Category Archives: City

It’s easy being green: What St. Patricks Day 2015 looked like

SAM_0766

Hello y’all!

It feels like ages since I’ve blogged, but that’s probably because it has been ages since I blogged.

What have I been up to? Dance training, starting and finishing Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Orange Is The New Black), job interviews, reading some new fun stuff and celebrating Paddy’s Day. ‘Cause hey, when in Ireland, do as the Irish do.

Last year I spent the 17th of March  on the couch – surrounded by Lemsip, tissues and glasses of flat 7UP (the famous Irish cure-everything). Therefore I decided that this year, everything should be green but my face.

I met up with a friend in town to watch the parade in O’Connell Street, right smack in the middle of Dublin City Center. But the thing that is actually most fun on St. Patricks Day is just watching the green crowd. People who try to walk and   apply temporary tattoos of shamrocks and rainbows and harps to their face at the same time. People who have completely leprechaunized themselves. People who have GoPro’s glued to the green hat they are wearing while holding a selfie stick to be sure to capture every shade of green around. It was pretty unbelievably amazing.

As it was a tad cold and quite hard to see the parade (I saw most of it throw camera screens of people a few rows in front of me), my friend and me decided to watch the last half of the parade on TV, followed by the Irish movie “The War of the Buttons”, a movie I’d totally recommend.

Cheers Paddy.

SAM_0778

SAM_0773

SAM_0785

SAM_0786

SAM_0769

SAM_0776SAM_0774

10 Ways in which Dublin has changed me

Aston Quay, Dublin

Aston Quay, Dublin

Having moved to Dublin from the Netherlands a bit over a year ago, people sometimes ask me if I have changed anything or much since. In general, I don’t think I’ve changed all that much (although I’m also not a 100% sure if I’d be the best judge of that). But there are some things I do differently now, and here’s a list of them.

1. I kiss people less often.
Okay I should probably explain that right? In the Netherlands it’s custom to kiss each other three times on the cheek (left, right, left) if you haven’t seen the other person in a while, if it’s someone’s birthday, if you’re happy to see someone, or just because you feel like it. In Ireland, I still haven’t really discovered THE way of greeting someone. I think it’s two kisses, but not always and since I was so used to three, I’ve had quite a few awkward encounters in which I was suddenly kissing the air or bumpin’ heads.
Instead, I now opt for a high-five or just spread my arms like wings ready for take-off, so people know hugs-a-comin.

2. Money talk.
Dutchies tend to be a lot more secretive about money stuff. Here, straight up questions like “What did that cost?” are a lot more common and I’ve become more open discussing money stuff too. “12 euro on sale, New Look.”

3. My parsnip intake has increased by a 100%.
It’s just not a hip and happening vegetable in the Netherlands. Good story.

4. I walk a lot, lot more.
Even when I had a bike here, I opted for walking most of the time as not all the roads are bike proof. Also, the public transport is complicated and terrible.
Walking is the way to go.

5. A sea of tea.
I drink more tea with more milk, and leave the teabag in my cup so it gets nice and strong. This has nothing to do with someone telling me that “taking your teabag out is for wimps”, btw.
Also, I bulk buy tea now. In the Netherlands there’s usually a lousy 20 teabags in a packet, over here the small packets contain 80, and regular packets of tea 160.
Favourite tea? Barry’s. Runner up? Tetley’s.

6. Face paint.
I’ve started using a lot more make-up. Women tend to wear more make-up here, especially in or for their jobs, and I started to feel shabby and bare without any, as if I had put less effort in.
Also, eyebrows are life.

7. I play the lotto now.
Had never played it until moving here. The Irish are partial to a gamble and there’s countless betting shops about. Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Boyle Sports. I’m not even sure if those type of shops are a thing in the Netherlands.
Since in Dublin prices-for-everything are rocketing through the roof (just an example: 6,50 euro for a pint, no problem), I might as well join in on the hunt for a pot of gold. Also, there’s a bit more of a buzz around the lotto here. Especially when it’s announced there’s been a big local win, there’s quite some speculation going on.

8. I eat more pureed soup.
In the Netherlands soup is usually almost see-through with big chunks of vegetable. I enjoyed the Irish pureed soup a lot more, until that time someone said they thought it resembled baby food. Oh.

9. Jaysus.
A few classic local expressions are now incorporated in my day to day vocabulary. The favourite among the dance mums in the class, “Ahh jaysus”, was first to escape my mouth. “Ahh lads gowan…” and “that’s gas” followed soon after.

10. “This will make for a good story.”
The Irish attitude towards bad luck and unexpected events made me more relaxed about certain situations. I’ve seen two of my teachers chuckle over a lost house key: “Oh dear, what are we to do now?” A group of dancers had their car break down on their way to the World Championships and all the while laughing they told me the adventures they went through to get there in the end. “It wouldn’t be a proper journey without at least one car breaking down, right?”
Been on a pub crawl with a group of friends and lost several items (a phone, a coat, money, glasses)? No problem, we’ll just do the whole pub crawl again tonight and get our belongings back.
Things that would upset or annoy a lot of people, the Irish don’t seem to be bothered about too quickly.
Why worry about things you can’t control? They are adventures and they’ll make for a good story.

11 Pictures Showing Why Dublin Is The Sassiest Of All Capitals

I’ve lived in Dublin for a year and a half now, and as the snapshots on my phone here will suggest, there is no city quite like it.

Stay epic, you!

onesieThe fashion. I mean look at this gangster in his onesie, basically winning at life.

st patricksday
And we go the extra mile on March 17th (St. Patricksday).

blow
Organizing unforgettable  birthday parties is no problemo.

bath
And cleanliness is like, everything.

knobs
Naming shops? Dublin likes to keep it real.

