Queen for a Day

Queen of Tarts 2

A visit to the Queen of Tarts in the Dublin’s Temple Bar  is always a treat.

I have fond memories of Dr. Pam Eddy’s most recent visit to Dublin and our stop to see “the Queen” together.

In fact, I sent  a little box of raspberry scones home with Dave a couple of weeks ago… he stopped by Pam and Dave’s on his drive home from the airport to deliver the Queen’s best.

Criminal Courts and First Thursdays in Dublin

Lobby of Ireland's Criminal Court Building, located near Heuston train station.

Lobby of Ireland’s Criminal Court building, located near Heuston train station.

Former Fulbright Pam Eddy and I enjoyed a quick visit to Temple Bar’s First Thursdays events during her February visit.  Throughout most of the year, the galleries and other cultural establishments throughout Temple Bar stay open late (6-8 PM) on the first Thursday night of each month.

Pam and I had time to visit just two galleries because I’d been part of a Fulbright “field trip” to the Criminal Courts of Justice building that started at 5 (as pictured to the left).

It appears that First Thursday is officially dormant during March. This year, it  will re-emerge on Thursday, April 4.

The surprising thing about the many free cultural events offered in Dublin each year is the high level of participation among Dublin residents.  In many other cities, residents ignore such offerings.  That is truly not the case here!

The Temple Bar Cultural Trust website explains:

First Thursdays Dublin is a Temple Bar Cultural Trust initiative that brings together art galleries, cultural and creative spaces on the first Thursday of every month – by sharing the same late-night opening times.

First Thursdays Dublin (FTD) happens on the first Thursday of every month. Opening hours are extended from 6 – 8pm in a number of galleries. Please note: this list changes every month for First Thursdays! It offers you an extra opportunity to visit exhibitions, attend cultural events and experience some light-night culture. It is our way of experiencing a taste of Culture Night on a monthly basis!

Here is the list of the galleries, cultural and creative spaces that are now part of First Thursdays Dublin:

  1. Basic Space
  2. Block T
  3. Centre for Creative Practices
  4. Cow’s Lane Designer Studio
  5. Darc Space
  6. Debbie Paul Studio and Gallery
  7. Design Yard
  8. Designist
  9. Douglas Hyde Gallery
  10. Draiocht, Centre for the Arts
  11. Dublin Civic Trust
  12. Exchange Dublin
  13. Gallery @ No. SIX
  14. Gallery of Photography
  15. Gallery Zozimus
  16. Graphic Studio Gallery
  17. Green on Red Gallery
  18. Hillsboro Fine Art
  19. Jam Art Factory
  20. James Joyce Centre
  21. Kevin Kavanagh Gallery
  22. Little Green Street Gallery
  23. Monster Truck Gallery & Studios
  24. National Gallery of Ireland (open late every Thursday)
  25. National College of Art and Design Gallery
  26. No Grants Gallery
  27. Project 51
  28. Project Arts Centre, Gallery
  29. Olivier Cornet Gallery
  30. Science Gallery
  31. Sol Art Gallery
  32. Talbot Gallery & Studios
  33. Tamp & Stitch
  34. Taylor Galleries
  35. Temple Bar Gallery & Studios
  36. The Copper House Gallery
  37. The Doorway Gallery
  38. The Goethe Institut
  39. The Green Gallery
  40. The Icon Factory
  41. The Joinery
  42. The Keeling Gallery
  43. The LAB
  44. The Little Museum of Dublin
  45. The Market Studios
  46. The Picture Rooms
  47. The Pallas Projects
  48. The White Gallery
  49. White Art Lady

More Palace Bar

These pictures are from our evening downstairs at the Palace Bar:

Palace Bar downstairs.

Palace Bar downstairs.

At the Palace Bar

My favorite pub in Temple Bar is the Palace on Fleet Street.  Downstairs is great for conversation; the back space is lovely. Upstairs, Palace Bar features Irish musicians.  Hearing Irish music is always great fun.

Kitty, Patty, and I went to the Palace twice during their visit.

It’s a great place to hang out when you need some time off your feet, or are waiting for an evening event to happen.

Ornamental Hermits? Getting Ghoulish in Temple Bar!

The head of a once-living ornamental hermit, that became petrified in a garden cave in Ireland.

My friend Esther arrived yesterday from Switzerland. She was my first host “mom” when I did a five-month exchange to Switzerland in 1994 with the International Four-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) program.

We’ve been fast friends ever since. She’s visited me twice in the US and served as a bridesmaid when Dave and I married.  My family has been to visit her family many times.

Since she’s here, it’s a great time to do fun tourist things.

Last night, we hit the art galleries in Temple Bar.

One exhibit had the petrified head of an actual “ornamental hermit.” Yes folks, the head of a once-live guy who posed as a garden hermit for the sake of earning cash.

Learning the art of gravedigging at the gate of Glasnevin Cemetery.

It was a fitting start for our evening aboard the Dublin Ghost Bus.  Tons of fun, and lots of fact-based ghost stories relayed by professional actors on the sits where they occurred. A bit pricey at 25 Euro per person, but fun nonetheless.

Between events, we hung out at the Palace Bar and window shopped on Grafton Street.  The Christmas displays are in full swing here.

Eden Morning

I’m mourning the loss of Eden.  Last night ended Daylight Savings Time in Ireland for the year. The shift to Dark Evening Time is a sad event for me each year.

It’s particularly poignant this year, because I’m living so far north that the days will be very, very short soon.  Perhaps fortunately, I’ll be home for the very shortest of days this year, and I’ll get to eek out a little more sunlight than I would here.

I spent the entire sunny day yesterday working at home and needed a change of scenery. So, to help address my doldrums, I headed out for breakfast.

Since I can’t seem to find Sunday brunch in my neighborhood, so I wandered down to Temple Bar and found myself in Eden. Yum!

Eden: spatially wonderful!

Eggs Benedict, Eden style. What more could a girl want?

Eden prides itself in Irish cuisine fused with European flair.  Funny, eh?

The Irish referred to “going to see the Europeans” when we headed out for Greece. They see themselves as different from the continent… and thus not entirely European.  In my book, they’re so similar to US American, that we actually maybe a closer match. (Please, please, please vote sensibly my countrymen. Don’t succumb to inaccurate claims and smoke-and-mirror budget proposals.)

I’ve heard two people (one an emigrant from the US) say Ireland may well become the 51st state.  It seems to align more and more with US culture every day. Although if we loose Obama, there will be a wider gap in values between the Irish and US ethos.

I’ve attached snapshots from breakfast (Eden is a very nicely designed place) and from my walk home… flip through them and pretend you’re here walking with me… imagine the smell of Guinness wafting through the air as you stride down the River Liffey.