St Stephens Green Etc

Pond, fountains, walkways, gardens, playground, politics in the form of statues. I can’t help but compare the EU feeling US rhetoric about  how to ‘work out things with our neighbors.  I tried to imagine what it would be like  for the US to be involved in a similar sort of situation, not including shared money.  It’s just impossible in this time of closing borders to imagine the US  being a team player.  I want to share some large photos that caught my eye as I walked through St. Stephen’s Green. First, here’s a map to give you the lay of the land; I love maps.IMG_3324.jpgIMG_3410.jpg


This state of mind, of affirmation isn’t just on the serious of posters.  It’s in the streets. As I walk around I hear voices from all over the world.  There’s the expected French, Polish, Russian, German, Italian, American and English.  But there are more people from further away since I’ve been here last.  I’ve also heard Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, and other Asian languages.  I’ve met people from Scandinavian countries, other Eastern European countries, and I’ve seen a food explosion as well.


there is a whole row of these and it made me feel part of something good to read each one.

I’ve enjoyed an inexpensive Middle Eastern restaurant on Parliament Street called Zaytoon. When it first opened, it was in the edge of a somewhat seedy neighborhood and a posher one.  Zaytoon means Olive in Armenian, so it was a bit of home for me. Zaytoon has a sister restaurant now in Dublin 8, and the moure touristy Temple Bar district has grown around it.  It’s become an ‘in’ spot, but the prices remain good.  There are many places to buy middle eastern food; more than I could eat at. And There are varied types of So Eastern Asian restaurants and grocery stores– Thai, Nepalese,, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, to name some I’ve passed.  One morning this week I heard 14 different languages before lunch. It occurs to me that Dublin  is a not a ‘melting pot’,,, but more of a bowl together with our different  cultures, foods and dress.  No one is melting down.  We are ourselves, with our families, and we are together.

May all beings have full bellies

May all being live in peace


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Have you ever stumbled upon a place every once in a while, loved it, but then not had any idea where it was?   Back in the early nineties I walked past this building with my daughter the first time we were in Dublin.  She had just completed a chemistry course that was difficult, so the building struck a chord.  And then I didn’t walk past it for another five years, again I recognized it, but had no idea where I was.  HA!  It’s right around the corner from the Museum of Art!  I won’t loose this building again!  I wonder if other folks have an affection for a building ?  It’s sort of like Brigadoon. But I digress… While this is an old building, when I turned the corner I was flummoxed.  I thought the doors  in the museum were works of modern art, rather than doorways.   So I was afraid to touch them. A nice fellow that opened it up for me.  The building itself is well laid out and spacious.There’e a terrifying  glamorous elevator that is sort  of  like on Star Trek that circular thing they got onto  to ‘beam down” . That’s what it reminded me of, so when I opened the door and faced it, I quickly slammed the door shut and found another set of stairs to take.  It did look lovely, but I don’t do heights well.  I was dizzy at a distance!

In the gift shop on the ground floor there was a huge  art book by David Hockney.  I’ve never seen something like this!  As you can see, it’s for sale.

When I moved into an area  who did I bump into but the rest of WB Yeat’s siblings!

It turns out his sister published and was an artist ( both his sisters were).. This broadsite was put out by his sister and brotherIMG_4002.jpgIMG_4003.jpgIMG_4006.jpg

I had no idea the rest of the family was also up to their ears in creativity. Brother Jack has painting hung in the museum as well as working on this  broadsheet.  Of course the museum has many of the usual suspects one sees in  museums.  But the stained glass they have is quite remarkable.

IMG_4028.jpgIMG_4031.jpgIMG_4019.jpgWe have here Colm Cille, from Donegal and Iona, and  one of my favorite towns is named after him. Next we have Briget, and you can see behind her just how far her cloak spread.IMG_4017.jpg

Third, we have Saint Patrick. Yes, these dazzle the eyes.  They’d be easy to live with.



 The Connemara Girl. My Favorite painting in all of the museum.

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I was so dazzled by the length of this room and by all the chandeliers, and by just having met the frightening elevator, that I didn’t pay any mind to the enormous painting.  IMG_4034.jpg

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IMG_4013 2.jpgThis is my second favorite piece, after the Connemara girl, and so its a good place to leave you.  Of course, all the masters were represented as well, should you be ready to walk through yourself.

