Archive for the ‘About Town’ Category

Volunteering at Culture Night 2010

It’s not long now until the Culture Night is back!

This year, on Friday 24 September, a staggering 132 venues will be welcoming late evening/night visitors across Dublin. In order to run the event successfully, the Temple Bar Cultural Trust is currently looking for volunteers to help out as:

  • Guides on the Culture Night buses
  • Assistants at Information Points
  • Assistant stewards with the outdoor events
  • Assistants at the Temple Bar Cultural Information Centre

If you would like to get involved please download an application form and forward to volunteer@templebar.ie or contact 086 041 2613.

Gooooo Leinster!

Sure it was raining this morning but the sky is clearing up. In Ballsbridge across from the RDS, life’s astirring with stands set up to greet throngs of fans and visitors of both Leinster and Ospreys. The blue flags in support of Leinster is evident (hey, home ground, of course!) in the neighbourhood, and soon enough the pubs in the area will fill up with excited fans.

This is our last chance of the season to win a silverware of some sort. After a disappointing Six Nations campaign, and crashing out of both Leinster and Munster in Heineken Cup at the semi-finals, we want a victorious game of the Magners League Grand Final! Let’s give Malcolm O’Kelly a triumphal sent-off before his retirement!

Goooooooo Leinster – come on boys, you can do it!

What’s your love temperature?

Have you checked out the Love Lab over at Science Gallery? Participated in the survey and tests? Contributed your face for the construction of the reputedly most beautiful average face? Or attended either the speed dating or scientific blind date event? If so, what’s your verdict?

Anyone who hasn’t yet drop by should do it now. The exhibition is winding down, with many of the once-off associated events over now – but there’s still the Kiss and Make Up body casting event tomorrow, which will be interesting to attend.

Love Lab ends next week, on Friday 12 March 2010. So go on, measure your love temperature there.

Mapping Dublin City Centre

I have a couple of friends visiting recently from Switzerland and France. As they were arriving late in the evening, they assured me that I wouldn’t need to meet them upon their arrival and we arranged to meet the next day instead. Which we did. And the very first thing they asked me – “where are all the maps next to the bus stops?”.

Ops. Come to think of it, we don’t have those in Dublin. In fact, we don’t even normally have maps of the bus routes at the bus stops (which is rather annoying actually), least of all to expect a map of the area in vicinity. Dublin is not, unfortunately, like many European cities, where lost tourists can consult large maps adjacent to bus stops or metro stations etc.

Pat Liddy and one of the tourist information traffic boxes (Photograph by Aidan Crawley)

Pat Liddy and one of the tourist information traffic boxes (Photograph by Aidan Crawley)

Luckily, a few weeks before that, the good folks of Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID) and historian Pat Liddy (who runs excellent walking tours – I’ve been on one with him and loved it) had just launched a new initiative of using traffic light boxes as historical and tourist information points, and guess what – there’s a great map on every one of them! Needless to say, I pointed those out to my friends so they know what to look for the next time they want a city map in a jiffy.

Living in the city and with the city centre area being relatively compact, this is something that I’ve never paid much attention to. But I can imagine the difficulty visitors may face, especially those who are staying only for a weekend or so and didn’t think they would need to get a map before hand. But now, we have these amazing traffic light boxes that educate and aid orientation. Fabulous.

There are 14 of these info-boxes around the city at the moment, including on Dawson Street/Trinity College junction, Dame Street, Temple Bar, O’Connell Street and Capel Street. Of course, there are more traffic signal boxes around the city. Those not used as info-boxes are now visually enhanced with decorative art coverings.

Personally, I like these changes and I’m sure many would agree with me. Do take a look at them the next time you pass by one, or better, recommend them to your visitors. After all the efforts put in to improve the city, we should rightly appreciate and make use of them. ;-)

Open House Dublin 2009

Interested in architecture? How would you like a peek into buildings that you normally would not have access to? Not only that – you will also be given guided tour and plenty of information to satiate your quench for details.

Open House Dublin 2009

Open House Dublin.

Organised by the Irish Architecture Foundation, Open House Dublin is back, and this year will run from 8-11 October 2009. Still some time to come, I know, but as some buildings/events require pre-booking, to get some heads up about it and to have some time to plan things over is good, right? And what’s nice is, they’re all free of charge!

Here’s how it works. Have a look at this complete programme – and you should see the day(s) when particular buildings would be open for visit. Click on the name to get further information. The colour code will tell you what type of building that is, i.e. if residential, or cultural, or commercial etc.

You will also see right away which are those which pre-booking is required. Pre-booking starts today (28th September), and operates on a first come first serve basis. They may be done online.

