Experiencing Irish Culture

Now jaywalking with the best of the locals, we fell prey to The Rolling Donut again before dropping by the National Photographic Archive. (Hey, how are we supposed to resist flavors like pistachio salted caramel?)

Anyways, the National Archive houses a fascinating exhibition on the history of the magazine Hot Press, along with some exceedingly salty commentary such as “to keep them (ho, ho) straight” and “Built them up like the wall that Donald Trump has been promising.”

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The rest of the national (free) museums are closed on Mondays, but luckily we had a backup plan: the Cruinniú na Cásca, or the Creative Ireland initiative. A free festival to celebrate contemporary Irish culture and creativity, in Dublin, the event was split into four parts and scattered throughout the city center.

In St. Stephen’s Green, the tents were mostly geared towards children, as we should have guessed by the massive playground, but we did get to see a tinsmith at work. Strolling through the park, pink flower petals strewn across the grass like spring snow, we also stumbled across a giant community drum where children were having the time of their lives.

On our way to Smithfield Square, we happened upon the Georges Street Arcade, a gorgeous indoor street market.

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A weirdly fancy Spar grocery store allowed me to do some people-watching as we consumed lunch, and then our journey  to our next destination helped us realize that Dublin is pleasantly walkable because all the main points are so close to each other. At Smithfield, we listened to the music for a bit before poking around the tents, which featured hands-on science, slap poetry, and graffiti.

Confusion greeted us at Dublin Castle, where we wondered why three separate lines were gathered outside one tent. It turns out that you could printmake one of three designs onto a free tote bag, so A and I promptly joined a line for a free Irish souvenir, waiting about half an hour to discover the struggle of making art. Printmaking session complete, we joined the new fashion trend of the draping the tote bags around our necks to dry like sad aprons.

Finally, we watched some incredibly enthusiastic people dancing to Irish music at Custom House Quay, including a girl casually Irish dancing her way down the street. Inside the dance tent, others attempted the tango, though the highlight occurred outside the tent, where a security guard happily danced away with an imaginary partner. Guess they have to do something to relieve the boredom?

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