Best Regards,


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Seamus Heaney at the National Library


There’s very little that I’d say, being in the company of this man Rather, I’d let this exhibit speak for itself.  It’s quite moving and it’s deep; It’s like swimming in deep surf, even once in a while landing on a sandbar and catching your breath before plunging in again.









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Heaney’s poetry is timeless to me. It could be ancient.H e received this letter when I was in school and  becoming a writer seemed  impossible in my world.

IMG_4044 3.jpgIMG_4050.jpgAgain, I take great comfort is seeing his revision process on a number of poems; some went quickly, others over a longer span of time. In reading Heaney’s words, whether is was a love poem to his partner, a letter to a friend, or a note to a young student that wrote to him and sent along a drawing, Heaney was accepting and positive.  He seemed to have moved in a state of grace.IMG_4051.jpg




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This part of the exhibit propelled me back into my bedroom at night , praying for peace, for this long conflict to end. The newspaper headlines at the time were difficult, and they were up on the wall today, for example,  Tommy Sands dying on the hunger strike in 1981.IMG_4075 2.jpg

IMG_4081.jpgPhotos from my visit at the Listen Now Again exhibition, put on by the National LIbrary of Ireland at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre.

May all Beings Live in Peace

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A bit more WBYeats

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It’s not often a poet is given their own billboard, and right now in Dublin there are two ‘hot’ shows; Yeats, and around the corner Seamus Heaney.   I planned to visit both, but spent too long at the National Library… seduced by tea & scones as well as books.  I’ll walk you through with me. Remember the room is dark and I’m shooting with a simple camera at peculiar angles.IMG_3888.jpg


One of the more delightful things as a writer was to see someone like Yeats crossing things out and such. It was lovely to see so many drafts of particular poems. I also appreciated that he wasn’t a very neat writer.IMG_3889 2.jpg


Writing from his journal, including the poem The Stolen Child


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I learned that Yeats delved into astrology, and Georgie, his wife, did some automatic writing. His sisters were also busy, and some broadsides his sister is responsible can be seen at the Museum of Art, and likely soon at this website as well.


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IMG_3970.jpgIMG_3971.jpgOne could have stayed in the room for days to delve into these riches. Having only an afternoon, I hope you’ve found something delightful or at least interesting.


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A visit to Howth and Malahide Castle

Malahide Casle was in the Talbot family since- well, a very long time.They sided on the Catholic side of things in 1690, Battle of The Boyne, and still managed to keep the castle, but that’s too long a story for us here. The castle and gardens are now owned by the Irish government, and the tour there is quite interesting. Aidan brought the history to life, and you’ll see him here.IMG_3795.jpgThis carved oak wall is more than 800  years old.  It hides a ‘priest hole’ and altar behind it.  Aidan is pointing out the fine carving of the angel’s foot here.IMG_3800.jpgHeads of State sat in  in these chairs to settle somelarge international problems.  They include Maragaret Thatcher and Ronnald Reagan.

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From the castle I took the bus to Howth, just outside of Dublin.  Howth has a lovely harbor, a good sized fishing fleet, and a Starbucks. The rail system delivrs you from Dublin to Howth in a short time.IMG_3837.jpgIMG_1799.jpgIMG_3849.jpgIMG_1800.jpg

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Neighborhood Gardens


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The Gardens are like small like jeweled boxes filled with individual delights. This is mostly around the block from my house, and then up the road a bit where the florist shop is, near St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  Currently the breeze and rain are hitting the plam trees. The fronds makde a sound like a fan with something stuck in it as they move.

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Yeats, Poetry & Magic August 6

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You’ll never know what you’ll find when you visit the library or ask for help in  researching information. My daughter Jenny took this to an unusual place when she was eight years old. Her home work was to find the names of the counties in Massachusetts. She came up short and needed some help. Jenny called the Information operator and asked her. The operator explained that they were not actually there to give out information like a library, but she’d ask her  peers, and they helped to complete the homework.  Jenny was thinking out of the box, and when one goes into the Irish National Library one does well to think out of the box and celebrate the gifts that come. The people are kind. The building is gorgeous. There’s wonderful stained glass windows.

IMG_3631 2.jpgWindow on the stairwell of the library.

When your working at the library perhaps looking up your kin, you can  have a spot of tea and snack in the cafe as well as help with your genealogy. Upstairs you can research many things– just ask.  When you go downstairs your find the Yeats exhibit.


