Novelty Express

I awoke this morning to an excited phone call from Dave. He’s accustomed to going out at dawn to photograph in the morning light. Today, he was out with the tall ships and he summoned me to come see them sail. The ships closest to the city were moving out. The city had opened the Calatrava-designed bridge to allow the ships thru passage. (Calatrava is an architect and bridge-designer whose work Dave and I greatly admire.)

“Take a picture every time you see something that surprises you,” the International Four-H Youth Exchange had instructed me when I was an IFYE to Switzerland in 1994, “because after a few days that thing won’t seem unusual to you and you’ll forget to take a picture.” I recalled that advice today after the Facebook image of my “mini” Irish breakfast raised eyebrows among my friends back home.

After eating dozens of these meals over the years, I’d nearly forgotten that beans on the side seem unusual to the American palette. But our cat-sitter, Morgan, posted a query about our choice of side items. She’s the person who asked me to bring back some Lucky Charms (her favorite boxed cereal product). I guess she’ll be surprised when the luck I bring her comes in a can!

After breakfast, Dave headed back to work editing photos. He’s at in non-stop these days, to meet deadlines back home. I did a bit of shopping on my own (again) in preparation to move into the new apartment. Today, I went shopping on Grafton Street. I’ve posted reflections from the area. The one (to the left) reminds me of the importance of landmarks in creating a beautiful townscape (an idea of Gordan Cullan’s) and of using landmarks to help people orient themselves in the city (as explained by Kevin Lynch). See how effective the church is in providing a visual cue to your location? And how the curved streets provide a sense of mystery (as recommended by Camillo Sitte)?

The reflection on BT2 I captured today (shown to the right below) was completely different from the one I posted yesterday (to the left).

After that, I was off to a tour of the Freemason Hall just up the street from our hotel. The tour was offered as part of National Heritage Week. I learned so much from the guide! I’ve posted some photos of the building–which serves as the headquarters for all of the island’s Freemasons–in honor of my Hampton University office-mate, David Perronet.

On the way back to our hotel, I noticed a sign for the “Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.” Now, that’s a title and combination you wouldn’t see in the States! It’s shown below, to the left. The photo to the right is a memorial to the Celtic Tiger. More on those topics later. (Please remind me if I forget!)

For now, I’ll get this posted and try to pry Dave from that computer so we can enjoy the last few moments of sunlight today.

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