Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Dateline: Dublin, Ireland 03/18/09 Verdant & Impertinent Impressions

The day after the prance of saints and drunkards is lit by a spring-like sun...the originator of sprung rhythm, Gerard Manley Hopkins, lies in state across the street in Glasnevin is even more difficult now to be a vegetarian in this city, a city whose first vegetarian restaurant opened in 1905...the city planners keep ransacking the country's literary heritage for their kitsch constructions, including the soon-to-be-completed Samuel Beckett Bridge (!) and the Sean O'Casey walk-way...Trinity College undergraduates still seem an obnxious lot and the gruff librarians and staff at the National Library are actually quite friendly once you start up the conversation...trouble is brewing in the North; on the television one sees images of discontented youth who would've been wee babes in 1998 during the final days of the, they're hurling petrol bombs and taking to the streets with raised fist and voice...North Dubliners are still more authentic than their southside counterparts...Hip-hop performed in Irish is godawful...many of the bountiful immigrant population now have well-polished Irish brogues...tabloids sprout like shamrocks and the bookstores are archiving pop novels for the chick lit and cloak and dagger set...some of the most wonderful spots for book-browsing have been torn down to make way for the New Dublin but, alas, the green currency has gone yellow like a dried field...everything is flux and sensation in this metropolis but you can still purchase a gorgonzola sandwich at Davey Byrne's off Grafton Street and pretend you are like Joyce's Leopold Bloom and it's June 1904 all over again.. J/C