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Summer outings in Dublin: The Bord Gáis Theater and a picnic in the Iveagh Gardens

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The Bord Gáis Energy theater
It is hot in Dublin! Not just sunny, not just cloudless, but properly hot. It’s great! And this Irish “heatwave of the decade” (mid 80s Fahrenheit I'd say) is sooo preferable to the heatwave going on at home at the moment (mid 90s and very very humid). As you can imagine, everyone here is delighted but slightly uncomfortable since normally an Irish summer would be lucky to have two or three days like this sprinkled across June and July rather than a solid week of it in one go.
 
Last Monday evening I was lucky enough to be invited along to join a big group of people going to see the comedy Noises Off at the Bord Gáis (pronounced "board gosh," which I find very charming, meaning the Gas Board, which is less charming) theater down at Grand Canal Dock. 
 
For whatever reason I’ve never utilized the bus system here in Dublin, so the most straightforward way for me to get there was to walk all the way down Pearse Street from town, about a 25 minute walk from Stephens Green. Somewhere along the way I realized I had never actually walked through that area before; Dublin is a small city, but different areas can have such different looks. Or, more than that, different feels. It’s a walk I have to do again soon with a camera since I saw several great signs to add to my collection! A particularly funny one for a mattress store simply must be documented.
 
Risking chocolate and ice cream stains in this?!
Risking chocolate and ice cream stains in this?!
Grand Canal Dock is a really built up, developed area (but wasn’t so until recently). Since the weather was nice, there were lots of people milling around – mostly teenagers dressed like they were at a beach club on a Grecian island. A few people were even swimming, yuck! But then I rounded the corner and saw the Bord Gáis Theater and was completely distracted.
 
For some reason I had it in my head that the Bord Gáis was an old theater that had recently been restored. Not the case – it’s a completely new, 21st century, state-of-the-art performance space. And it’s gigantic and shiny. The interior was gorgeous too; a mix of the traditional plush red velvet with modern lighting and materials, so I was very much taken aback when I saw everyone eating! Vendors were selling ice cream, people were pulling sweets and chocolate out of their bags, and my friend Jen ate a whole pasta dish. In the nice theater! How do they keep it clean?
 
The play was hysterical, and since there were so many of us, we’d been able to pay the group price for seats we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise, so we were right up close. It was a great evening all round.
 
Yesterday I was all set to walk back there, take photos of the funny signs, and sit and read by the water, but when I was halfway there I got invited to join a picnic that was going on in the Iveagh Gardens. So I doubled back and spent several hours alternating between sun and shade while eating some delicious food, drinking sun-warmed wine, and getting to know another group of friends-of-a-friend. And then, just as icing on the cake, we got to hear Imelda May doing sound check for her concert later that evening in a blocked off bit of the park. 

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