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New & Noteworthy: Well, who doesn’t love a parade?

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

New & Noteworthy: Well, who doesn’t love a parade?

Dear New & Noteworthy,

I know this is not strictly your department, but maybe you can help me. I’m curious to know why the Irish Echo doesn’t carry the line of march for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade anymore. Did you guys get tired of typing it or something? Is the parade still on Fifth Avenue? Is there a grand marshal? Will there be lots of men in quilts like always?

By the way, I love all the news you’ve been bringing us about Boyzone. Whoever they are.

Best wishes,


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Dear Curious,

My goodness, but you ask a lot of questions. Need we remind you what killed the cat? (Just kidding . . . sort of). Anyway, you’ve come to the right place.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to your questions about the line of march. We won’t have it this year, but we’re not exactly sure why. Apparently, the parade committee likes to maintain an air of mystery about where everyone should go on the big day, so they would hardly put the lineup in an obvious place like the country’s leading Irish American newspaper. That would be, like, too easy for everyone. (Besides, it’s more fun to watch thousands of people wander aimlessly about, looking for their county’s assembly point.)

And no, to answer your second question: we never got tired of typing it. We actually, personally, typed it a few times — at least, parts of it. You can’t imagine how much fun it is to type the names of all the different bands and organizations and clubs and societies and regiments and emerald groups and . . . well, you get the idea.

The answer to question three is, in a word, “Duh!” To question four, yes, the grand marshal is Maureen O’Hara. (Gee, it’s so hard to tell without the line of march.) We did hear that the list will be in one of the New York papers, and here’s a hint: it’s a paper that seems to just loooove the Irish. In fact, they hold the Irish in such high esteem that last week, in an editorial about a Marxist revolutionary who got NEA funding to write a children’s book, the editors suggested that the government might as well give money to Gerry Adams, who could pen a kiddie tale called “Pat the Bomber.” Faith and begorrah!

As to question five, there will be lots of men in kilts, not quilts. Kilts are plaid skirts, and look just like the ones we had to wear in grammar school all those years ago. Personally, we don’t understand why anyone would wear those things unless they had to face stern, ruler-wielding nuns like we did, but we do enjoy watching the guys try to keep their skirts from blowing up in those crosstown breezes. Also, those cops and firemen have nice legs.

And we’re glad you enjoy the Boyzone news. They’re a singing group, by the way.

Bono, Bono everywhere

Dear New & Noteworthy,

Is it my imagination, or is Bono everywhere these days? What’s he up to? Any information would be welcome. Is it true that Mel Gibson has shaved off all his hair to be in Bono’s movie?

By the way, did that Boyzone guy’s wife have the baby yet?


U2 fan

Dear U2 fan,

No, it’s not your imagination — Bono is, indeed, popping up in all sorts of places these days.

In addition to working on the band’s upcoming album, the singer has been spending lots of time in Hollywood, where filming has begun on “Million Dollar Hotel.” He also performed at the Grammys, was at Monday night’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame shindig at the Waldorf, and will be appearing at the Johnny Cash Tribute in April. In addition, he’s an expectant father, since wife Allie is sitting on the nest, as they say.

We knew that Bono would be giving the speech introducing Bruuuuuce Springsteen at the Hall of Fame show and, frankly, the thought made us nervous. Remember how, er, eloquent he was at the Grammys a few years back, when he had to introduce Frank Sinatra? Remember how he mumbled that Frank “walked like America,” whatever that meant? But our fears were unfounded: he made a nice, short speech, and people laughed in all the right places (for a change).

“Bruce hasn’t done the things most rock stars do,” said Bono. “He got rich and famous but didn’t embarrass himself — no drug busts, no blood changes in Switzerland.” He paused for effect. “No golfing.” The audience laughed, though we’re not sure what he means about blood changes. Are they vampires?

And yes, we told you last week that Mel shaved his head for the movie, but fear not, Gibson groupies: it’s just a crew cut, and it makes the Aussie hunk look kinda cute. Plus, Mel’s been pumping iron for the role (we saw a picture taken on the set) so he looks like kinda beefy. Put a pair of yellow shades on him and he could be Bono’s . . .well, not twin, but hunky cousin.

As for your question about Boyzone: no, Ronan Keating and his wife, model Yvonne Connolly, are still awaiting the birth of their little angel. The baby’s a week overdue, but Ronan’s back performing with Boyzone, while Yvonne’s been spotted power shopping in Dublin.

It’s a kid’s, kid’s kid’s world

Dear New & Noteworthy,

Please settle a bet for me. I say that the reason for the low unemployment figures in Ireland is the boom in the high-tech industry. My boyfriend says it’s the increase in the house building industry and foreign investment. We have a fancy dinner riding on this. Who’s right?


Bettin’ gal

PS: Keep that Boyzone news coming.

Dear Bettin’ gal,

You guys will have to fork over that fancy dinner to us because, sad to say, you’re both wrong. The reason for the high employment figures and the booming economy in dear old mother Ireland is that all teenagers are required — as soon as they reach puberty — to join pop groups or touring companies of “Riverdance.” This leaves important jobs open for older, less musical workers, ensures work for hair stylists and the people who make Irish dancing shoes, and keeps teenagers off the streets. It’s a win-win situation, and everybody’s happy.

Speaking of new groups, we’ve told you about Mytown and Men2B and B*Witched, but there are, pardon the expression, new kids on the block, County Offaly’s very own Church Mice are slated to be the Next Big Thing (aren’t they all?) and have a single out called “Come Up and See Me (Make me Smile)” which sounds suspiciously like a line from a M’ West movie. We have a few qualms about the name: Poor as Church Mice? Quiet as Church Mice? Sigh . . . we must be getting old.

Begin the Bergin

Dear New & Noteworthy,

So, any news on Patrick Bergin? He’s my favorite actor, even if he did try to kill Julia Roberts in that movie years ago. Does he have any projects in the works? Is he making any movies with Boyzone?



Dear Hopeful,

Good news! Patrick Bergin is busy, right at this moment, filming a movie which will be shown on the Fox Family Channel next year. And, given the season, what could be more appropriate than the title of his movie, “St. Patrick: The Irish Legend”?

The hunky actor, who indeed was very mean onscreen to poor Julia Roberts in “Sleeping with the Enemy,” plays the lead role in the film, which is being shot on location in Ireland. We’ve seen pictures, he looks quite fetching in his monk’s robe and long, curly hair. Also in the movie are Susannah York, Alan Stanford, and young actor Eamonn Owens, who gave us the creeps (big time) in “The Butcher Boy.”

And no, Hopeful, Bergin has not announced plans to make any movies with Boyzone. And Boyzone, who are not stupid, saw the Spice Girls use up the last few seconds of their 15 minutes of fame when they made the icky “Spice World.” They will hardly make the same mistake.

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