Happy St. Patrick’s Day! While we didn’t make it to Greenville’s annual parade this year (see pictures from last year’s fun here), we did head downtown to check out the Falls Park fountains, which are once again dyed green for the holiday that honors Irish heritage and celebrates the life and service of St. Patrick. Did you know that St. Patrick wasn’t Irish (his parents were Roman citizens living in modern day England), his color was blue (not green) and the harp, not the shamrock is the symbol of Ireland? I thought it was interesting that the holiday originated in the US, with Irish immigrants who wanted to reconnect with their Irish roots. However in lieu of the corned beef and cabbage we’ll be bringing in some clover to adorn the table and celebrating that the Chicago River thawed enough to be dyed green this past Saturday.
Things are getting back into schedule after a hectic week that included my mother visiting from Chicago and Roberts gone on a business trip. By now we’ve shown her all the typical Greenville sites and can concentrate on new places. It was such an exploration that brought us to Greenville’s latest used bookstore, Joe’s Place. Greenville is long overdue for a bookstore downtown, and the South Main location just across from Falls Park seems perfect. They’ve done a good job with the atmosphere as well, providing cozy corners to sit down with a book and cup of coffee or glass of wine from the wine bar. I had been looking forward to a bookstore opening downtown, as rumors of a M. Judson, a store to sell new books, have been circulating for quite some time. We enjoyed the children’s section in the back, but did notice that the selection throughout seemed a bit slim. Hopefully this is due to being bought out during the opening weekend sale, because I look forward to having not just one, but two bookstores downtown. Although they don’t have the variety or quantity that Mr. K’s or some of the other Greenville used book vendors have, they do have a prime location and a very cool concept - the wine bar, gourmet coffee and local art.
Another discovery was the newest addition to the European food scene in Spartanburg, European Market. Please add it to the list of grocery stores in the Upstate that carry hard-to-find foods from almost every single country in Europe (the original list is here). We picked up a variety of items including farmer’s cheese (the dry curd variety perfect for making Jāņu siers and biezpienu bumbiņas), black currant tea, raspberry syrup, Rīga sprats, smilšu riekstiņi from Vecais beķeris in Latvia (perfect with your morning coffee!), chocolate Kārumiņi for our little sweet tooths waiting at home, and a variety of mustards and jams. I’ll be back, definitely for the smoked fish (I have yet to find a store in Greenville that sells it) and to stock up before the Latvian holidays!
On the subject of new businesses in the Upstate, a few months ago I wrote a quick review of the new restaurant that opened up in our neighborhood, Independent Public Alehouse. For those in Greenville who would like to give it a shot (and you should!), now is the perfect time as there is a living social deal of $15 for $30 to spend on dinner. Click here for the link.
“Here's to a long life and many more. a quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold beer – and another one!” - a St. Patrick's Day Toast