Friday, October 1, 2010

From Calatrava to Hot Limos - a Cultural Clash in our Capital City

I'm off to Dublin in the morning with teen daughter and three of her pals - for a day trip. I have some things to do there so I will let them loose in the city to mooch around the shops and do some shopping - what they love to do in the city. Dublin is a nice easy place to wander safely around in the centre, once they are all together, and but a bus ride away from me.

The mobile phone access makes me feel a lot more relaxed about letting them off the leash for a few hours. Who knows, I might even get some nice photos for a post. There are some wonderful new and iconic buildings in Dublin, and there's even a Big Wheel - which the Irish Times has been asking readers to suggest names for it, which brought out some good Dublin wit - along the lines of the London Eye albeit half as big.

I'd love to see the Grand Canal Theatre designed by Daniel Liebeskind, which rivals the Point - or the 02 as it's now Pointlessly called - I hate this branding of buildings in the name of sponsorship advertising. Landsdowne Road Stadium has been rebuilt and rebranded as the Aviva Stadium after the eponymous insurance company, much to the chagrin of fans of rugby and Ireland home soccer matches who will always carry a bit of Landsdowne Road in their hearts. Middle son is attending the Offset Design Exhibition/Mecca Linkthis weekend in the Grand Canal Theatre, so he'll have an intimate encounter with it.

The new Convention Centre has a lovely barrelly facade which looks out on the River Liffey near the new Samuel Beckett Bridge which I haven't yet seen - it's the second Santiago Calatrava Bridge in Dublin. The middle photo shows the bridge with the Convention Centre in the background. (image courtesy of The bottom photo was taken by me in February 2009 and shows the barrel of the Convention Centre as it was still being built. The Beckett bridge is nowhere to be seen as it only floated into position December 2009.

What I wanted to share with you on this post was this great photo of a hot pink stretch limo - snapped while sitting at traffic lights in the oldest part of the city - The Liberties, which dates back to Viking Dublin (988 or thereabouts if we can believe those who celebrated Dublin's Millenium in 1988!). I'm sure the happy lady hanging out the window waving her champagne glass was getting in the mood for a great night on the tiles and I wondered was it a mad hen party heading down to Temple Bar to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting public!

Enjoy the photos - there'll be updates if I get a chance to be snaphappy tomorrow.


Stephanie V said...

Oh, Catherine, wait until one of those sponsor-named buildings undergoes a sponsorship change. We've had our ice hockey arena renamed recently with number 3 identity. I have noticed that we are all quite adaptable though and segue very smoothly from one to the next.
Love that pink limo!

Marguerite said...

Sounds like a lovely day that you have planned. Your photos are fab and my fave is the pink limo shot. Would love to be in it right now! Have fun!

FoodFunFarmLife said...

Have a wonderful day, & look forward to reading about it once you get back. Love the hot pink stretch limo !

Mimi said...

Hi Catherine, hope you had a lovely day in Dublin; it will be over by the time you read this. Looks good weatherwise anyway!
I love the Samuel Beckett bridge, for some reason it made me think of Sydney when I walked across it, and also gave me a feeling that my city had grown up.
And Millenium Year was the year we got married 91988, not 988 ha ha!)
Love the pink limo!

Pooch Purple Reign said...

loving that pink limo!! wishing i was inside along for the ride to wherever...
i loved dublin. had lots of fun there

Catherine said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting!
Stephanie - yes maybe we'll just get used to the Aviva Stadium and then it'll be taken over by Axa or some merger will happen that'll change the name to something ghastly! We do adapt eventually but this is not opposition to change, just railing against the corporate culture prevailing everywhere!

Marguerite - the day was interesting as I had work to do there I didn't really get to sightsee the places in the photos. There'll be another day!

Lynda - I will write a quick post on the day - it was interesting to say the least!

Mimi - the weather wasn't great Saturday and I was busy but it was nice to go there -I always enjoy a day in Dublin even though there's often work involved or trade union meetings to attend!Dublin has improved so much with the nice architecture and the bridges are beautiful - I love the two Calatrava bridges, and I love what's happened at the docks with all the development on the way to the Point/O2. I remember 1988 millenium year taking eldest son age 6 (now a dad himself) to the Viking Museum in St. Audeon's church I think, it was very authentic!

Laura - thanks for your first post comment and yes I love that pink limo too! When did you go to Dublin? I used to live there, work there and was a student there so I have only started looking at it through tourist eyes since I started blogging and taking photos! The boom year improvements are a thing of the past but their legacy will live on in the nice bridges and buildings, but the excess of those years won't be missed - lots of tacky apartment buildings at ridiculous prices now going for knock-down rates. And there's a ban on one-bedroom apartments as they are seen as intrinsically anti-social.

All the best, Catherine

Ann said...

Just loving the pink limo. Enjoyed all the photos really. Hope you had a good trip and the girls enjoyed the shopping.

Michael Steinberger said...

Nice photos of the pink limo, beckett bridge and the Convention centre.
Although I agree with your statement:
"Dublin is a nice easy place to wander safely around in the centre"
I would still urge caution as Dublin has its fair share of thieves, pickpockets and muggers like every other city. But if you take sensible precautions and don't wander too far from the beaten track you will be perfectly safe.

Catherine said...

Thanks Michael - that was a few months ago - of course you are right about Dublin and safe wandering - I was referring to the fact it was easy to roam around the shops and the centre by day for the gang of teen girls I had in tow - they could be let loose and not get lost between Grafton and Henry Street shops. I used to live in Dublin years back and walked and cycled everywhere at all times of day and night - needs must! But I'd balk at walking home at night to Drumcondra from the City Centre nowadays. I love the Bridge and the Convention centre building - and only saw it up close last week on the way to the Clapton concert in the O2 - my next post!