19 July 2007

Funniest Man in Dublin

Recently Kristy and I heard about “secret” performances that David O’Doherty has been giving this week for free at The International Bar. So we invited a few friends to meet us for some good craic at “The DOD Show.” Unfortunately, the comedy theatre above the International Bar is quite small, so it filled up really quick and only one of our friends was early enough to be able to join us before they stopped letting people in.

Even though David was just rehearsing some new material in preparation for Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, he was in good form last night. Even when he stumbled around a bit on stage to put things together, you got the sense that he didn’t actually have to put that much into it to be funny. He’s just naturally a hilarious bloke. David’s act usually includes his signature use of cheap Casio keyboards to perform songs such as the one in the YouTube clip below. I haven't seen a lot of comedians in Dublin, but O'Doherty is one of the funniest stand up acts I've seen anywhere.

Here in Ireland, you can catch David on RTE2 for “The Modest Adventures of David O’Doherty.” Also, CLICK HERE to go to David’s MySpace page.

13 July 2007

Food & Drink in Dublin

So if you find yourself visiting Dublin from some other part of the world and you were shooting for summer with the hope that the weather would be cooperative, you've picked the wrong summer. But alas, Dublin has a great restaurant/pub/cafe scene to find shelter in. One resource that we've begun to use a lot is MenuPages.ie. Whether you're looking for a place to eat/drink or you want to look into a place you heard about from someone or somewhere else, it's a very helpful and thorough web site for all things Dublin cuisine. There are lots of personal reviews submitted by users, as well as maps and directions, and glimpses at menus.

The Dubliner magazine also gives a few helpful "best of" lists. CLICK HERE for their review of the 100 best bars in Dublin or HERE for "The Dubliner 100 Best Restaurants" with a review for each place.

07 July 2007

Strange Day in the News & A Riverdance Experience

Thursday was a very busy day in the news here in Dublin. During a regatta event for teens in Dun Laoghaire harbour, the weather went bad rather suddenly and capsized more than a dozen boats. (CLICK HERE for video coverage from RTE.) Earlier in the day, at the "Dead Zoo," a stone staircase collapsed on a group of school teachers involved in a training programme. If you've ever walked through the Natural History Museum, you won't be surprised at this. It's a fascinating place, but it's obviously been around for a while and probably due for some structural upgrades.

News stories aside, the wife and I had a brilliant time at Riverdance later that night at the Gaiety Theatre. You don't have to be a big fan of dance to be truly awed by this classy performance. The live musicianship, the theatrics, the lighting and effects, and of course the phenomenal dance routines combined to create an absolutely stunning theatre experience. Starting out with a Celtic flavour, the show did an amazing job of capturing the earthy, mythological feel of ancient Ireland. Late in the first act, a Spanish/Flamenco-flavoured theme was introduced, followed by a Russian dance routine - both of which were visually pulsating and brimming with aesthetic brilliance. The second act took on more of an 18th/19th century theme and collided with a more modern jazz tap routine that was very entertaining.

The show will move on from Dublin at the end of August and will tour through Europe and North America. We considered it a little extra special to be able to catch the show here in Ireland.

06 July 2007

American Independence Day in Ireland

For our first Independence Day in Ireland, the wife and I went up to Swords (just north of Dublin) to hang out with some American colleagues and grill up some burgers. After I stood with an umbrella over our friend as he manned the BBQ, someone else mentioned that it's been one of the wettest, coolest summers he can remember here in Ireland since the 80's. Fortunately, we got our holiday tour in around the Ring of Kerry in early June before all the wet nastiness set in.

After our little "4th of July" get together, I began to wonder when Ireland celebrate their independence from the Brits. Funny enough, the only thing I came across was that St. Patrick's Day is supposed to be the day when the Irish memorialize their independence. I'm going to try and remember to test that out with my Irish friends because my hunch is that not a lot of Irish folk realize that St. Patrick's Day is also Irish Independence Day.

I'm guessing Michael Collins would not be happy about that! But maybe that's just because I'm a Yankee and we get kinda weird about patriotism. =) Having said that, I did NOT wear any "red, white & blue," but rather a grey t-shirt that says "Mad for Trad" that I got from Hairy Baby. How's that for patriotism . . .