Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ireland Travelogue 7

Part 6

Oct. 14, 12:47 p.m.

I wanderd around trying to find the large bank that supposedly stayed open on Saturdays (no, it doesn't) and ended up on O'Connell Street without even trying. I actually followed a route suggested by my guide book and I'm trying to hit as many places as I can on Saturday. Then on Sunday I can do things like check out the Old Jameson Distillery and the Guinness Brewery which are both supposed to be open on Sundays. My cab driver from Heuston train station over to the hostel (I was too tired to try and figure out a bus or walking route) said in response to my inquiries about those two particular tour spots exclaimed "But you look so innocent to be into the drink!" Well, I'm not into the drink, I just want to say I saw those place...I mean it's lame yes, but you're in Dublin. How can you ignore the fact that the Guinness Brewery is in the neighborhood? It's such a tourist thing but you just have to.

My cab driver was nice enough to point out that I grab fish and chips from Leo Burdock's. BEST. CABBIE. ADVICE. EVER. I sat in the grounds of Christchurch Cathedral munching away at what was easily a pound and a half of french fried potatoes AND a whole side of cod, battered and fried. Seriously, the fish still retained the shape of a fish. It was a side of fish.

I got my picture taken with the statue of James Joyce and now I'm munchin' away on a burger at Eddie Rockets (a.k.a. Johnny Rockets). I don't think this is American bacon on my burger...but the shrooms on this mofo are FANtastic.

Dublin impressions: Less of the whole Tara Reid look. Definitely more diverse and...I see a chick with an Urban Outfitters bag (an odd bit of familiarity there).

(O'Connell Street.)

(St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral.)

(Mr. James Joyce.)

(Came across this group of statues. It's across the street and a little further east from the Custom House. From what I saw on the plaques on the ground, it seemed to be a memorial set up by families in America whose ancestors probably left Ireland during the famine. At least that's my guess because they were mostly Irish last names with places in the States after them.)

(This plaque is in front of the statue of Thomas Moore, it says, "He crossed under Tommy Moore's roguish finger. They did right to put him up over a urinal: meeting of the waters." Interestingly, there was a homeless guy standing by the statue who smelled like pee. It's across the street from the Bank of Ireland and the entrance to Trinity College. You can find a bunch of things like this across the city and you can even have a whole Joyce-themed tour of the city, but I didn't have any time for something like that.)

4:00 p.m.

(What you see before you enter the campus of Trinity College.)

(The people on campus must've thought I was a weirdo following this little guy around trying to get a picture. He was just too cute, I couldn't ignore him.)

Right now I sit in the Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College. To be exact, a bench between the busts of Cicero and Locke. So basically between F-G and GG-FF.

I swear, every fiber of my being is practically screaming with joy at the sight of all these books and the way this library is built. So lovely and os fitting to be a home for these tomes. I'd do anything to go throught htese books and flip through them.

The collection of old fairytales and primers they have under glass leaves me aching to look through them. If only there was a way for someone to die and be reborn in a previous life. Just to be here when all of these were open to be read and handled.

I think I'm in love. True eternal love with this hall. If you can choose where to haunt when you die I would choose this room.

I just came up from viewing the Book of Kells and how beautiful that is. I also had to fight the intense urge to break the glass and touch it myself. No photoraphy in either of these places.

Understandable really. And if it means the preservation of such lovely things I would not mind missing the privilege of photographing them at all. Besides no work of photography could ever do these any justice. They are all just so...lovely. I wonder how the vellum of the Book of Kells smells.

The familiar scent old books hit me when I walked into the Long Room. It was the same "library smell" that made my heart swell with satisfaction those summers I spent buried in rows and rows of books when I was a kid. I'd spend all my daylight hours there during summer break. It was the exact same smell I tried to cultivate by keeping an old book case sealed for weeks so that when I opened it I would smell an anemic version of the library smell.

(No reason for this picture except that I like the ivy growing on those buildings.)

(This shopping center reminded me of a ship for some reason. Like an old school luxury liner. This is right across the street from...)

(...St. Stephen's Green.)

(Busy Grafton Street.)

(Between Heaven and Hell on Grafton: I guess the winning souls business is getting more and more cutthroat each day since I found a member of the Lord's army trying to conduct business...)

(...with Lucifer just a couple of steps away. Hey! Get your own turf buddy!)

(These ladies were good.)

(When I saw this from a distance I thought, "Wait what? A 'McMcDonald's?' Is this some hyper Irish version?" I thought surely my eyes were deceiving me.)

(Even though I knew it was probably something I was seeing wrong I was still a little disappointed when I saw it was an optical illusion of the signs...)

8:45 p.m.

Having dinner at Charlie's II. I was going to splurge tonight but I couldn't bring myself to pay six euros extra for Italian that I wasn't too sure about when I was about to go home to New York in 3 days. I don't care how delicious it is. I'm not being snooty. I'm more willing to try other foods like Chinese (shit, they got cheap duck), Mediterranean kebabs and Indian (especially Indian), but I can't bring myself to touch Italian here.

