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Smirting & The Smoking Ban
Smirting is a combination of the words smoking + flirting, geddit? It started when people had to go out for a ciggie after the ban was enforced, and got chatting to fellow smokers outside on the street, eyes meeting across a cloud of blue nicotine... ;) So you may just meet a local hottie in this way!!
REMEMBER - Since March 2004, you CANNOT smoke inside bars, cafes or restaurants, or anywhere where people are working (e.g. taxis, offices etc.)
The legislation is officially known as the Public Health (Tobacco) Act, see link to it below for a summary.
You may smoke in outside in the street or in designated smoking areas, but never inside a place where people are working (includes offices, bars, restaurants, shops, shopping centres, taxis, etc)
In come the Trams, out go the Buses!
Dublin City in Ireland, is going through a transformation. The roads are full of men working hard at putting down Tram lines. Very soon, only Trams will be the only Transport into the city (Other than, Police, - Guards, Ambulances etc)
Even in the pubs you will be able to take in a lung full of fresh air, as the whole of Southern Ireland, has a smoking Ban in any public buildings.
Whilst I was out there, I listened to the radio. The DJ was complaining, that now no one is lighting up, you can smell other peoples farts!
That seems a good enough argument to me, to let Smoking be allowed in pubs again!
If you are a smoker & you love a Lager when you light up, then try to go to Southern Ireland in the summer months so that you can sit outside, though you can bet it will pour down with rain then too!
If you get a chance, or the weather permits, do visit Dublin Zoo.
Apart from seeing Monkeys & Tigers, you will also get to see the 'African' Safari. It is amazing.
If you are lucky to have warm weather, make sure you put the sunblock on, as the Safari part of the Zoo, does not have much shade.
- Historical Travel
'D4' apart from being a kind of connection lead for Japanese electronic devices, is a postcode of Dublin, on the southside.
It contains most of the Capital's embassies, seats of learning and swathes of the 'upper middle class'. 'D4' has therefore become something of a generic term for anybody in that particular socio-economic group, even if they live outside of the postcode. It is said that these people have their own accent. it is certainly different to the more common Dublin accent. I think it sounds like a cross between recieved English home-counties and American teenager slang.
A D4 person is most likely to say something like "I had to spend...like...300 Euro on a round of drinks..but..like...you know...my flat in Ballsbridge rises by that every day..like" (not since the celtic tiger died...ha ha)
'D4' is therefore also applied to any pretensious person, or anyone who considees themselves ' a cut above the rest '.
In general Southsiders (of the river Liffey) are considered to be the richer / more culturally inclined / literate Dubliners. As Dublin had changed howerver the divide these days is more on East / west lines. The Suburbs closer to the coast (East) tend to be quite a bit more expensive and middle-clss than the western ones.
The Noth / South divide
I saw a wonderful advertisment recently that was posted on the DART railway bridge that straddles the river right near the centre of the city. It read "Are you a North Cider of a south Cider". This clever little add for Magners cider`was a pun : if you swap the 'C' for an 'S' then it begins to make a little more sense.
True Dubliners themselves would never have to ask which you might be - but in essence a native of the North side of the city (as in north of the river Liffey) would be working class with a real inpenetrable Dublin accent. A south sider would be middle-class with a more urbane and cosmopolitan outlook. The accent would be somewhat less harsh.
These are of course crass sterotypes, but it provides a staple of any discussion amongst Dubliners who are at least united in the love of the 'ole drink - be it Magners or the more traditional black stuff.
Tart with the Cart - Molly Malone
One of the greatest things about Dubliners is their wit, humor, and love of plays on words. The most tangible example I've found is the various statues around town that have been re-dubbed with playful poetic names. Here is a photo of the statue of Molly Malone (famed fictitious fishmonger) which Dubliners popularly call "The Tart with the Cart", most likely due to her buxom cleavage!! She's found on the corner of Grafton Street & Nassau Street near Trinity College.
Also, is the photo of "The Fag on the Crag" (statue of Oscar Wilde on a rock located inside Archbishop Ryan Park which can be seen from the site of Oscar Wilde's parent's home on northwest corner of Merrion Square).
Other examples, of which I have no photos - so sorry, are "The Floozie in the Jacuzzi" (it's been removed from its original location on O'Connell Street and is awaiting relocation - it was known as Anna Livia, in homage to James Joyce's nickname for the River Liffey) and "The Hags with the Bags" (a statue of 2 frumpy ladies with shopping bags at their feet near the Ha'penny Bridge), and "The Prick with the Stick" (statue of James Joyce located at the juncture of North Earl Street and O'Connell Street).
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Street Performers on Grafton Street
Here are a few more photos of street performers I came across on Grafton Street. The first guy was performing in front of the Laura Ashley store with a glass ball that he was rolling along his hands, arms, shoulders to some beautiful music. We saw him several times throughout the week so he's probably a regular.
The second guy was dressed up in period garb but I'm not sure what the purpose was except maybe as an advertisement for something? LOL - I'm not sure!
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... AKA Molly Malone..
A statue to earn a dubious but comical nickname is a monument at the bottom of Grafton Street representing Molly Malone, a fictitious fishmonger featured in Dublin's anthem, Molly Malone, who is shown, with ample cleavage, wheeling a cart.
The statue was erected to celebrate Dublin's millennium in 1988 (although Dublin was more than 1,000 years old at the time), and is generally known in Dublin as "The Tart with the Cart", "The Dolly with the Trolley", "The Trollop with the Scallop", "The Dish with the Fish" or "The Flirt in the Skirt"!
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Recognise this statue?
