes Field just before the 1960 World Series that Bill Mazerowski won with that famous home run. You know the place is successful when bus drivers announce the stop at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Bouquet Street as "The Dirty O," a moniker used by both students and cops. Mostly, though, it is just called "The O." It's the type of place that has the distinction of needing what it calls a 10 percent "security surcharge" on all its products after midnight Sundays through Thursdays and after 10 on Friday and Saturday nights. Many a police call has originated from The O and the four corners of the intersection at which it sits. When of the University of Pittsburgh or Carnegie Mellon graduates who have long since moved away find out that Munch is a resident of Pittsburgh, they ask, "Is the O still there?" It's as if they can't imagine a place such as the Original Hot Dog Shop could survive their graduation. There are reasons for that.

 The O is truly an original.

Two original's in the Original !!

 

Two Superdogs (Kosher hot dog,  American cheese, and Bacon)

with a copious amount of Fries

With two superdogs, a "small" fry, and two Bass Ales, the boys dug into the dogs and fries. The dogs were actually pretty good, but the combo of american cheese and bacon was a bit much. The fries however were awesome !!! Final analysis, if they were in the area, they would stop in again.

After they're "dog gorging and a few more bass ales, the Boys sat sated and happy. Since it was their first trip to "discover" the Steel City it made sense on this wintry afternoon to check out the epicenter of Pittsburgh, where it was founded at the forks of the Monongahela and the Alleghany converge into the Ohio River and the French would say "Fort Duquesne ", the British would call it "Fort Pitt". So with the pit of their stomachs filled with hot dogs and beer, the Boys headed down to Historic Fort Pitt.

 

Mike in the Pitts, the Fort Pitt Block House

Finding Fort Pitt required the Boys to cross under a freeway and watch two bums that were living under the Underpass beat the living snot out of one another (which wasn't hard with it being so cold out !!). As they emerged from the underpass there in the mud was Fort Pitt and its Museum.

Few places in America can rival the Point, a small area at the forks of the Ohio River, for historical significance. The long contest (1755-1763) between France and Great Britain that started here would develop into an epic struggle between the two imperial powers--what many regard as the first truly world war. On the fate of the Point would hinge that of half of the North American continent, as well as the destiny of the republic that would come into existence in 1776. During the mid-1700s, the French and the British erected fortifications that protected their claims to the early West and served as bases for their trade with the Native Americans. Even after the departure of the French in 1758, the area retained significant strategic value as Americans, the British, and Native Americans wrestled for ultimate control. Meanwhile, the city of Pittsburgh took root and flourished, growing into a major industrial and commercial center that engulfed the Point. Redevelopment of the area during the mid-20th century included creation of a new state park that enables visitors to experience what the Point was like during its early years.

Walking around the State Park, there really isn't much left of the original fort. This small structure popularly known as "the blockhouse" (in actuality a strong defensive structure outside Fort Pitt itself that provided covering fire in any attack) is not only the last surviving building of the original fort and Pittsburgh's earliest building, but the oldest authenticated structure west of the Allegheny Mountains. Dating to 1764, it was used for many other purposes during its long history. After checking out the Blockhouse the Boys went into the Museum.

 

Bone, in front of the recreated Monongahela Bastion

Inside the Museum, the Boys checked out recreations of the very small Fort Duquesne and the much larger Fort Pitt. However it was the Historic Interpreter and his recreated Fur Trading "Cabin" is where the Bone and especially Mike enjoyed the discussion on the types of pelts traded, why beaver fur was (and still is) so highly valued, and how deer pelts have directly led to our use of the term "buck" for a dollar.  Despite their fervor for history, the Boys remembered it was St. Paddy's Day and that they did have a civic duty to deplete the Steel City's supply of Green Beer and Guinness !!!

 

Bone to the Point: The point where the Monongahela and the Alleghany converge into the Ohio River

As the Boys were dickering with the National Park Ranger, the Ranger mentioned how the River floods the National Park fairly regularly and in fact the River had just receded the other day. Being the little boys that they are, playing in mud sounded like a ton of fun !! So Mike and Bone slid and slipped their way to the point where the two rivers converge into the mighty Ohio. As they approached the point it was apparent that the spring floods had receded only the day before, as Bone stood at the nexus of the swirling muck of the three rivers he was more than certain of two things.

