Category Archives: Dublin

Le Cool Dublin Walking Experience

I did something this weekend that I’ve never done before….so now so, how many of ye can say that?

As you may or may not already know, Le Cool Dublin launched recently. An online magazine, which publishes itself into your email every Thursday full of all the events you can look forward to in Dublin, Le Cool Dublin is part of a wider European family of Le Cool websites. However, the Dublin site has decided to diversify a little bit and now, instead of just winging a newsletter to their subscribers once a week, Le Cool are bringing you to the streets, or the streets to you….ok you and the streets together.

After sponsoring them the meagre amount of €15 on (it’s a recession ok……I had to save for flights to Oz), I was granted a free pass to their first walking tour yesterday. To be honest I hadn’t a clue what to expect and arrived along with little expectation.

Sites taken in along the walk included David Foran’s exhibition at Clyne Gallery; a trip to the Redress pop up shop in the Powerscourt Centre as part of Dublin Better Fashion Week, one of Dublin’s oldest barbers – The Waldorf on Westmoreland St where we got a great introduction to the barber tradition along with a sneak peek into their back room where there’s an array of old barber tools and hairdryers; Adair Lane (it runs parallel to Fleet St, Quay side) where there’s a really weird exhibition of placards to Irish pop culture icons like Gay Byrne and the showbands among many others; and a trip to “closing today” pop up restaurant Crack Bird on Crane Lane.

My favourite stop along the way was the Project Arts Centre where Eleanor from Dublin Dance Festival spoke to us about the festival and in particular about the piece of work currently being staged in the Project by Balbir Singh – Decreasing Infinity (video below but musicians are different). The piece is a meeting point between modern dance form and traditional Kathak dancing which originates in Northern India. The piece is also accompanied by a tabla player and a very cool human beat boxer. After Eleanor’s introduction, we were allowed to watch the performers rehearsing and they also gave a quick Q&A session after. Click here to find out more about booking yourself in to attend the show today or tomorrow.

In all the tour was really different, not touristy at all and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who loves discovering new things in Dublin, and instead of flicking through an events guide would like to get out on the street and get introduced to new venues and events. I’d even recommend it to tourists as the first thing for them to do when they land in Dublin if they don’t want to do the general run of the mill touristy stuff.

In all, a fun and cheap thing to do with your Saturday afternoon, click here for more info on “booking your boots in”: Le Cool Dublin Walking Tours.

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Filed under Dublin, Things That Impress Me, Uncategorized

Hop Inn, Athenry and the Value of Viral Videos

I was at a social media conference today and amongst keynote speakers from the likes of YouTube and Facebook, the most memorably, effective and relevant speaker was Neil Molloy from Athenry’s Hop Inn bar who used his innovation, creativity and god given madness to create online video skits which cleverly contain details of upcoming events at his pub!

Definitely something for arts organisations to take on board, viral videos are the way to go, as Sebastien Missoffee from YouTube today predicted – in 2013, 90% of web traffic will be to video content! Have a look at his funnyman antics below:

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Adventures in Web Browsing

I’ve spotted a few interesting bits and pieces around the interweb over the last few days – some newsy bits, others just interesting so I thought I’d just shove em all together to share them with y’all (I work with someone from Alabama so it’s starting to rub off – HIGH FIVE!!).

First off all is the very sad news of the passing on Ken Monaghan. Ken was the last surviving nephew of James Joyce and was a true Joycean. He was a founding member of the James Joyce Centre and built it up to become internationally recognised as a centre in Dublin City for all things Joycean, it also became the home of Bloomsday in Dublin.

In recent years, despite Ken’s ill health he remained part of the Centre’s extended family and this year continued his tradition of reading from Wandering Rocks during the Bloomsday readings in Meeting House Square. He truly was a great face for the Joyce family in Dublin and I know that many people across the world remember receiving a very warm welcome from Ken during their visits to the Centre. He will be truly missed by the Joycean community and I’m surely fondly remembered. More info on Ken here and also you can sign the Centre’s online book of condolences on their Facebook page.

Next up, some news from home! Limerick is embracing this year’s Culture Night with some wonderful events. In particular, the newly and fabulously revamped Milk Market, complete with an all weather roof is hosting a Sing Out and Raise the Roof for Fun event. According to the Milk Market website, the event will involve:

“Shoppers, stall holders, passers-by and you will be encouraged to join in Limerick’s Culture Night Choir, led by musical director Liz Powell, to ‘Raise the Roof’. No previous experience is necessary, it’s all just a bit of fun!

There will be two sessions on Friday, September 24th. One at 5.00pm and one at 6.00pm.

Can’t sing? Come along anyway, you’ll enjoy the sessions…

…..and for the hungry and thirsty, Peter Ward of Country Choice is offering a hot plate of delicious food with a glass of wine for €10.”

Looks like a lot of fun and I love the fact that many venues and organisations are embracing Culture Night as a chance to get the community involved with their activities rather than just opening the venue up for free. The Night after all is really about getting the public involved with culture rather than a touristy event. I’m disappointed that I’ll be stuck in my car driving home when the event is on, but no doubt I’ll be in the market the following morning to pick up some goodies! More info on Culture Night events around Ireland here.

And finally, I just spotted this article on the Irish Times website. Ireland is a country steeped in state censorship history, but it looks like family can also play a part in censorship too. The poet Rita Ann Higgins had planned on publishing a book of poetry but had to cancel the publication and destroy the initial print run when her brother voiced upset at references to a child hood event. It seems odd that Higgins has gone to the press over this, saying “I’ve never had a cross word with Joe. The irony is that he had asked me to write something on the occasion of an honorary doctorate which he received some years ago from NUI Galway for his work in business.”

I would imagine this was something they should have discussed during the draft stages but I guess it just demonstrates how difficult it can be having a sibling as a writer. I remember attending a talk by an Irish writer who commented that her mother and family were often nervous around her as they were afraid of becoming characters in her work. I think it’s probably quite difficult to not draw on your own personal experiences when you’re writing. It’s a pity she had to lose out on so much money wasted on the initial print run, hopefully she will be able to raise the money for the edited edition.

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Filed under Bloomsday, Dublin, Limerick, Writing