An American girl in Dublinby Annie Tanner
- Springtime in Dublin - Flowers in bloom, playing co-ed tag rugby, and joining a choir
- My top ten favorite Irish foods in most of Ireland's grocery stores - from Tayto crisps to Ballymaloe relish
- Irish Signs: An ongoing personal collection of funny signs from around Ireland - PHOTOS
- A native reeling from the Boston Marathon explosions and thoughts on "feeling safe" in the United States
- Almost climbing Croagh Patrick - the treacherous rock terrain and hiking the path of Ireland's most famous pilgrimage
I couldn't decide on a particular piece of cultural commentary this week, so I thought I would just do a general May update - spring has finally arrived in Dublin, and everyone is oh so happy about it!
There are outdoor movies in Dun Laoghaire, the soft serve ice cream machine has arrived at work, and bare legs have begun to appear under skirts.
(Although any country that gives you the choice "rice or chips?" when ordering Chinese food is the country for me.)
While it may not have a world-renowned culinary tradition, it does have a whole slew of Irish-made food products easily found in any grocery store that I have come to love.
I’m from Boston, so it’s been a tough few days. It was evening here in Ireland when the bombs went off at the marathon, and I was glued to the news following what was happening and frantically checking in with my friends and family back home until past midnight. Luckily, all of my loved ones are safe, but there was more than one near miss. One friend had been by the finish line but had left early to go work. Two friends from college were between the explosions and ran for their lives, escaping unscathed. From Facebook updates I learned that another former classmate was just yards from the second explosion, and another was on the scene as an EMT all afternoon. My mom and stepdad always go watch the marathon, but for no particular reason they decided to stay home this year. My dad was out of town. And so on.
The bureaucracy, it never ends!
What a woman. What a museum!
Back home in Boston, my mom is training to run Rás na hÉireann USA, a really fun, local Irish-American 5K race. Every year the race fills to capacity, and in mid-March (obviously), streets close down and are filled with rivers of shamrocks and leprechauns and flags. I ran it years ago – to date, the only 5K I’ve run – and it was so much fun. The medals that the race organizers gave out at the end of it were Celtic knot-covered bottle openers on a long green ribbon, and all the local Irish pubs were free for an hour for the runners. Too bad I wasn’t yet 21 at the time.
If you have a free, sunny day, I heartily recommend that you use it by going to the northern Antrim coast. Myself and two friends did so recently, and I had an unexpectedly good time.
Not that I had low expectations regarding Antrim at large – it’s just that we were headed for the Giant’s Causeway, and I had heard from multiple people that it was a bit of a letdown. “It’s one of those places where you get out of the car, look, and say ‘Yep, that looks like the photo.’” “It takes ages to get to and then isn’t anything special.” So on my to do list for the year, the Giant’s Causeway had a “(?)” next to it, and I wasn’t planning on going out of my way to get there.