Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Summer over. Autumn here we come.

So Summer in Dublin has come and gone. What was the highlight? Getting some work was one anyways. Being funemployed up until June was well not entirely fun. But I got to sort my apartment and do loads of swimming. Which was nice. And all that swimming allowed me to go to Sweden, for the World Masters Swimming Tournament. Which was even nicer.

Right, so back to my blog and alls and anyways. Sorry. I have been busy. Working and living. I sort of think anyone who updates their blog basically everyday, well, they aren't exactly living much are they? Quality versus Quantity and all that. Sorry, if that upsets the hardcore bloggers. But how can anyone have that much to write about everyday? What else do they do aside from write on their blog all day about writing about their blog everyday?!!!!! Do people tune into people's blog's everyday? I doubt it. I don't. But if I do, I hope I'd find something useful. Like I hope you might here.

Okay, so, anyways, all Summer, I was going to write about what I'd do if I had 24 hours in Dublin. Like if I was coming here to sample the city. So here goes: You arrive in Friday. Lunch time. You've dropped your bags in your hotel, hostel, b+b, your mates place, or you don't have any bags. You just hopped on a plane and said: Dublin please. Right, so you're starving marving. You need some nosh. Quick. Cos otherwise, you'll be grumpy, narky and you'll end up having your first silly row with your mates or worse your missus. And you don't want that cos she'll get annoyed at you being annoyed and then you'll end up more narky. So to fix that and fix the mates/her, get your hairy hole to Sinnots. It's just at the entrance to St. Stephens Green shopping centre. Get there and get downstairs.

And what you'll find? Easily, the best carvery in Dublin. What's a carvery, says you? It's bascially a load of unbelivably tastey grub, Irish style for in and around 10 euro's. What to choose? If you like meat, simple, just ask for the beef. And the stuffing. And the Yorkshire pastry. Yorkshire pastry?!!!!!! I know yeah, it's not exactly very Irish, but you'lll have to get this into your head, there's lots in Dublin that isn't "Irish". But that's the beauty of here, we take from other places what we like and this is one of them. And then you need, the mash potatoe, the veg, the roastie and loads of gravy. Is there anything else you should order? No. Unless you don't like meat then em try the soup or the salad which apparently is lovely. Though I wouldn't know obviously. What about a drink? Well, that's entirely up to you. If you're on the rip from the gecko, then whatever takes your fancy. If you want to try a pint of Guinness, then you'll get a good pint here.

Another thing to note, just cos you're in Dublin. Doesn't mean you have to drink/try Guinness. We don't all drink it, just like you don't always drink whatever drink your neck of the woods is famous for. So stick to what you like, but if you do want to try a Guinness, there are other spots I'd suggest for that. Anyways, you have your massive carvery, you relax and you feel 10 times better, of perhaps a little sleepy! But, you've sorted out that potential first argument and you're set-up for the rest of your day.

So what next. A pint? A stroll? Something to see? You'd get all 3 if you head to the Guinness storehouse. Yeah, I know I said you don't have to try it but this place offers you a chance to work-off that lunch, if you walk it, you get to take in some great building along the way and the Storehouse itself and where it's located is pure Dublin. Proper old skool. So if you come out of Sinnots, stuffed, you're mission is to take in: Dublin Castle, St. Patrick's Cahedral, Pimlico and then the Storehouse.

Once there, it's pretty self explanatory. The good people who designed the Storehouse, really did sit down and say: "Right, how do we explain Guinness to someone and how it's such a big part of Dublin and why it's so famous and known all around the world?" And by the time you walk through it, around it, up it and find yourself up in the 360 bar looking at all of Dublin and beyond with or without a pint of the black stuff in your hand, you'll get it. And you'll privately thank the people who put all that effort into making so worth going to see it.

And now? Well, it's gotta be around 4ish/430ish. What's ish? If you're Scandinavian/German, this will freak you out initially. When you say the time, it's 4 or 4.10 or 4.30. You'll say to someone I'll meet you at 4. And you'll be there for 4. Not before or after. 4. Us? We'll say 4ish. That can mean 3.53. Or 4.11. 4ish.  Get use to it. Embrace it. Cos that's how we do things here. So as I said. It's 4ish/430ish. Tired? Go back to your place of stay. And chill out. And do whatever. And get ready to go out about 7ish. If you're not tired, get back towards Grafton street. If you're coming from you're siesta/kip/shag, same difference, Grafton street is where you want to be. Not exactly Grafton street specifically but in and around. It's side streets. If I was to pick one. I'd go for South William street. And for a first pint. Grogan's. I could explain why, but I'm not goig to. No point giving you all the info here cos otherwise you'll have nothing to look forward too. Like a really good film, there the ones who don't give all the best bits away in the trailer. Unlike crap films, who do. And Grogan's is not crap. It's Dublin as Dublin can be. You'll see.

So, after a few pints/drinks in Grogan's. Hungry? I doubt it after that carvery. And no point sitting down for a big dinner. If you want something to eat, grab a packet of crisps. Or a toastie in Grogan's. Again, your call. Where to next then. Only a right and across the road to the South William. Couldn't be easier. Unlike a London or a Barcelona, where you have to maybe hop on a tube or walk around for ages trying to find the next spot or worse get in a taxi. Nope, Dublin is brill for that. All the bars are just well all more or less in the same spot. Well more or lessish.