One: he really did not want to slip into the rivers !

Two:
why the heck were they fooling around in mud when it was St. Paddy's Day and there was Guinness and Bushmill's to be consumed !?!

 

Juxtaposition: Winter in Spring

Heading back to the Hotel the Boys shuddered from both alcohol withdrawals and the cold. It was unseasonably cold for a March 17th, as evidenced by the snow that collected in the flower blossom above !

 

"Irish I had annuder Bushmills and Guinness  !!!"

Mike and Bone at the August Henry's City Saloon

As the Boys planned their St. Paddy's day assault around 2:00 PM they noticed that right across the street stood a fine looking saloon called August Henry's which looked like an ideal place to start the Tour. Sidling up to the Bar, the Boys immediately made friends by their mere presence with a group of twenty-something's that were enjoying the first round of the NCAA March Madness Games with their Pittsburgh Panthers playing Old Dominion of Virginia.  By cheering with the Home team many free drinks of Bushmills were proffered onto the tourists from Michigan.

As in all Mike and Bone events, they don't go to parties, they ARE the party !! After 20 minutes the Boys had a great group to party with and dickered about Pittsburgh, the economy, beer and God for the next 4 hours as the Guinness and Bushmills flowed freely.

 

Bone, making friends in Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle Irish Pub !!

Around 7:00 PM their new friends invited them to the happen' Irish Pub in Pittsburgh, Mullaney's Harp and Fiddle Irish Pub in the highly eclectic Strip District. Once in the Bar the Boys saw nothing but drunken Irish and Irish wannabes pressed together like sardines in an over crammed can. To assuage their claustrophobia, the Boys went on a strict Guinness every 15 minute plan.

 

Happy Irish Blokes !!!

Despite being packed,  Mullaney's Harp and Fiddle Irish Pub was packed with great beer and music along with many pleasurable sights as the Boys drank and sang along to old traditional Irish songs. However, by 1:30 the day was beginning catch up with the Boys and the lack of a proper Dinner sent the Boys out into the 20 degree night looking for a Diner.

 

Sandwiched in at Primanti Brother's

They didn't need to go far for sustenance because by Bone's plan they were only two blocks for the famous (or infamous) Primanti's Brother's !!

"So, what is up with Primanti Brothers?"As they say in Pittsburgh, "Yinz guys wanna know the real story about the Primanti's sandwich, n'at, right? Like whose crazy idea it was to stuff a big hunk of grilled meat and chilly cole slaw and hot fried egg and fresh tomato and crisp French fries between two slabs of chewy Italian bread that you could hardly fit into your mouth? Then listen up, 'cause this is the whole truth, no lie. Lots of people say Uncles Lou and Dick and Stanley invented the sandwich in the 1930s. That was back in the Great Depression when everyone in the country was sad about one thing or another. So like I said, Uncle Lou or Uncle Dick or Uncle Stanley nobody remembers which one for sure 'cause nobody wrote nuthin down gets this idea to sell lunch in the nighttime to guys in the Strip District who are unloading fruits and vegetables and stuff. It was a crazy thing to do, 'cause most people eat lunch in the middle of the day. But the Uncles didn't know any better. Anyways, they open up this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant and everything's ready to go. Except they forgot to buy plates and forks and knives, n'at. So when all those hungry dock workers come in, the Uncles just start piling all the works right on top of the sandwich meat so these guys could eat the whole thing with one hand and keep working, see. That's what they told them anyhow. It's a good thing those guys ate their sandwiches outside in the dark. But after a while, everyone liked everything smooshed together with all those different flavors blending together. Like they say, the rest is history, n'at"

With that story in mind the Boys ordered up and thoroughly consumed their two sandwiches down to the wax paper !

The Marriott Miracle  As the Boys finished scarfing down their humongous sandwiches and walked out the door a Marriott Bus magically pulled up !! Bone flagged it down for a trip back to the Courtyard which was ten very cold blocks away. Dickering with their fellow passengers back to the Marriott Courtyard, the Boys realized that there were many, many people that night had suffered the same sad fate of Erin Go Blahh's !!!

As they exited out of the Bus the Boys feared the same sad fate, so they passed up on a nightcap opportunity and passed out at 2:30 in the Morning.