Updated, 10:40 a.m.
Good morning on this fabulous Friday.
“No Irish need apply.”
That line, printed widely in classified ads from the mid-19th century, was meant to exclude Irish immigrants from work in the United States.
Centuries later, a sign with those same words hangs in O’Neill’s Irish Bar in Hell’s Kitchen, at the behest of the bar’s owner, Ciaran Staunton, himself an Irish immigrant.
“I’ve put that up because I want people to know that when we’re talking about the anti-immigrant movement here, that we ourselves were on the receiving end of ‘no immigrants need apply,’” said Mr. Staunton, who is from County Mayo in Ireland. “And worse than just signs.”
When he’s not tending his bar on Ninth Avenue, Mr. Staunton, a founder of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, traverses the country helping the roughly 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants in the United States — of which, he estimated, there are 15,000 in New York — forge a path to citizenship.
For Irish immigrants, legalization remains the biggest hurdle, Mr. Staunton told us one day recently at O’Neill’s, as he concocted an Irish tea.
“Especially in this era, in the anti-immigrant era of Trump, we need to stand up as Irish-Americans,” he said. “It is un-American to pull the ladder up after you; the American way is to pass it down to the next person, and silence is complicity when it comes to this.”
Mr. Staunton moved alone from Ireland to Boston in 1982, at the age of 19. He found work at a bar but spent his free time lobbying for legal status for young Irish immigrants — himself included.
(Few from his country had been admitted following the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which made strides for some immigrants but adversely affected others, including those from Ireland.)
In 1987 Mr. Staunton helped form the grass-roots Irish Immigration Reform Movement, and by 1990, the group had helped push through the Morrison bill, which, through a lottery, granted legal status to most undocumented Irish immigrants in the country.
Since gaining his American citizenship a decade later, Mr. Staunton has become a voice for same-sex marriage and sepsis education and prevention, after his son, Rory Staunton, died suddenly in 2012. (The Staunton family’s activism, in the wake of the tragedy, has led to medical reform nationwide and saved thousands of New Yorkers’ lives.)
“I see no difference to my role, whether it’s representing bar owners at City Council hearings, addressing issues in Albany, or American money being involved in discrimination, or politics in Ireland,” he said.
Stop by the bar to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend and, along with your drink, Mr. Staunton may offer an update on immigration reform or a quick history lesson — the bar is newly opened, but the relics on the wall transport patrons back to the 1700s.
“Sometimes they want to talk history,” Mr. Staunton said, “and sometimes they just want one of our very good pints of Guinness.”
Here’s what else is happening:
Beaming Friday, bright Saturday, brilliant Sunday — with highs in the 40s.
We’ll leave it at that. T-minus four days until spring.
In the News
• New York City’s first lady is starting to step out of the mayor’s shadow and into the limelight. [New York Times]
• City workers assigned to help homeless students are desperately overwhelmed, leaving the children under their watch to fall far behind their classmates. [New York Times]
• Is Brooklyn becoming ground zero for graffiti law? [New York Times]
• After both parents testified in the trial of the nanny who killed their children, the defense began to present its case. [New York Times]
• One man was so fed up with bus and bike lanes being blocked that he created an algorithm to find out how often it happens. [New York Times]
• Cooper Union has a plan to once again make the school tuition-free. [New York Times]
• Two people and two dogs were on the hunt for a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn that could please them all. [New York Times]
• A bodega-turned-restaurant in Queens is seeing success after making the switch from convenience items to fried tortillas. [New York Times]
• Banksy is back in New York City, tagging a building on 14th Street that was set to be torn down. [Curbed]
• Today’s Metropolitan Diary: “Sweet Corruption”
• For a global look at what’s happening, see Your Morning Briefing.
Coming Up Today
• Islanders at Capitals, 7 p.m. (MSG+). Nets at 76ers, 7 p.m. (YES).
• Watch “The New York Times Close Up,” featuring the Times’s digital editor of obituaries, Amy Padnani, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and other guests. Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on CUNY-TV.
• Alternate-side parking remains in effect until March 29.
• The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches along Fifth Avenue, between 44th and 79th Streets, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Free to watch]
• Stout performs a concert of Irish-American songs about love, immigrants, rebels and more, at Guyon Tavern in Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island. 6 and 8 p.m. [$16]
• “Orchid Evenings,” a date night with flowers, cocktails and music, at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Times vary. [$38]
• “A Saint Patties Day Comedy Show” brings holiday-themed stand-up and improv to the Peoples Improv Theater Loft in Chelsea. 11 p.m. [$8]
• New York City F.C. host Orlando City S.C., 3:30 p.m. (MLS LIVE). Devils at Kings, 4 p.m. (MSG+). Nets host Mavericks, 7:30 p.m. (YES). Knicks host Hornets, 7:30 p.m. (MSG). Rangers at Blues, 8 p.m. (MSG). New York Red Bulls at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m. (MSG2).
• Good luck to those running the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half! You can cheer on the participants racing 13.1 miles from Brooklyn to Central Park. 7:30 a.m. [Free to watch]
• “Women of Soul for Kids,” a family-friendly concert with the music of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Diana Ross, at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg. 11:30 a.m. [$12]
• Looking ahead: “Seriously Funny: A Roundtable on Women, Comedy and Politics,” on Tuesday in Low Memorial Library at Columbia University. [Free, register here]
• Islanders host Hurricanes, 5 p.m. (MSG+). Devils at Ducks, 9 p.m. (MSG+).
• For more events, see The New York Times’s Arts & Entertainment guide.
While on the topic of immigration: “CareForce One Travelogues” premieres this weekend in Brooklyn.
The film series documents a family road trip from New York to Miami, during which a mother, her son and their friends join housekeepers, nannies, caregivers and other workers along the route to explore how immigration and racial discrimination affect those jobs. The project is part of CareForce, a group that helps caregivers speak out through art.
You can catch a screening (followed by a discussion with artists and advocates, including nannies and members of the National Domestic Workers Alliance) on Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum from 2 to 4 p.m.
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