On St. Patrick's Day, when Lucky Charms leprechauns seem to wink from every corner and kelly green is the new black, it's easy to get depressed about the Hallmark-ification of Irish culture.
Last St. Patty's Day, having gotten myself into a snit about this, I Googled the words "authentic" and "Irish" on the Internet to see what I might find. My number-1 hit was a Wal-Mart ad for a personalized concrete shamrock ― $18.97, plus shipping and handling.
If you've traveled in Ireland, you know what I'm longing for on March 17: the magic and melancholy of a Connemara sunset or a seat by the fire in a snug pub. That watercolor sunset is still an ocean away, but there's good news. The cream-topped perfection of a properly poured Guinness may be right around the corner from you, now that Irish expats have opened a few new pubs in Seattle.
Paddy Coyne's Irish Pub is the most surprising of the lot. It's a slice of the Old Country in a biotech hub of concrete and steel south of Lake Union. Right in the middle of this rapidly changing construction zone, Patrick Coyne has created a cozy place to pull up a stool and listen to one of the world's oldest living languages.