Archive for the ‘Free Stuff’ Category

140 Characters

It’s all very intriguing and while the inspiration was drawn from Twitter, it is not about Twitter. 140 Characters is a series of short film clips, featuring 140 people in Dublin from all walks of life, answering one same question with answers that are each withing 140 characters or less. This is all part of the programme for Innovation Dublin 2009.

The blurb reads:

140 Characters

Shot over the course of one week in Dublin City, 140 Characters captures real people from Dublin City talking about their lives. The film features children, teachers, singers, travellers, nuns, fathers, mothers, dancers, hipsters, grandparents, dreamers, believers, cleaners, creative people & people who are creative with the truth.

Every person is different & every person gives a different answer.

In answering the question people reveal something about their lives, their community, their hopes. In listening to these people we can learn something about ourselves, our city and our society. 140 Characters becomes a snapshot that we can all identify with.

How would you answer the question? What was the question? Meet 140 Characters. Look at them and listen to their stories. You just might see yourself in there too.

That’s as much as I know, unless there’s a reader or two here who were tapped to participate in this project? In that case, will you be able to tell us what question you were asked? Pretty please? (Or was there some sort of confidentiality claused that you signed to?)

Otherwise, fret not. On Friday (that’s 16th October) there will be a free screening of 140 Characters in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar at 7.30pm. No tickets required, so just show up. Perhaps wrap up well, since the weather has gone a bit chilly in the last week or so.

Ps: if you watch the video on the official site, what do you think the little girl is talking about? I reckon, to get a role in the last Harry Potter movie. ;-)

Culture Night 2009

First of all, mark your calendar – 25 September 2009 : Culture Night. Over 120 venues will open their doors for your visiting pleasure, and in a large number of them, entertainment as well as some nibbles and drinks will also be provided. Hurrah!

culture night 2009

Main time frame – between 6pm and 11pm. But of course, there are exceptions with some early opening (e.g. Science Gallery, from 12pm), early closing (e.g. Mansion House, last tour 8pm), late closing (e.g. Gallery Zozimus, 12am), and limited hours (e.g. Dublinia, 6pm – 9.30pm).

Next, it’s time to put your organising skill in use. Download the programme (PDF file) and have a look at what you’re interested in. Some events require reservations, others simply turn up and you’re good to participate. Definitely no harm in listing out all that you want to do, plan your route and get in the booking(s) if applicable.

Look out for places that are normally ticket-paying or not open to the public – this is the perfect time to visit them without costing a pretty penny.

There will be 3 free bus routes, departing every 20 minutes from Bachelor’s Walk, Aston Quay and Trinity College, that brings you from one spot to another within the route.

There are also 50 free Luas tickets (adult 1-day all zone) available for travel on 25 September, so that culture hunters can head out to Airfield in Dundrum, or to Ranelagh, where some of the events will be held. The tickets are allocated on a first come, first serve basis, at the Temple Bar Cultural Information Centre, 12 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 from Thursday 24th September at 9am.

A few more things that caught our attention:

Now, seeing that this is the 4th year the Culture Night is being organised (hence there’s a bit of experience there now), we wonder if in the next year or two, the Culture Night will extend beyond 11pm/12pm closing time and extend the hours till the next morning? You know, like Nuit Blanche or Lange Nacht der Museen, effectively giving everyone a chance to go to more than just a couple of places and not having to rush like crazy in order to cram in more.

Fingers crossed.

Tickets Giveaway : The Late Late Troll Show

The Bulmer’s Comedy Festival is starting in 2 days, and we have a pair of tickets to The Late Late Troll Show to giveaway.

The Toll Trolls, M and 50, are based, well, underneath the M50 toll bridge but for a change, they’re going to entertain the crowd at the Olympia. It’s going to be madness and off-the-wall comedy, with special appearances by the 98 Morning Crew, including Dermot Whelan from RTE’s “The Panel”!

Here’s a clip of the Toll Trolls, having a chat with the former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRJozwvdvrM[/youtube]

And another, talking about the movie “I Love You, Man”.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPIjsl3oMJE[/youtube]

The Late Late Troll Show will take place on Friday 11 September 2009, at the Olympia Theatre. Show starts at 8pm, and the doors open at 7.30pm.

To win the pair of tickets, leave a comment below before/by 5pm, Tuesday 8th September 2009. One lucky winner will be drawn randomly and contacted by email. Good luck folks!

Too many festivals!

The next 7 weeks will be buzzing with numerous festivals going on in the city. We are all going to be spoilt for choice – and possibly also go broke from paying for tickets to all the tempting offerings. But, there are still some events which are free, and some which are free but ticket-requiring.

The only key is, if tickets are required (be it free events or not), get them as soon as possible because once they’re gone, they’re gone!

(Scroll over the banners to get to the relevant festival homepages)

Heritage Week 2009

Festival of World Cultures 2009

Fringe Festival 2009

Bulmers Comedy Festival 2009

Mountains to Sea Festival 2009

UB Dublin Theatre Festival 2009

There you have it, the major events that will keep you entertain (and out of trouble?) between now and early October.

A couple of things to note. The festivals that boast some free events are those during the Heritage Week, the Festival of World Cultures and DLR Mountains to Sea Book Festival. For the Fringe Festival, there are several workshops which are ticketed at €30 each, places are limited and can only be booked either in person at the box office or by phone.

Something for the Tweeps : @HeritageWeek, @FoWC, @dublinfringe, @DubTheatreFest and last but not least, @DUBMetblogs.

Urban Circus Skill Workshops

urbancircusskill

How quickly time passes and it’s already mid-August. The Leaving Certificate results were out, the students are now getting college offers and soon will be embarking the journey of their third level education. As for the young ones, school will be starting soon enough but before that, they should have a little more time for summer fun.

