Please join us on this very special afternoon as we visit New York's unique Irish Hunger Memorial then explore Irish pub culture in one of New York City's most exclusive neighborhoods, all while raising money to fight hunger in the city today.
We'll start the day with a tour of the Irish Hunger Memorial at Vesey Street and North End Avenue, in the NW corner of Battery Park. The memorial, which opened in July 2002, is a monument to those who perished or were forced to emigrate from Ireland during An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger) from[masked], and is a symbol to highlight areas of the world affected by hunger today.
The Irish Hunger Memorial re-creates a pastoral setting from rural Ireland amidst the concrete jungle of lower Manhattan. It includes an actual abandoned and re-assembled stone cottage from County Mayo, stone walls, soil and vegetation from the north Connacht wetlands on the west coast of Ireland, including fallow potato fields, and stones from each of the 32 counties of Ireland, all elevated on a limestone plinth.
It is both a metaphor for the Great Irish Famine and a reminder that hunger today is often the result of lack of access to land. The memorial itself is set on a quarter-acre, which is significant since a clause added to the Irish Poor Law by Sir William Gregory during the famine meant that anyone who owned more than a quarter-acre of land was not eligible for any aid or relief. Many of the starving were poor but owned more than a quarter-acre, forcing them to abandon their homes and land in order to obtain food.
After touring the Irish Hunger Memorial, we will then explore the Irish pub scene in this most exclusive of New York City neighborhoods. Our Tribeca Irish pub tour will take us to:
P.J. Clarke's on the Hudson, 250 Vesey St.
Woodrow's, 43 Murray St.
Lilly O'Brien's, 18 Murray St.
Reade Street Pub & Kitchen, 135 Reade St.
Walker's, 16 N. Moore St.
Nancy Whiskey Pub, 1 Lispenard St.
The fact that there are so many Irish pubs in this part of New York is indicative of how far the Irish have come since the Famine years. But hunger remains a problem in the New York of 2014. About 2.6 million New Yorkers--more than a quarter of the city's population--struggle to afford food every day. To that end, whether you plan to join us or not, please make a donation to the Food Bank of New York City. You can donate online at:
If you'd rather donate to a similar organization, that's fine too. We'll be having some fun but with a serious purpose so I hope you'll be able to join us at some point. And whether you can make it or not, that you'll consider helping to feed the hungry of New York.