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How to Wear the Green Without a Hangover in the East Village

By Serena Solomon | March 15, 2013 9:02am

EAST VILLAGE — In the drunken chaos that often strikes the East Village on St. Patrick's Day, there are still options for civilized celebration.

Despite slogans such as "get hammered" littering the promos for numerous pub-crawls planned this weekend, you can still wear the green without a hangover.

Events planned include museum tours, Irish food and walks concentrating on the effect the Emerald Isle has had on New York City.

"It is great alternative for those who want to do something family friendly, educational, fun," said Seth Kamil, president of Big Onion Walking Tours, which will hold an Irish historical walk on the Lower East Side.

"We won't be eating green bagels."

This year's celebration of all things Irish falls on Sunday, meaning it will stretch through the whole weekend. While the official St. Patrick Day falls on Sunday, religious observances mean the parade must take place on Saturday, according to the parade's official website.

Many pub-crawl events follow suit with Saturday events.

Irish Outsiders Walking Tour, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St. Lower East Side

On this tour you will get to know the long-dead Moore family — a clan of Irish immigrants who lived in the now-museum-owned tenement at 97 Orchard St. around 1869.

"Because the Moores suffered the death of an infant daughter during their time at 97 Orchard, the tour is quite moving," said the museum's communications manager Kira Garcia. "It is an important story because so many immigrants, Irish and otherwise, went through similar experiences."

On the hourlong tour, walkers will experience the immigrant journey through the music of Irish America, and will also tour the Moore's recreated former home.

Tickets can be purchased online for numerous walking tour times throughout Saturday and Sunday. Adults cost $25. 

An Irish Breakfast, St. Dymphna's, 118 St. Marks Place, East Village

This low-key and rustic Irish pub can provide a surprisingly peaceful atmosphere for a brunch celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

"It's very relaxed. Lots of neighborhood and regulars," bartender Brandy Ruelas said.

The $12 Irish breakfast, with a vegetarian option, is a huge plate of food that includes two eggs, baked beans, rashers, bangers and potatoes as well as black and white pudding, according to Ruelas.

The Irish breakfast at St. Dymphna's will be available all day and all night with special St. Patrick's Day menu additions that include corned beef and cabbage and shepherd's pie.

Mass and St. Patrick's Day Lunch, Church of the Immaculate Conception, 414 E. 14th St., East Village

For the ultimate experience of solitude, the Church of Immaculate Conception will be holding a special St. Patrick's Day service with a traditional Irish lunch to follow.

While the annual event normally attracts parish members who bring family and friends, it is open to all with limited tickets for $20 that can be bought at the church.

The lunch will include beef and cabbage as well as entertainment from Irish dancers.

However, not even a church event is dry on St. Patrick's Day. Enter the raffle to win a "Basket of Cheer" chock full of Irish alcohol that will be given away on the day.

St. Patrick's Day Walking Tour, the Big Onion Walking Tour

This tour will shed light on the Irish heritage of "Little Ireland," the area between City Hall and Houston Street. 

"The whole idea of the tour is why the parade is here in the first place," Kamil said.

"People don't understand the history of the parade."

The tour will explore the more than 300-year history of the Irish in New York, centering on significant Lower East Side locations such as St. James Church, where the Ancient Order of Hibernians in New York came into existence . The organization bound together the city's Irish to create unity and protection, according to Kamil.

The tour starts at 11 a.m. and costs $20.