Roll in the Urban Circus Skill Workshops.

Organised by Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID), 2 weekends of free workshops will be taking place at Wolfe Tone Park (next to Jervis Shopping Centre). More precisely, 22-23 August and 29-30 August, from 2pm to 5pm.

The workshops will be conducted on a walk-in basis (so no tickets, no reservations) and they include juggling, Diablo, tightrope walking and stilt walking. There will be a couple of face painters around too to splash some colours on the faces of the young and merry. :-)

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.

Dublin sand sculpture exhibition 2009

Dublin Castle will be playing host to a series of sand sculpture from 7-27 August, themed under “Irish Literature”. At the moment, the courtyard is being transformed by tons of sand transported from Rathcoole and you can watch the artists at work.

I happened to pass by the area a couple of weeks ago when they had just started working on a couple of pieces (yes, the preparation for this exhibition is 2-3 weeks long!) so here are a couple of sneak peek shots.

Sand sculpture 1

Sand sculpture 1

Sand sculpture 2

Sand sculpture 2

I can’t seem to find get further information from Dublin Castle website (the link appears to be broken) so I guess for the full picture of the exhibition, it’s time to take a stroll over to the courtyard of the castle and have a look at it yourself.

If you find yourself with some spare time at hand after that, why not pay a visit to Chester Beatty Library (which is free to enter) and admire the excellent collection of oriental arts and other cultural-related exhibits? Also, the Silk Road Cafe at the Chester Beatty Library is well-worth sitting down to, as they serve delicious Middle-Eastern food.

June Free Walking Tour

When we travel, we often take the time to unearth information about the cities that we’re visiting, perhaps read up about them on the guidebooks or Wikitravel, and so forth. However, when it comes to where we actually live, how much do we really know about the sights that earn the admiration of many? Or do we merely rush past on a day-to-day basis in our hurry to get to work, to go home, to attend meetings and the likes?

Dublin City Business Association (DCBA) and historian Pat Liddy has teamed up to offer free walking tour of the city centre of Dublin every Sunday throughout the month of June, starting at 11am under the clock at Clerys. The 1-hour-45-minutes tour promises to be informative and entertaining!

The O'Connell Monument

The O'Connell Monument

Do you know that there used to be 9 cinemas on O’Connell Street alone?
Do you know the names of the winged statues (i.e. the angels) on O’Connell Monument?
Do you know about the privileges of scholars in Trinity College?
Do you know how reasonable it was to buy the Mansion House in the old days?

The answers to the above questions are some of the nuggets of information that I’ve learned just last Sunday when Mo and I went on the walking tour with Pat Liddy. We may have live in this city for sometimes now, but there are still things that we are unaware of, or failed to notice even!

What I appreciate most about the tour is that it’s not just about dispensing facts and figures. It is about seeing the city in terms of historical value, to pause and take note of the subtle beauty of the monuments. I also thoroughly enjoy the dynamic interaction between Pat and the participants of the walking tour. The genuine interest from everyone in attendance made it all the more gratifying. Of course, we were also extremely lucky that Sunday morning was absolutely sunny and gorgeous, with clear blue sky.

I hope you take advantage of this wonderful offer in the upcoming Sundays. And I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you get lovely weather to go with it too. I wish for you to enjoy the city as much as I have!

If you’re hankering for more walking tours but trying to keep an eye on your pocket, here’s something that you’ll appreciate. Dublin City Council are organising a series of free walks around the city – not always in city centre though – so you should definitely have a look at the schedule of Let’s Walk and Talk! and participate.

Happy walking. :-)

Reporting back : Kobe Burger

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I was going to take advantage of buy-1-get-1-free burger offer by the Gourmet Burger Company in Ranelagh and checked out the Kobe beef burger. Did I go? Of course! ;-)

Kobe beef burger

Kobe beef burger

I was right, this particular item on the menu comes at a rather steep price tag. At normally nearly €40 a piece, it was really a good thing to have the promotional voucher that reduces the bill for my friend and I to €20 per person.

Served stacked high with slices of beef tomatoes, red chard and onion, with side garnish of cornichon and an amazing truffle wasabi dressing (with a hint of sesame oil in my opinion; and I liked it so much that I actually asked our waitress for a small serving to bring home which I had with some spinach salad and it was still so very delicious!), the Kobe burger was perfectly cooked to be just slightly pink in the center. The meat was tender and there definitely is a different to the texture of a typical burger patty. The effect of massaging the Kobe cattles in the first place, or good preparation and cooking, or both? I suspect it’s a combination of the two.

The previous voucher may have expired but there is now a new voucher on offer, with similar conditions as previous. Just print the Gourmet Burger Company’s 2 for 1 voucher and present it at time of order. The voucher is valid from 8th May to 8th September 2009, on Mondays/Tuesdays/Wednesdays (except Bank Holidays) from 12pm to 10pm. I think I’m going to head over there again soon, to try their other specialty burgers.

Go on. Give it a try. This is a also a good chance to explore a little of Ranelagh, which is a vibrant, small village that is less than 20 minutes walk from Grafton Street. Otherwise, Luas goes right through Ranelagh in just 3 stops from St Stephen’s Green. Bon appétit!

A great leap (or drive) forward

Trip.Mi

A new website has just gone online, offering a secure and sensible way to arrange car-pooling in Ireland. It’s well designed and well thought out, and aside from the obvious benefits of sharing expenses and reducing carbon footprints, any initiative that promotes community-minded solutions like this has to be a good thing.

So go- pool, share, and enjoy!

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