Midvale School for the Gifted Alumni Association

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I See Seven Towers, But I Only See One Way Out

I had this song running through my head all day yesterday, as I took a whirlwind tour of Dublin and a few of its major attractions. Even from the Guinness Storehouse's Gravity Bar, with its nearly 360° view of the city, and a corresponding map pointing out sites of interest and Joyce quotes floating in the air, Bono's "Seven Towers" likely would not have been memorialized in such a positive, touristy spot. Whether they even exist anymore remains a mystery to me.

What I did see of Dublin reminded me of a baby New York City, particularly in comparison to where I live and where I've been living here in Ireland. Dublin is grittier, busier, a little more demanding. I'm sure many American tourists love Dublin, and the sites I saw were wonderful. But, my relationship with NYC is fine in small doses, and I immediately had that reaction to Dublin. I mean, IMMEDIATELY. Sometimes, you just get a sense about a city. San Francisco was like that for me; I felt instantly at home there. Los Angeles made me anxious. NYC, I have to really structure our interactions (not unlike some friends I have either). Galway, once I got over my initial homesickness, is a comfortable place for me. The pace is busy, but not frenetic. There are great activities to do, bands to see, culture to immerse yourself in simply by walking down Shop Street or over to Monroe's. I was surprised at how much I wanted to get back to Galway after a mere 24 hours in Dublin.

And, I had fun in Dublin, despite the TORRENTIAL rain that plagued us Saturday morning. Friday night, my friend Kathleen picked me up at the train station, drove us through the city to her lovely apartment. We had cheese and crackers and wine, then headed out to meet both some of her friends, and two of mine from the program who were also in Dublin. The groups merged easily, and we had drinks at the Palace Bar, in the infamous Temple Bar area of Dublin. We moved onto Mexican food, where we closed the joint, had margaritas and shots, then moved on AGAIN to a nightclub, where one of Kathleen's other friends was holding court. Up by 9:00 am, and onto The Book of Kells at Trinity College, a quick jaunt down Grafton Street, lunch at a crepe place, and the Guinness Storehouse, which, even if you're a Bud drinker, you need to see this museum. Really, really well done, and a free pint at the end, in a glass-walled bar overlooking Dublin. Kathleen was then participating in an ocean swim race, so she and I drove over to Dun Laoghaire (Done Leary, to pronounce), where the skies had finally cleared, and I walked along the seaside with Kathleen's friend Niabh in warm temperatures and bright sunshine. A quick bite to eat, and I was back on the train. Glad to have met some great people, glad to have seen what I did, but also, glad to be going back to Galway, where I definitely feel more at home.

But U2 haunted me all day. I suppose it's only normal if you're touring Dublin. It is their home, after all.

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Midvale School For the Gifted

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    "So I walk like I'm on a mission, 'cuz that's the way I groove. I've got more and more to do, I've got less and less to prove. It took me too long to realize that I don't take good pictures 'cuz I have the kind of beauty that moves..." Ani D.
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