Gaelic Park – The Fading Green

12cover-600For generations, Irish immigrants were coming to Gaelic Park, the Bronx, to play all types of sports. Gaelic Park is a relatively small, bur cozy 2,000-seats stadium that sits at 240th Street and Broadway in Riverdale, the Bronx.

Gaelic Park has always much more than merely a sports field. This is the place where the Irish of New York City went to meet their potential spouses, to make connections, to talk to their old country friends or to make new ones.

It all started in the early 1920’s when Irish players ferociously battles their Gaelic football matches, a sort of blend rugby and soccer, and Hurling, a typical Irish sport that contains elements of lacrosse, field hockey, and baseball. This all was happening right in the middle of the American alien landscape of concrete, but for the Irish, Gaelic Park was a bit of haven.

In earlier days, this place was bustling with activity. There were many teams here, so many players, but they have removed all those things, and where at one day rickety wooden stands were teetering toward the skies, there are now only a few scattered picnic tables. The Irish bands and the beer sellers have long been absent….

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Irish American and the 10 things I learned from Mom Conference

Many Irish people are trying to speak with an American accent

There have been many times that the Irish poked a bit of fun at folks from across the Atlantic who tried, but miserably failed, to put up a convincingly sounding Irish accent. This has particularly been true when some Hollywood star was put in some Irish film role and was apparently unable to even get some basic accents right, despite all the classes they went through for building up their acting skills.

Today, the tables may have turned slightly, however, as is shown in a new YouTube video that is showing some Irish people who do their utmost to copy a few North American accents. Don’t be surprised, they’re faring just as shockingly….
While most people on our side of the big pond are quite capable of identifying one American accent from the other, would most Irish people not be able to tell a California accent from a Boston one, or even a Canadian from a New Yorker. Things get a bit funny the moment the video begins, and we can hear one lady say that she’s really afraid she’s going to offend all Americans, and probably the Canadians as well….

Resources
Irish Speakers in America (Bitesize Irish Gaelic) – read more here
Higher Education requirements (online GED classes by BestGEDClasses.org) – click here for more information

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The Bronx Irish News Stand

download-54IrishNewsStand.com is a pretty impressive newsstand in Woodlawn, the Bronx. It is actually the largest retailer of Irish newspapers and magazines in America, and they have been at the service of the Irish community for almost 25 years. They not only offer hundreds of magazines and newspapers, they also run thousands of original Irish products.

The neighborhood of Woodlawn is home to New York’s largest Irish community and this shop is the largest Irish deli around. They carry tens of thousands of genuine Irish products such as Irish crisps, candies, jams, cookies, CD’s,or chocolates. Let’s first take a closer look at the particular area where we’re located.

Little Ireland, Woodlawn, The Bronx

Woodlawn is a lower-middle class Irish American neighborhood in the northern portions of the Bronx, just north of  cemetery that bears the same name. McLean Avenue is the north boundary (New York City-Westchester County line), and to the east, the Bronx River defines its territory that is to the south determined by Woodlawn Cemetery to the south, and to the west by Van Cortlandt Park.

This is the neighborhood of Little Ireland of New York City. The Woodlawn Heights neighborhood (or simply: Woodlawn as the people here know it) has always been one of the best known destination for exodus of the Irish to New York City.

Woodlawn was initially populated with many German immigrants, but now this part of the Bronx is predominantly Irish, although you can find small pockets of Italian-Americans as well. This is the area where you can find the greatest abundance of insignia’s with four-leaf clover on storefronts of all places within New York City.

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A Christmas Tale to End the Season

For our family Christmas party this year (the one involving my Mom and siblings—one family Christmas party of many), we conducted a neighborhood food drive to benefit the Utah Food Bank. We were aiming for a repeat of the year the homeless person crashed our party. Not a repeat of the event, of course, but of the mood and the lesson. It didn’t quite work out that way.

Two days before the party we distributed fliers in the neighborhood, telling people what we were doing and inviting them to leave donations in bags on their porches. That project was our first hint that the thing wasn’t going to go as planned.

Boy 12 was pissy the whole time as we walked from door to door spreading Christmas good will with our fliers. Because of our Irish ancestry, we decided to explain our kids a little bit about Christmas being a 2-day feast in some countries.

“Why do we have to do this?” he asked.

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This Is How You Speak Irish

The following video is actually a very useful and funny way to get introduced to some Irish accents.

Learning a great Irish accent can be useful in many occasions. Master a good Irish accent, impress your friends or coworkers with your great Irish spoken flair. Try to adhere to the guidelines below and it won’t be long before you sound just like a genuine Dubliner.  Take a look at the following points that will help you to speak in a genuine Irish way:

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PBS – The Irish in America

The PBS documentary ‘The Irish in America: Long Journey Home’ is a lively and great and historically important document that comes with so many characters and top images that it’s not possible to describe or pick out one favorite.