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Yes, these are my feet mirrored.  Sorry for the photo quality.  It was dark and all was under glass.


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I hope you enjoy this bit of Yeats as much as I did.  There as also a bit of information about his marriage, and many of his notebooks were there as well.


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The Neighborhood

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This shop is kitty corner across the road from me.  It’s owned by a family with several young children, and they’ve been sitting outdoors  in the good weather and playing.  The young son had on a Superman costume,  I restrained myself from speaking to the young Superman. I knew the orignal Superman, Mayo Kahn. He was a dear mentor and friend.


I spent some time today walking around the neighborhood  and food shopping Then I went up to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for– well.  That’s a story in silliness itself.  It’s a huge church, and I’ve walked by it many times, but hadn’t gone in. I thought I’d spring for Mass, as the sign outside said the morning would have the Eucharist, and in the afternoon they’d be a musical service.  I thought.  Cool!  The Armenian masses I’ve attended have had wonderful sacred music. I trotted up there for 3:15. Its huge, medival, and you could get lost in there.


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The music– the choir singing — was gorgeous. The organ music was lovely.  And the priest. The priest turned out to be a minister.  I couldn’t quite figure it out.  We were doing enough sitting and standing  o have me think we were being Catholic; I thought perhaps they’d left out the kneeling because the floors were hard tile, and they were being thoughtful.  We even said the Apostles Creed. We did a variation of the ” Holy holy holy” part of the mass, but communion didn’t follow.  The reading begin with something similar to ” And Jesus said”  how foolish you are to be —-‘ Right then I was startled out of my reverey.  I had never heard that kind of speech being attributed to Jesus. So today I went to my first Protestant service in Ireland. Mostly because I wasn’t paying attention. They have grand music there on a weekly basis, and at lunchtime they have hour long concerts as well. It’s well worth going in yourself to hear the organ.  And the choir will knock your socks off as well.


IMG_1679 2.jpgThe  Grand Canal is a short 5 minutes from the house.



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August 4 Two Shrines at the Museum and The Snapper

IMG_3696.jpgI began my day walking up to the north side of the Liffy to Capel Street.  I found Brother Hubbard Restaurant with a middle eastern style of menu, and with home-made breads.  When I first came to Ireland, there was great bread all over— the nice brown bread that was difficult to leave alone. I haven’t found any yet. It used to be served with tea or soups as a matter of course.

I continued north to the Gate Theater to see a new production of The Snapper, filled with a sell out crowd and done well.  On the way home I meandered through the shops near Henry Street, found a great bargain backpack at Penny’s, hommus and sweet potato flatbread at Dunnes Stores, and had tea & soup at Mark & Spencer for an early supper. I never would have put mint into pea soup but it’s lovely.  Finally home and resting.

I want to share a couple shrines that were at the museum visit yesterday.  I took a photo that was prove positive of what a  giant of a man Saint Patrick   was. You can imagine if this shrine was made for only one tooth how large his head and the rest of his body was.IMG_3497 2.jpg

Along with this was a shrine for Saint Brigit’s shoe as well, and she seems to have a small foot.IMG_3498.jpg

On the way home there were so many food choices, including my favorite Spanish meal, a tortilla.  I never would have thought to find this in a package!




Crossing the Liffy to to southside & back home.


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August 3 National Museum of Ireland & National Library

Today at the museum I visited some of the Bog Men.IMG_3387.jpgIMG_3386.jpgIMG_3384.jpgIMG_3385.jpg

This fellow who has the reconstructed face is  someone I’d look twice at walking past on the road.  In this case, the separate room with low lights seemed to have a countenance of respect. It felt a bit like walking into a wake to pay my respects, so I did. It feels like a sacred space.

Next I remembered the Olympic phrase Go for the Gold. When I look at the individual pieces it seems that I”m looking back in time first to the individuals who wanted the pieces made, and then to the crafts people who made such delicate pieces, who hammered the gold into leaf like thinness, who delicately inscribed story and design into the metal. I imagine the individuals wearing the peices, or the groups offering the precious items to the Gods.  And I wonder if sometimes those Gods might come into the museum to visit their pieces .IMG_3358.jpgIMG_3350.jpgIMG_3351



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And now time to return home, about a mile walk through town.IMG_3395.jpg

On the way through St. Stephan’s Green I passed this statue of Robert Emmett, who had a visitor, and I taught you’d perhaps enjoy it as much as I did.



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