Category Archives: Things That Impress Me

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

His and Hers

So many Irish artsy bloggers are going on about this movie so I had to see it for myself. His and Hers is a documentary (just to stress that for those who say it doesn’t have a storyline!) featuring interviews with women of all ages from the midland counties of Ireland.

Lasting about 80 mins, Ken Wardrop’s latest cinematic adventure is skillfully edited and put together with a certain calm laziness. The viewer is carried gently through a series of narratives by a whole host of young girls and women from a variety of backgrounds each “chatting away” about the men in their lives.

Myself and my buddy really enjoyed it, and even though there were especially poignant moments, particularly later on as we came to the older ladies, some of whom had lost their husbands, the movie makes regular transitions from the dark to the light in order to keep momentum.  The visual transitions in particular were really beautifully done, moving between door frames and into hallways, and there is a special focus on lamps being switched on as well which for me, seems to be an ode to the maternal, life/light creating qualities that women have – is that too deep?!

It’s hard to fault this movie at all, I only wish I had gone with my own mother last week, I will most definitely be buying it for her on DVD as soon as it comes out. Here’s the trailer below, and details of where the film itself can be viewed can be found on the film’s regularly updated site:

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Filed under Childhood, Movies, Things That Impress Me

A Literal Letter Service

A friend of mine recently started his own letter writing service – A Literal Letter Service. Based in Iowa City, Eric and his colleague John will write a letter of any kind on your behalf and send it to a person nominated by you who you feel could do with a well written and heartfelt letter. Choose between a variety of “voices” including “gracefully gallant”, “cryptically enigmatic” and my personal favourite “light like helium”! List topics to mention and specific (verbatim) messages to relay as well as the option to have your letter typed (on an old school typewriter) or handwritten.

The service is entirely free – although all donations are gratefully accepted. Pic below is of the letter I received from said friend … my favourite piece to quote from the letter would have to be “I must go to contemplate the wonders of the moon trees and the revolutionary nature of white pine trees and the secrets of braille and semaphore and the intricacies of jazz literature while pacing my way back and forth underwater in the public swimming pool, a wonderful place of collective solitude and quiet, a place many ideas are born.”…..Who doesn’t want to receive a letter like this?!

To order your own letter, simply visit the A Literal Letter Service website.

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Filed under Things That Impress Me, Uncategorized