It's on O'Connell Street, in line with the Spire. So, what's so peculiar/different about it, you may be wondering, right?
After all, no harm in thinking of the Almighty, hey? Of course not, especially when you look upon Him as your Guardian Angel :)
The funny thing however, is the sign below it. Read it for your amusement, it reflects some Dubliner's version of the English language!!!
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Dubliners are a funny bunch of people....we tend to take whats called the "***" out of each other....which is basically just making fun of each other....so dont take offence to anyone taking the *** its our way of breaking the ice so to speak.
There are many accents in Dublin....north, east, west and south Dublin have there own accents.....any americans coming to Dublin will probably find this very strange......
Friday and Saturdays nites are big nites out in Dublin its the END OF THE WEEKEND its the two days of the week that we all get to let our hair down...we work hard and play hard......so dont be surprised to see all the bars and clubs packed every weekend......make sure you book in advance in any nice restauraunts youve noticed while strolling around the streets during the day :0)
watch out for kitties!
On my walk out to Kilmainham Jail, I encountered several of these silhouette signs, alerting residents and visitors alike that this is indeed kitty country. I didn't see any free-roaming felines but at least I was aware they might be crossing my path at any minute...
Formal, not snotty
I was walking along Merrion Row, when I came upon this proper looking gentleman who was manning the door at an upscale hotel. I asked him if I could take his photograph and he kindly obliged and began to engage me in a conversation. "Are you enjoying your visit to Dublin?" he said.
"I am. Very much," I replied.
We talked for a few minutes and he even suggested a good place for me to eat that was just around the corner (Foley's- see my restaurant tips). Thanks Bernard for your hospitality and advice.
Definitely visit Killmainham...
If you have any interest in Irish history, you definitely have to visit Kilmainham Jail. It is remarkable for being the biggest unoccupied jail in these islands.
The foundations were laid in 1786. The Dublin authorities fearing a spread of the French Revolutionary ideas to this county carried out further expansions to the original plans for the jail and delayed the official opening until 1786.
Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 were detained here. The names of Robert Emmet, Thomas Francis Meagher, Charles Stewart Parnell, the leaders of the 1916 Rising, DeValera and a host of other famous names are associated with the jail.
The dark corridors, thick iron doored punishment cells, the chapel, the hanging room and the execution yard can still be seen in their original conditon. The jail was filled with political prisoners that was to last for nearly 130 years.
The last prisoner to be held in Kilmainham jail was Eamon de Valera who was released on the 16th of July 1924. Executions carried out included the five Invincibles, found guilty of the murder of Cavendish and Burke in the Phoenix Park. The signatories of the 1916 Proclamation and most of the other leaders of the Easter rising were shot by firing squad in the stone breaking yard.
A visit to the jail includes a guided tour, an audio-visual presentation and an exhibition.It gives the visitor a dramatic and realistic insight into what it was like to have been confined in one of these forbidding bastions of punishment and correction
Some scenes of the movies like 'Michael Collins' and 'In the name of the Father' were filmed here as well.
as I said, you may visit...
Trinity College & its Old Libary where The Book of Kells is on display.The book is actually a Bible & was found in a small Irish place called Kells.
Work on the book began at the island monastery of Iona, Scotland.Following the Viking invasion of 805 the manuscript was brought to Kells, where work recommenced. Originally there were about 350 pages but the current Book of Kells has 340 leaves.
Each of the gospels begins with a page of huge initial letters,heavily decorated.The margins & blanks are filled with human or animal figures.The initial pages of the other 3 gospels are faced in each case by a page bearing the symbols of the 4 Evangelists Such a book was obviously not designed for everyday use, it was probably intended only for use by the celebrant in the public worship of the most important feasts.Not was this the work of any one person but rather an entire scriptorium. There are 4 parts to the Book and only 2 parts of it are ever on display, with the other 2 parts in storage.
In general,only 5 different colours, besides brown and black,were used in Celtic manuscripts.These were red, yellow, blue, green & purple.Most were obtained from minerals such as red lead & copper, others from plants.But, perhaps surprisingly, the precious metal,gold,was not used at all in the Book of Kells. The shiny golden colouring we do see was,infact,a pigment obtained from the mineral 'orpiment'.The Book Of Kells is most noted for its highly decorative illuminated text which,on most pages,features elaborate and brightly coloured letters at the beginning of each line or paragraph
Sorry what was that?
Funny how Ireland can have so many different accents being so small a country. Be prepared to ask people to repeat themselves a couple of times as the Dublin accent can be quite a stumper.
Another one I found rather difficult was the Cork accent and the Kerry accent takes some getting used to as well.
I'm no expert at accents and I'd probably be able to differentiate only a few but I'd like to try and list my favourite accents in Ireland:
1. Northern Ireland - I know you get different ones but to me they're all lovely. Only the Scottish accent beats it in my view.
2. Kerry - Most of my friends in Ireland seem to differ from me on this but I really do like the Kerry accent a lot.
3. Donegal - My girlfriend is originally from Donegal and even though she's lost the strong Donegal accent there's still a hint of it there and it's music to my ears.
4. Cork - Although it's quite hard for me to follow I will have to say that I rather like the Cork accent. It's almost melodical and I find it very intriguing.
n. Dublin - I don't know how many accents there are but if there are n accents then "Flat Dub" would be number n on my list. Having lived in Dublin for 2 years I've grown to deeply love the place and it's people but they have an awful accent. Only those London Cockneys are worse in my view.
True Blue Dubs are called 'Jackeens' by everyone else outside Dublin. Well Dubs call us Culchies, so we're not taking that lying down!
Cork people often call them Jackeen Langers...it's not a compliment ;-)
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