Happy Arthur’s Day

This video says it all – Guinness 250. Happy Arthur’s Day folks!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8yU9mJ5-bk[/youtube]

By the way, have you guys notice the “portrait” of Uncle Arthur in bars/clubs all over the country? The one whose eyes seem to follow you everywhere, and suddenly start to plug an iPod on to listen to music, before looking all bored and back to the portrait mode again? Such a cool marketing tool!

Ps: good luck getting a pint at your favourite local, especially if your local is one of the participating celebration venue, and you haven’t got a ticket. It’s madness in the city of the black stuff! ;)

Exhibitions and Merrion Square Heritage Open Day

Merrion Square (from Mount Street)

This weekend, I envisage tons of people heading out to Dun Laoghaire for the Festival of World Cultures. Getting out there by public transport is easy, either by DART or by bus (numbers 7, 7A, 46A, 746), and if previous years are any indication, it’ll be packed out there by about 2.30pm or so.

However, your cultural fill is not just out in Dun Laoghaire. Even within city centre itself, there are a couple of events of note.

First up, the People’s Photography exhibition of 2009 will be taking place both Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th, from 10am to 6pm, at St Stephen’s Green. Expect to see amazing photographs hanging along the railings around The Green, and talk to the photographers if there are particular techniques they use that intrigue you. Better, buy a photo or two for your home!

If arts and illustrations are more of your thing, then on Sunday, saunter over to Merrion Square. Merrion Square Open Air Art Gallery is a weekly event, from 10am to 6.30pm, where artists display their works for your perusal and to purchase without a middleman’s commission (read: more affordable prices). Organised by the Dublin City Council, the artists that exhibit there changes every so often, so there would be new artists and new style of artwork from time to time. Opens all year round on Sundays, unless the weather is absolutely crippling that they have to cancel it.

Speaking of Merrion Square. Ever wonder what Georgian Dublin is like, in terms of architecture, history, literature, music and fashion? This is your chance to get to know these aspects of Dublin better, as Merrion Square Heritage Open Day takes place on Saturday 29th August. You will get the opportunity to see properties that are normally closed to public, attend some tours and special events, and see this part of the city with a new eye. Bookings are recommended for some events, since the number of places are limited. Have a look at the full programme (in PDF) and get dialling at 01-7026165 to reserve your spots.

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Parlour – Point Village

Image Courtsey - Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

Image Courtesy - Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

LiD architecture firm recently won the competition for the redesign of the space at the Point Village. As you can see from the image above, its entirely based on reusing shipping containers as the main building components of the design. The benefits of such are obvious – environment friendly, no concrete, flexibility in changing the space to accommodate the artists/events, open space, like the LUAS connectivity and as LiD philosophy says “dissolving the distinction between building and landscape encourages a richer interaction and supportive relationship between the two. Indeed a simple and great concept design.

Using (or reusing) shipping containers for such building projects hasn’t really been mainstream, though similar projects are catching the attention of the city developers, also recently NYC’s waterfront development authority approved a similar but bigger project to convert one of the shipping docks into a shopping n art district (via inhabitat) and hopefully we’ll see more of such.

Bubble bubble!

There’s a new exhibition in the Science Gallery and it’s full of bubbly fun. No, not quite champagne bubbly, but more of sud and soap variety. Just bigger (enough to have you enclosed in it!), more colourful (have you seen the art works produced using bubbles as the medium of work?), and detailed (use laser to view the microscopic structure of a bubble’s surface).

Bubble

There are several special by Sam Sam, Steve Allman and others, of which pre-booking is required and the ticket varies betwee €5 and €7.50 each (10% discount for members of Science Gallery). On 29 August show by Steve Allman at 5pm, he will even attempt to break the Guinness World Record for creating the longest bubble chain!

For more exhibition information, check out the Science Gallery’s Bubble page, whereas for ticket information and booking, check the event page.

Opera in the Open 2009

Opera in the Open

Opera in the Open

A new season of Opera in the Open is back today at the Civic Office Amphitheatre at Wood Quay. Celebrating the 10th year of this initiative targeted at music, opera and cultural lovers, this year’s offering are as follows:

  • Thursday 06.08.2009 – The Magic Flute (Mozart)
  • Thursday 13.08.2009 – Julius Caesar (Handel)
  • Thursday 20.08.2009 – Don Pasquale (Donizetti)
  • Thursday 27.08.2009 – Hansel Und Gretel (Humperdinck)
  • Thursday 03.09.2009 – Idomeneo (Mozart)

All shows start at 1pm, and as usual, fingers crossed for dry lunchtime so that everyone can be out and enjoying these operatic offerings.

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