Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

I had forgotten that it was my least favorite day of the year until I was walking down the street this morning and heard the mournful sound of bagpipes.

It is St. Patrick’s Day again here in New York City, home to many immigrants from Ireland and their descendants, myself included. There are those among us who now use this day to gather in Midtown Manhattan to view a parade filled with fractious politicians, elves, firemen, policemen, marching bands and baton twirlers.

This is an event that our city can no longer afford. Hordes of young and not-so-young men and women roam the city going from bar to bar (unless they bring their own supply of booze). The vomiting and belligerence often starts shortly after noon and only gets worse until the last crawl home in the wee hours.

It is time for those who run our city budget to re-assess all parades. The economy has changed and citizens must respond to the new reality. It costs millions to prepare for an event like this: police during the day and night, clean-up for the next two days…I cannot imagine the time and a half that this takes from our city coffers.

I have a radical proposal: Let’s just have a July 4th and Thanksgiving Day parade. More money for education, health care, and basic services for the homeless and desperate, creating a day of service that St. Patrick could be proud of.

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  • mary moss greenebaum April 27, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Pat Allen said it all. The St. Patrick’s parade is analagous to so much we continue to do elsewhere and everywhere in this country.

    While New York staggers under it’s many problems – along with the rest of us – consider the Kentucky Derby and what is known during that famous week as its highly touted THUNDER OVER LOUISVILLE. Massive amounts of fly-overs with air force planes, stealth bombers and more. I can’t imagine either the waste of fuel nor the amount of carbon added to the atmosphere. For one day’s circus. But the show goes on.

    Somehow our society has these disconnects. While we build new sports arenas and continue to earmark madly at both the federal and state levels, the “balancing acts” to the wasteful parades in the streets and in the air are the closing of schools, and laying off of young hopeful teachers.

  • b. elliott March 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I, too, am Irish and hate the St. Pat’s free-for-all. My father used to say this holiday was strictly for amateurs — and judging by those reeling from drink in broad daylight on New York City streets, I would agree. My 17-year-old daughter pronounced what she saw of the intoxicated — “disgusting!”

    I agree with Dr. Pat that we can no longer afford so many parades celebrating “where our people came from.” Why not limit the number and put these city resources towards vital areas so woefully under-funded?