Gathering in Ireland in 2013

Downloaded from The New York Times.

The New York Times‘s description of Ireland and image of the Cobblestone pub. (Downloaded from The New York Times.)

The New York Times just released its list of top “46 places to go in 2013.” Ireland showed up at #40. Not bad!  But in my book, it’s #1!

The image The New York Times selected to illustrate Ireland is none other than the Cobblestone pub. The Cobblestone is my own “home away from home” and it holds a very special place in my heart. I’d say it’s *the* place to go in 2013. I can’t wait to bring my guests to the Cobblestone for a true taste of Ireland, present and past.

The pub’s previous appearances in the New York Time travel section included: A Changing Smithfield Still Holds On to Dublin-Style Fun and The Cobblestone – Reviews and Ratings of Bars and Clubs in Dublin – New York Times.

In addition, The New York Time explains, this year Ireland is hosting “the Gathering.” According to the Gathering’s “About” page, “Ireland will open its arms to hundreds of thousands of friends and family from all over the world, calling them home to gatherings in villages, towns and cities.” You can view and create gatherings on its website.

I’m trying to do my part to help family and friends visit the Emerald Isle in 2013.  I look forward to welcoming those who’ve scheduled ahead: Kitty Lee and Patty, Pam and her husband Dave, mom and Ann Marie, my Dave, Toni and Giuseppe, Tarrah and Kelly in the months to come. Between guests and work it looks like I’m going to be very busy!

Night Owl

Tea with Richard Hayes, Gavin Duffy, and Brian Bowe after the College Education Seminar wrapped up.

Happy Halloween!  I just got a call from Trish Long, who leads Disney’s branch here in Ireland.  We met at Zumba class at the elbowroom a couple of weeks ago.  She called to invite me to RTÉ Concert Orchestra: Psycho – Live! Hallowe’en Night at The National Concert Hall in Dublin.

What an awesome way to follow up yesterday’s seminar and last night’s musical evening at the Cobblestone.

At the Cobblestone, I got to hear Tom’s brother, Alfie, play alongside three of his kids.  Alfie’s daughter (seated to the left in the video) is studying Medieval Irish History and Architecture. She’s a student at Trinity College, and an excellent candidate for a Fulbright, I’d say.

Enjoying music and good conversation, with Nancy Stenson, Susan Early, and Joan Cahalin. Tom Mulligan is there, too, in the background.

Just as a crowd of instrument-carrying appeared to join Alfie’s family in the musicians corner, a bunch of my friends showed up, too. I spent a lovely evening talking with Fulbright Nancy Stenson and architects Joan Cahalin and Susan Early.

Nancy and Joan both have degrees in linguistics, so we got to discuss Nancy’s research (she’s diagnosing where students have the biggest problems with Irish pronunciation in order to help teachers teach Irish more effectively). Nancy has authored several textbooks on Irish language already, though she never mentions it herself.  I always do–because it’s fascinating!

When they left, I visited with three generations of a family from Brooklyn who are celebrating birthdays this week (one turning 21, one 50, and one 92)! They were there along with a relative from Dublin. I can’t believe how good life has been to the lot of us!