Archive for the ‘About Town’ Category

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.

Midsummer in Temple Bar

The longest day of the year will be upon us once more soon. In conjunction with this little magical time (I’ve always associate midsummer with fairies and whimsical tales for some reason – I blame Shakespeare!) the Temple Bar Cultural Trust is celebrating the summer solstice with a number of events in Temple Bar.


Some of the events include fire entertainment, special walking tour, open air movie screening and maypole dancing! Click here to view the list of programmes. The list is quite impressive and I hope you have lots of fun here, particularly if you’re seeking alternative to Street Performance World Championship.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Street Performance World Championship 2009

Yes, the street performers are back! After a couple of days of fun down in Cork last weekend, they’re now in Dublin for 4 days of entertainment and voting for the best of the street performances!


The Street Performance World Championship is now in its 4th year running, and it gets bigger and better every year. As usual there are multiple areas/stages around Merrion Square for your viewing pleasure, along with some food stalls to get some snack if you feel the pang of wanting-something-to-munch-on.

The one thing that I thought is a shame to be left out from the festival calendar is the Bravosho. Bravosho was held in previous years to give people a chance to review several street performers in a 2-hours performance session at the Dublin Castle.

Nonetheless, the weekend fun look set to be a great one. The weather forecast isn’t looking too bad either. Just a tad windy perhaps so wrap up well. And I’m giving a word of warning to all the fellas – if you’re watching Bendy Em, be careful not to be called as one of the two volunteers. You may end up freezing with every wind blow, as she’s going to take your shirt away! ;-)

Well done all Flora mini-Marathon runners


The Top 5

Fun Runners

Fun Runners

It was a beautiful day for the mini marathon. Well done to all the 50K runners. Also big cheers to all people (120) who ran for Camara Charity.

More pics on If you are in any picture and want a copy of it, send me an email.

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. :-)

What’s your Salsa move?


Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.” ~Samuel Beckett

It’s coming up to summer no matter what the weather is telling us right now (seriously, what’s with all the rain in the past week?) and there are plenty who are hankering for some sunshine, a chance to host a BBQ, grab a picnic at the park, attend music festivals and of course, to dance.

Salsa clubs are becoming the places to go to have some rhythmic fun. With venues mushrooming all over the city, the salseros that form part of this salsa circuit must be delighted to be in such spotlight.

Before you get to the level to dance salsa freely, there are steps that you ought to master and for this purpose, there are numerous salsa classes somewhere in the city. No more excuses that a particular day doesn’t suit – there are classes just about everyday! Go with friends, partners or on your own, it doesn’t matter at all. It is not difficult to find classes where there are nearly as many guys as the ladies, if not more. I kid you not.

Unless you’re following specific series of dance courses (e.g. 6 weeks Beginners) most of the beginners, improvers and intermediate classes are organised as drop-in classes. You can join any day, whenever suits. And you won’t even need to attend in consecutive weeks. Most classes are charged at €10 each for one hour, with some salsa club time later on to continue dancing and practicing as you wish.

Here’s a list of the best known salsa class providers in Dublin and the days of their main salsa clubs:

Do you know of any others that I’ve missed? Then let me know and I’ll get the list updated. Go on, put your dancing boots on and put a wiggle in your step. You will have a blast and catch the fever. ;-)

Dublin in Selective Colors

Seen on Upper Camden Street, by Maser. I did a bit of ‘selective coloring’ on it to bring out the colors. You can see the original one here.

Celebrating Handel 250


The first time when I heard about Handel Festival in Dublin, I was admittedly perplexed. Handel was German, wasn’t he? Indeed he was. What I didn’t know at that time was, he first performed his famous Messiah in Dublin, all the way back on 13th April 1742, at a music hall on Fishamble Street.

Aha, mystery solved.

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death, which took place exactly 17 years and a day to Messiah’s performance in Dublin. Therefore, Temple Bar Cultural Trust in partnership with Dublin City Council and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism is bringing forth Handel Festival between 13th and 19th April. That’s less than 2 weeks from now for you to acquire tickets to various ticketed events, some free, some not. And not all events are ticketed so you could still catch something without prior booking.

Check the festival programme here. If you can, do not miss “Messiah on the street“, which will be performed on Monday 13th April, at 1pm. Listen to the masterpiece that was composed in neck breaking time of 24 days. Rain or shine, the show will go on.

Jack and Tom and Marian


Seen on a bin near Jurys Hotel. Photograph by Jane Ruffino

Dublin’s Interesting’ness on Flickr

Photo Courtesy (with permission): dElay Flickr Profile

This is one of the most interesting (‘ness flickr measure for being on top) and also one of most favourited shot when you search for the term ‘Dublin’ or ‘Ireland’ on flickr, by Dominik Banasik. Among others, personally, this one particularly strikes me, bit rainy, flip flops, beer included (holding a bottle), not very apparent, n great composition. Rightly titled ‘After Party’ by Dominik, the shot was taken in a Dublin park near temple bar (guessing st. stephen’s green, the bench is pretty cool too).

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