20141109_123242
Real.

fathead
People leave sweet lil messages…

20140726_131635
And are not bothered to mind each other’s kids. Cute.

perki
Dublin serves some classy food as well.

judy
See? Oh… Why Judy, you so silly.

mick
And after a long day of being epic, Dublin sleeps peacefully with some help of one of his local legends, Mattress Mick. Good on ye Mick.

Now, what’s the craic with you?

Oh honey, I went to this hipster pizza place near Temple Bar and saw that it was good

SAM_0246

Reviewing Skinflint, Crane Lane 19, Dublin 2

Around two months ago my colleague Izzie and me decided to do something completely out of the ordinary; instead of planning the usual friday-after-work-drinks (that I usually miss because of dance class), we decided to start painting the town red on a Monday. To give the Monday that extra bit of umpf that it so desperately needs (seriously who likes Monday?). After skipping to the closest pub we sat down for a jacket potatoe, some profiteroles and approximately 2 glasses of white Pinot Grigio each. One more than we planned. Thus, Pinot-Monday was born.

After a few visits to this same shabby pub, that we found served a very dodgy kind of salmon, we decided it was time for a change of venue. Izzie proposed Skinflint, a hipster-ish pizza restaurant in the center of Dublin. I had my doubts. I knew their sister-restaurant Jo’Burger and wasn’t sure how I felt about their drinks menu, that mainly consists of fruit/herbed bubbled water. If there was no Pinot, how could we honour our modern traditions? “No” wrote Izzie to me in the work chatbox, a strictly professional tool. “Everywhere has wine.” My doubts cleared instantly.

Skinflint can be found on Crane Lane in Dublin 2, close to a pub called The Snug. You have to take a double look cause you might not see it the first time, it’s small-ish and the decorum doesn’t really scream attention from the outside. The atmosphere is lovely, the music funky and the food tasty.  We ordered cheese sticks as a starter and they were just savage. The pizzas have girl names and so it happened that I ordered a Celine for the main course (a pizza with rocket, mushrooms, parmesan and garlic confit). In Skinflint, every table has big bags of napkins on the table and it is only while you are eating your mains that it becomes clear why. Next to salt and pepper you can find honey as a third condiment on your table, and you are meant to eat that with your pizza. Yeah, let that sink in.

Personally, I find pizza and honey the best combination since… Harry & Ron? Ant and Dec? Chocolate and peanuts? It was amazing and I’ll be returning to get myself some more of that.

The only things about Skinflint that I didnt like as much were the chairs that weren’t very comfy and the fact that the pizzas weren’t very cheesy. Though the fact that they were very thin and crispy (which I prefer above doughey pizzas) almost made up for that completely.

Pizza prices range from 8 to 13 euro, and it’s 2 for 1 on the Monday!

More info: http://www.joburger.ie/skinflint

SAM_0257 SAM_0277 SAM_0295
SAM_0311

SAM_0285SAM_0304
Thinking back I couldn’t tell why the restaurant is called Skinflint. The Cambridge Online Dictionary says a Skinflint is a “a person who is unwilling to spend money”. I didn’t know that, so that’ll be the second thing (after learning that honey on pizza is awesome) I learnt from this pizza place visit. If I ever find out why it is called Skinflint exactly, I’ll report back to you guys.

Also, this would be a great moment to make some sort of “Joey likes pizza and/or doesn’t share food-joke”, but I can’t think of any. Must be the Pinot.

xx

Trinkets Galore: Visiting Merchants Yard in Clontarf, Dublin 3

1
Last weekend I decided to do what I’d been planning on doing forever; visiting the Merchants Yard Market at East Wall in Dublin 3. I used to spent a lot of my weekend mornings in the Netherlands searching for gems on all kinds of markets and I actually started to miss it for a bit. A quick Google search showed me that I lived kind of close to a very big market.

A Yelp User described the Merchants Yard as: “This is a truly odd, bizzare, strange and grotty place.” Naturally I needed to see this for myself. The Merchants Yard wasn’t hard to find at all; already from the beginning of East Wall there were signs everywhere. Aside from those, the hipsters strolling around with fluffy purple teddy bears, beaded chandeliers (okay there was only one), dusty guitars and carrying old leather suitcases were a pretty big clue I was heading in the right direction.

2 3 5The boot fair wasn’t at all that interesting to be honest. But against all flea market etiquette, it was already 3 o’clock in the afternoon when I got there. To find the real treasures I should’ve been there the minute the market opened. My bad. The indoor market was the real deal. Omg, so many  knick-knacks.

4

10

11
9O-kay, nothing to see here. Move along!

6I think I found this place the highlight of my visit to Merchants Yard. They have, well, you can read it right on that door. Also, it smelled unexpectedly nice, a bit like a church.


7
8
SAM_0082Eventhough there was quite some awesome stuff and the fact that I was really tempted to adopt Hagrid, a gazillion of books and a dusty aul piano I’ve been really good and only brought these four items home. I only realised today they are all floral… A plate and a bowl that’ll definitely cheer up every meal, a bracelet, and…The mother of all trinkets: a tiny box that almost nothing fits into, but that looks really pretty. It has some Russian writing on it also and I wonder what it means.

SAM_0070Going home I discovered a pair of shoes hanging from electric wires. I thought it would be a quirky prank and laughed. Talking to my local friend about what I saw she said it’s actually a sign for drug dealing and that that’s a meeting spot. Oh Dublin, you never fail to amaze me.