Friday, my friend Thomas called me from Dublin. He was walking home from the Panti Bar down Capel street, and since we were once at Panti Bar together and walked home down Capel street, he felt my presence so strongly he called me on his mobile, and I was able to walk home with him back to Pibs, tho I was 10,000 miles away. What a fantastic time it is to be alive, isn’t it?
I spent my last day in Ireland, my birthday, in Dublin, and after the museums I’ve already written about we wandered around the neighborhoods of Temple and Capel street. This is a photo taken from Capel, towards O’Connell street and the “spike” some sort of art installation that seems to baffle everyone I asked about it.
From Dublin, Last Day
Capel street offered many reminders of San Francisco, one especially being this street performer
standing under a particular door ornament.
Isn’t that just awesome? The performer was lame, he hid behind that puppet thing and just
tried to startle people by moving it suddenly. No artistry in it, nor even silliness.
Between our house in Pibs and the Liffey is King’s Inn Park. I don’t know if the Inn is used for now, but the park is a pleasant detour away from a city street. Probably not a good idea to stay too long tho, because the trees eat the benches.
Here is the park, the Inn, and some benches that appear to be safe from the trees.
From Dublin, Last Day
The road home to Pibs passes through several neighborhoods, none of them too tony, and all of them comfortable to me. As I, and all tourists in Dublin have said, the people are so friendly and the town feels very safe. I stopped to take this picture of a cat that looked particularly nasty, but you can’t tell because its black fur obscures its hateful eyes. It was, truly, a very mean looking cat. I didn’t notice that this photo probably won’t make it into the “Doors of Dublin” catalog this year.
I mentioned above that T. had had a pint at Panti Bar, but it’s not called that anymore, that’s just what everyone calls it. The bar’s name is The Front Lounge. The owner is the the drag queen Miss Panti and our Brazilian bartender said she was a great boss. Thomas seems to find Brazilians everywhere he goes. I asked the bartender if he thought there would be any lesbians in the bar that night, but he said that all the women were at Electric Picnic which seems to be something like Burning Man, but in Ireland, where green fields and mud substitutes for the desert and dust. He was informative in many other ways, for instance, taught us the brazilian word “buceta” which means “cunt,” but in a nice way, not invectively.
T. had the unique Irish drink, red lemonade, because he had heard of it but hadn’t tried it. I didn’t like it very much, especially not as much as the four Bulmers I had, since it was my birthday. Once we were done there, we walked up Capel street looking for something to do, and found it at the cinema, were we watched Dark Knight, which I LOVED, although probably because I was a little drunk.
After the movie, we walked back down Capel, crossed the Liffey, and tried another bar, the George’s. Sometimes we were told, this bar is mostly women, and when Thomas and I spoke on the phone last week, he said that he had just been to it, and it was full of women, with hair on their chests. Not really my type, so it is just as well that the only thing I remember about this bar was that we met an Italian man who had been living in Dublin for seven years. He said he loved my accent. I said it was Californian. He said “Really Doode?”
We ended up having a late dinner at Eliza Blue, a very nice place that doesn’t seem to have any web references that would give you an idea of how nice it truly is, even tho they were out of mussels and I had to have chicken. They had plenty of Bulmers. Several parties were celebrating birthday’s, including a table behind us of all women–what the Irish call a Hen Party. They all dressed up for each other, wearing their jewelry and their makeup and their low-cut blouses. Everyone in our part of the restaurant wished the birthday girl a happy one, and I asked how old she was –she was exactly my age–and her name was the same as mine, as well, “Fiona.” That was a happy coincidence, and we raised our glasses to each other. It was nice to see women together. By the end of the week I was sort of missing women’s company.
We walked home down Capel street one last time. I packed up the last of my things, because the cab would come early in the morning for the taxi to the terminal. I think we had whiskey, and because Thomas’s friend and the owner of the house we stayed in was home and sleeping in the bed that Thomas had used, we slept together in the hideway bed. Two dear friends, not lover