Dublin Oddities

This is the last post from Dublin.  It includes pictures of what I consider oddities.  The Spire of Dublin is almost 400 feet tall and replaces the Nelson column that was blown up in the 1960s.  To me any structure that tall without an antenna or flag is an oddity.  Others include James Joyce selling free wi-fi, a literary bar and bookie joint, a 100 year old bookie (we assume), some art by Grace Gifford painted on a prison sell wall when she was incarcerated, a bar in a church, Molly Malone promoting breast cancer awareness, Insomnia Coffee,  the Bram … Continue reading Dublin Oddities

Life in the Liffey, Dublin

I love rivers.  We walked along and across the Liffey, took a boat tour as the tide was coming in, which meant the boat could not get under the bridge so they had to let us off downstream, and walked along the canals that feed into the river.  The Convention Center where Radio Days took place was along the river.  The Samuel Beckett Bridge, formed like a harp, is a striking feature of the river.  The Customs House is the domed building that features in many of these pictures.   Continue reading Life in the Liffey, Dublin

Dublin Sights

In an earlier post I said Dublin was a city of stories more than sights.  But there are sights to see.  Here are some of them I didn’t mention in my letter, like Dublin Castle, the seat of British power in Dublin before independence, Christ Church Cathedral, one of two Anglican cathedrals in Dublin, St. Stephen’s Green, The Oscar Wilde memorial in Merrion Square, some flowers for sale on Baggot Street, the General Post Office where the Irish Republic was declared and the Guinness Brewery.  I also revisit Clontarf, Trinity and Trinity College. Tomorrow I will post some pictures from … Continue reading Dublin Sights

Dublin’s Georgian Doors.

My sister-in-law accused me of taking pictures of Irish knockers.  Well, yes, they are in the picture, but that wasn’t the point.  Gerogian buildings, with their colored doors, line Baggot St., Stephens Green and Merrion Square in Dublin.  Georgian townhouse windows get smaller as they go up to their three stories to give them the illusion of greater height.  The buildings started as private townhouses but now many house corporate offices.  The next to the last door is Coca Cola Ireland, with its predictable color.  The final door looks like it has been several colors in its life.  There is … Continue reading Dublin’s Georgian Doors.

Dublin, 2014

Dublin is not about sightseeing– although there are sights to see.  It is about stories.  You can find stories everywhere.  Often stories are wrapped in songs.  As part of the “media package” that came from the radio conference we got free passes to the “hop on hop off” busses.  We soon learned to get on the busses labeled “live commentary.”  The recorded commentary, on 6 tracks in 6 languages, was probably more informative of dates and historical “facts,” but the stories, Dublin slang, literary references and songs from the “live commentary” made this tour sparkle.  During one of those times … Continue reading Dublin, 2014

Radio Days Europe, Dublin, 2014

How could it have been better?  Radio Days Europe are over.  These three days are working themselves into being one of those annual celebrations that mark my calendar, in a way like the Winnipeg Folk Festival or the Sitka Festival.  It’s a celebration of many things I hold close; radio, free press, good journalism, storytelling, meeting friends and, this year, Ireland. A celebration it was, but with a sober start.  We all stood for a minute to honor the 200 journalists killed in the line of work since the last Radio Days.  Twenty seven of them have died in the … Continue reading Radio Days Europe, Dublin, 2014

Faces of St. Patrick (Reflections on my Grandfather.)

The hats were the same ones I saw at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York  9 years ago but instead of obnoxiously drunk teenagers these were mostly well mannered young people enjoying the Sunday of Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival.  There were hats, face painting, performances, puppet shows, Brian Boru’s Bouncy Castle, and a St. Patrick’s samba line.  Many revelers were wearing “Who’s you Paddy” hats. We got in this morning and didn’t want to miss anything.  Of course we did because we missed the first two days of the festival, it started Friday, and there was too much … Continue reading Faces of St. Patrick (Reflections on my Grandfather.)

Dublin Goes Green (It’s the eve of St. Patrick’s Day.)

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day.  My Irish grandfather always told me it was no use going to Ireland on St. Pat’s.  All the good bands were in New York, Boston or Chicago.  The Dubliners had their own annual gig in St. Paul and the Irish Rovers were usually in Vancouver or Toronto.  The Clancy Brothers were always in New York, usually several places in a St. Patrick’s Day evening.   Even the Dublin Lord Mayor rotated between those American Irish Enclaves. (When he was a kid he was Jewish, which meant even a bigger turnout at the parade.) When we … Continue reading Dublin Goes Green (It’s the eve of St. Patrick’s Day.)