This Chinese restaurant has been playing dancehall/house remixes of hits like "Billie Jean" and "Heaven" this Chicago?

I don't know if I should be horrified or delighted. I'm thinking "a confusing mixture of both" is a good description of both what I'm feeling and the genres they're trying to mash up with these songs.

Also, my mom needs to stop trying to call me where ever it is I am. My passport is with me with the emergency contact info all pencilled in. So if they fish my body out of the Liffey, I'm pretty sure they'll at least know where to send my bloated corpse to.

One out of five guys I've seen here has my curly mop top hairdo.

I have just realized I have a shitload of places to still see.

Wait, what the hell, is this "Boys of Summer?" You know, I'm tempted to say this sounds less cheesy sung to a hip dance beat by the usual nameless dancetrack chick (usually a "feature" something or other).

The clubbing look here is less short skirts and more Charlotte from "Sex and the City."

Also I almost passed out from lack of oxygen when laughing at this one comment ina free zine sent a piece of plum duck into my right lung. And I quote: "When the watchful eye of the border police goes all Thom Yorke..."

It took me a while to encourage the forceful movement of said morsel of duck. Mean but so fucking funny. I might have to use that. What? Hey, for your information I like to use the whole "gone Pete Tong" phrase too, alright?

An whoever remixed this piece of shit actually made an Enrique Iglesias song sound worse than it already does.

9:30 p.m.

Ran into an interesting group playing while walking along Temple Bar. Also why the hell are there so many abulanced going through here?

Sean K. Preston. He's half Japanese and half American and all rockabilly. I talked to him a bit and it was funny because he asked me where I was from and I said, "Dude, it's kind of a long story..."

He told me to tell whatever shortened version was possible. Which I did saying, "Long story short, dad in the Army. Dad meets mom in Korea and they get married. Have me. I live in the States a little, but move back to Korea when really young and never set foot on American soil until I was 18."

He explain that his dad was Air Force, met his Japanese mom. He lived in a couple of place, but then Australia and didn't set foot on American soil until he was 18. I responded, "Ha, it's basically the same story."

I actually talked to him a bit about just wanting to get away and travel places and he nodded knowingly and said, "You'll find a place. Trust me."

(Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Sean K. Preston.)

(Also say hello to his great house band. Barney on left and Mark on the right. They're both great. And compliment Mark, the kid is good, but seems very shy. Then again I don't blame him, he's got that Gerard Way [before he dyed his hair blond] meets Bert McCracken vulnerable, misunderstood, put upon emo artistic guy thing going on that probably drives the drunk college chicks on Temple Bar nuts. Trust me, I *seen* him get mauled by a group of them. Two practically jumped on him while another roughly ruffled his hair barely drawlin' out 'Yooouuu're cuuuuuuuute.' The poor kid just gave a sheepish grin and kept playing best he could. He's probably wary about strangers paying attention to him because he's had way too many drunk young women paw at his skinny, black-hoodied ass. Barney's on the other hand doesn't mind talkin' and making friends. He's way chill.)

Anyhow I bought his CD and the dude was nice. If you're in Dublin, you need to check this guy out. We hapas need to stick together, word.

His "house" (well, they were on the curb) band was also great. They were Barney and Mark. Barney banged away on this box-like percussion instrument [Ed. note: I failed to write down its name, but it starts with a "b"], and managed to pull out a variety of beats. Mark on the other hand wielded his acoustic bass guitar. They both looked super young, just kids honestly, though maybe they just looked young. I don't know, I thought Mark and Barney looked about...16-18 range.

12 a.m.

Most people head come here for the drinking, I manage to spend my money on someone's CD. I can't decide if I like Dublin seeing it from the nightlife point of view of the Temple Bar. It reminds me too much of the things I don't like about New York. Though maybe that' just because obviously this is the party scene.

(Busy, busy Temple Bar.)

(This really needs no explanation I think.)

(Other intrepid street musicians. I admire the fact that this guy drags his upright out. It can't be an easy feat.)

I remember back in Cork when I had Box Office duty some American dude walked in and asked "Does anyone know where we can go to, like, find pubs where the college kids part in?"

Ugh. I don't know. I just found that weird. For one thing, the box office was headquartered at the Kelly Post Office on Grand Parade. So pretty much even with the desks set up to sell movie tickets to people and the post office facilities tucked in the back it just did not look like a place to stop in to try and figure out "Where's the hoppin' parties at, bro?" Also, this guy was way past college age. It reminded me of another incident back in New York when I was walking home along Houston and some investment banker type and his friend (still in their button down shirts and the ties off, probably tucked into the pockets of the suit jackets they slung on their arms) stopped me to ask about how they could get to MacDougal or where all the NYU kids drank at.

Annoying on many levels but especially because you knew they just wanted to score drunk coed tang.

Part 6


Anonymous pebamcha said...

Hi nabiya,
its so nicely written. Its been my dream to travel through ireland for long time. Your article is adding the beuty of the place.

9:26 AM  

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