Sunday, July 21, 2013

on grafton street at summertime

I’ve never been to Dublin before and I have to say one thing first: people really do wear green a lot. Green everything. Green trousers, green hats, green shoes, green sweatshirts, and, you can safely assume, green brassieres and underpants. Jason and I had a Subway sandwich and, while sitting under a statue downtown, played "spot the green clothes" until it all just became too overwhelming. Every day is St. Paddy’s day in Dublin, where the streets have no name.

I know it’s really cheeseball and touristy, but this being my first time in Dublin, we actually decided to go on the Hop On Hop Off double decker tour bus. A good thing, too, because we saw the town amidst the leafy trees and away from the sidewalk drunks. I don’t know much about Dubliner history, but we did hear a lot about James Joyce and Oscar Wilde and we saw the statue of Molly Malone, who was some kind of hooker/fishmonger, or as they call her, “the tart with the cart.” The weather is decidedly cooler, but after London, it felt really great.

While checking into the hotel a gaggle of middle-aged Irish ladies hit on me.

We had dinner at Gogarty’s pub, which was just across from our hotel on Fleet Street in Temple Bar. Gogarty’s is the ultimate pub. It’s three floors of music and old portraits of Irish poets, and everything is sticky with Guinness. I had a nice sausage and potato soup with two different kinds of bread, and we listened to a man and woman play the fiddle and guitar. They encouraged us to sing along to the chorus, which we did. The lyrics were as follows:

Ring-a Ding-a Dong!

Ring-a Ding-a Daddyo.

Ring-a Ding-a Dong!

Wak Fall-a Daddyo!

After the pub dinner we hit the town again. We walked up Grafton Street, which reminds me of the Nancy Griffin song "On Grafton Street." Her lyrics are as follows:

On Grafton Street at Christmas time
The elbows push you 'round
All I carry now are memories
I'm a stranger to this town.

I feel like a stranger in this town, too. But a happy stranger! We visited St. Stephen's Green, which is a beautiful park with ducks and statues and a creepy old man who watched us walk around. Then we walked down by the River Liffey and took some more pictures of riverbank sights:

First of all, the river.

Next, a boat on the river.

The Custom House at sunset.

We stopped in again at the pub, where there was a Guinness Drinking contest going on. As for me and my house, we had Red Bulls. The pub was noisy in front, but surprisingly quiet in the back, where we took turns riding a big ceramic horse! This concluded our second trip to the pub. That's Dublin: pub crawls and pony rides.

Jason had a dream of playing a pennywhistle on the streets of Ireland, but he left his pennywhistles in London. So he bought a couple more! We played "Danny Boy" and "Skip to My Lou" down by the River. It felt very Irish. Some drunk hooligans came over to heckle us, but after they heard our touching rendition of "Scarborough Fair" they left with a tear in their eye and a lump in their throat. And on a night like tonight, when the streets are packed and the moon is full, you can hardly blame them.