But one of the leading candidates that stands out in this magnificent 6-hour, 3-night impressive exploration of one of the most important facets of American immigration, and that person is Frank McCourt.

Frank (author of the widely acclaimed ‘Angela’s Ashes’, an Irish memoir) was captured on film together with his brother Malachy, warbling some ribald ditty during the Tammany Hall days that New York politics was dominated by the Irish.

‘The Irish in America’ is really a beguiling mixture of personality and history, including educational struggle and the telling detail and the big picture, and it’s so great that the documentary takes a little time to reflect for a moment with Frank McCourt and some others who understand the art of bringing a story to life and the people who lived that life.

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Powerful Irish-Americans

images-22There are quite a few high profile Americans with Irish roots. Check out this list of the most influential and powerful individuals who take pride in their Irish ancestry.

Irish Americans are forming up to more than ten percent of the total U.S. population and the largest concentrations are found in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Montana. 

Irish Americans are holding strong Irish roots, and most of their ancestors migrated to America at the times of the potato famine in the mid-19th century.

There are actually two significant periods when the Irish came to the United States. The first period was when the English colonialists ferried Irish people across the Atlantic to work for them in their plantations while the Irish women were traded to work in American brothel.

The second period was during the great Irish potato famine when people on the island were suffering terribly from all sorts of food shortages. A good deal of the Irish population fled their home country to find a better life in America.

The Irish have greatly contributed to the U.S. revolution and have helped shape the new country in all its economic, social, political, and cultural aspects. Let’s take a look at some Irish Americans who currently are pretty influential and who have received (inter)national recognition for their achievements:

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The Irish In America

b822bae4110dbb2590c8d626600d0129When people think about the Irish in America, often the first things that come to mind are the St. Patrick’s Day Parades, JFK, or Irish pride, and we also have the same attitude towards our paycheck. We love to count our cents, and the hourly paycheck online calculator (very popular in the States) was originally introduced from Ireland.

But let’s be honest, Irish-American ties are running far deeper than you would maybe expect at first glance. Do you, for example, know that the first man who stepped off Columbus’ ship, and as first European set foot on American soil, was an Irishman?

And do you know that the first U.S. woman who walked in space was Irish-American? Well, let’s dig a little deeper and show you a few some Irish accomplishments in the U.S. Just check out these interesting and sometimes maybe surprising facts about the Irish in America.

Do you know how many U.S. Presidents have Irish ancestry?
In general it is believed that more than 40% of all presidents of the United States have Irish heritage, but of 22 of these important individuals we know that they have confirmed Irish ancestry. The presidents that are known to be ‘most Irish’ are James Buchanan and Andrew Jackson who both have parents that were all born in Ireland.

At least 22 U.S. presidents come with some sort of Irish ancestry, though there are significant differences as to how much. Bill Clinton, for example boasts Irish ancestry though there is no documentation of this, and Ronald Reagan had a great-grandfather who was Irish while his mother was from Scots-Irish descent. Of Kennedy we all understand his Irish roots, and also James K. Polk had Scots-Irish ancestry.

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Real Life Lessons of Triumph Learned in Fantasy

download-53There is has been much ado about princesses lately. Movies such Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Snow White and the Huntsman, and the latest hit, Brave, proves that epic fairy tails are back in ‘vogue’.

It’s not only children who are catching onto the princess hype. I have seen many older people interested in movies such as Brave. In college, I have seen many Disney movie marathons, and it was with young adults that I first saw movies such as Toy Story 3 and Tangled.

There are also many fairy-tail like stories targeted towards adults, such as Stardust, Big Fish, and fantasy related television shows with huge adult followings such as the British television sensation Dr. Who.

I think that some of the themes and ideas these movies get across can connect with people well into adulthood.

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McDwyer’s Pub – The Last Irish Pub in Norwood

download-55                                                                                          Eamonn McDwyer has run his Irish Pub since 1966

At McDwyer’s Pub (East 204th Street), little has changed since it opened its doors in 1966. The pub is owned by Eamonn McDwyer, and for decades, he’s been the familiar face of the pub. He is working his bar for some 50 years now from early morning to late afternoon, so Mr. McDwyer will probably still be the one who’s greeting you when you enter the pub.

Mr. McDwyer remembers very well that more than twenty-five years ago, Norwood’s streets were packed with all sorts of Irish pubs. He can (without any problem or hesitation) name more than 20 of these unique pubs, from the Bainbridge Cafe and Murphy to Maloney, and as McDwyer recalls, in in those days, they were always full, all of them. These days, his bar is the only one left: McDwyer’s Pub.

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