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Start Your Own Tradition 

Wednesday, Feb 23 2011
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San Francisco has numerous St. Patrick's Day traditions. One of them is going to an Irish bar and being part of a drunken mass so huge that you can all incidentally wander (stagger?) into a main thoroughfare such as Geary Boulevard or Bush Street and block it like a giant amoeba for hours on end. This event has nothing to do with that tradition. At St. Patrick's NightLife, you can have an Irish drink or two (or three) and take in bits of Emerald Isle culture not related to the pub. Performers play not only the Celtic harp but also an instrument called the nyckelharpa, which organizers say has 16 strings and 37 keys and has existed for more than 600 years. Irish step-dancers do, well, whatever Irish step-dancers do. DJ Nako provides a more modern soundtrack. Guinness as well as Irish whiskey cocktails are among the drinks offered. The whole place is cast in “an ethereal green light,” so maybe if you forget to wear green, no one will notice. That said, organizers warn that crabs are among the sea life present in the aquarium, so it's better not to risk getting pinched.
Thu., March 17, 6 p.m., 2011

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Keith Bowers

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