Anyways, you're in the South William now. Why? Well, cos it's the polar opposite to Grogan's. And that's good. You need that. Cos well, you're not here for long are you? So you need to see other bars. And the South William is another bar. So go in and see what you think. I like it. So I'd hope you'd like it. Again, I'll leave you to enjoy it. I'll just say it always has great music and the mojitos aren't bad either. And it's youngish. If you don't like it, then get your behind around to the Bar with No Name. The what? Yeah, the Bar with No Name. Find it. And you'll like it.

Whatever one you go for. You'll get to see Dublin at night. Whether you're single or not, you'll find whatever you want. How long you want to enjoy it, is up to you, both are late bars so you could stay in both all night. But if you want to go disco dancing, then you'll have to move. This is your first night here, so if you go dancing tonight, you'll struggle the next day. But if you still want to go. Then POD is where you want to go. 3 rooms. 3 different sounds, some big name DJ's, some not so big. It's on Harcourt street. You'll need a taxi to get there at this stage. When you come out, you should be hungry. I would be. Zaytoon's around the corner. Chicken Shish meal, garlic sauce. Now the fun part, getting back to your place of stay. If you were clever you got somewhere in the city. So you can walk back. Cos between 1ish and 3ish, you'll not get a taxi. So get your ass home and be safe. Like any big city, Dublin is a bit nutty at this time, some people aren't so friendly Irish as you're led to believe before you got here. But for the most part, people are cool and funny at this time too so you should be okay.

And that's your first 24 hoursish in Dublin. Night.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yipeeeeeeeeeeee I love Dublin Flea!!!!!!!!!!!!

One of my favourite places to hang out has got to be the Dublin Flea market. The market itself has been running now for over a year on the last Sunday of every month. It's bascially a day out at a market. Where you can go and find loads of little gems.

Clothes, bric a brac, books, handmade delights, scrummy food, great music and lots of interesting people to meet and haggle which makes it a really fun day and great way to get to meet new people and hang out with freinds. It's held in the Dublin Co-op, just off Cork Street and is free in. All you need to bring with is a few euro's in case you see something you'd like to take away with you. Oh and it's also very kiddy freindly. Great for young families, not so good if you have a head on you like a bag of spanners from the night before, if yaz nose wozza I mean. And you might even find yourself haggling with me so be ready!!!!!!!

It's really easy to find and you'll find more information at the following link:



Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In Dublin's Fair City

The thing about being from a city is unlike a tourist you generally know first hand where's great or not so great for things to do. There's nothing worse, than flying in somewhere for the first time and being totally clueless as to what lies ahead of you. Many would argue, that's the best way to find out about a city and in that regard, Dublin is probably an easier city to get to know than most in a relatively short space of time. Unlike, a London or Paris or Barcelona perhaps. The beauty of Dublin as opposed to other cities, is, in a nutshell, it's size. It really is a well laid out place for getting around fairly easily and a whole day strolling around at your leisure you would easily stumble across the main shopping spots and places to eat and/or have a drink or "a Scoop" as we say in these parts.

One of the things, I wanted to do around this blog is to allow first time visitor's get the inside  knowledge of what sort of things they could get up too over a couple of days here in Dublin. I've been lucky with lots of the places I've been too around Europe and eleswhere, in that I've known someone who lives there or I've simply made an effort to get to know the locals and find out what they like to do at the weekends. So, I'm gonna do the same with this.

I'm also generally interested in what makes Dublin tick, how it offers so much on a music and arts front, how it can continue to throw up totally new experiences, some good/some bad. Personally, looking at the marketing and promotional material you get on the city, it always seem to be quite safe. It doesn't project the rawness, the energy, the youthfulness and the creativity and most importantly the quick witted humour to be found throughout the city. Like all brochures and the marketing promotion that goes with them, the people behind them have in their minds, the type of image that they think reflects Dublin or what is "Behind The Mask."

K, I'm off.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Behind The Mask?

What does a person write as their very first blog? I've been thinking about this for ages, I mean I came up with this idea for having a blog over 2 months ago now. It's not a novel and it's not something that people are going to read too much into about how you came up with it. But the main thing is what is Behind The Mask?

Who knows maybe I'll have 1 follower, in fact I already do have 1! But maybe then I'll have 2 or maybe 2,000,000. Who knows. Who cares. All I know is that I'm going to write it as I've promised myself I would and that I'll talk about things that interest me. And that will include: Men's fashion in Dublin, personally, I think no one ever really talks about Men's fashion here or where you can buy decent clothes, in fact I think shops here are totally brutal for buying Men's clothes. There are a few spots but it was better years ago, if I had the money, I'd open my own shop. But that's another story. Loads of ideas/opinions on this, so I'll get to it along the way. What else? I won't talk about Womens' fashion. Cos in all fairness, everyone does that. But I might say what I think of women's style here. I'm no expert, but I know what I like. And don't like. And yeah, I'll scrible somethig down too on Music. Art. Eating out. Going for a beer. Or 10 beers. Clubbing. Festivals. Flea Markets. Food Markets. Whatever I can think of! A blog to me is something that hopefully someone gets an idea from. A sort of "Oh yeah!!!!!!!" feeling. Oh and I'll add a few pics too. I like taking pics. I like playing music. I like life. Oh and I like turtles.