26 July 2008

Chocolate (Temple) Bar & Urban Kings

Today, I took the fam into Dublin city centre, primarily to sit back and watch my wife soak up Dublin's first Temple Bar Chocolate Festival. I'm not sure what we were expecting (life-size chocolate Molly Malone statues and chocolate fountains on every corner maybe?), but we were a bit disappointed by the lack of chocolateness around us as we wandered through Temple Bar. Turns out, the big chocolate "exhibition" isn't on until tomorrow in Meeting House Square. However, Kristy did manage to get into a lecture in the Film Base on the health benefits of chocolate. Did you know that raw cacoa beans are chalk full of anti-oxidants, neurotransmitters (sounds like Star Trek) and other things that are healthy for the brain? Unfortunately, with all of the processing and other ingredients that get thrown in to make chocolate, the health benefits are largely lost.

So while Kristy was in the seminar, Caitlyn and I headed over to an urban festival that Dublin City Council were putting on called Kings of Concrete. It was an interesting convergence of "establishment" (i.e., city government) and "anti-establishment" (urban youth culture). Lots of cool stuff going on: graffiti art, skateboard ramps, breakdance, parkour, hip-hop music, etc. One wonders: Are city officials giving urban youth an outlet to express themselves in a controlled environment? You know, let 'em get it out of their system a bit? Or are they trying to communicate that, despite the "no skateboarding" signs around the city and the relative lack of public space and tolerance for urban youth culture, the city really don't think there's anything inherently wrong with urban youth culture?

Whatever the case, the event seemed to be a big success and it continues tomorrow. I'm hoping to get to the parkour demo, but it's later in the day, at which point it's really up to how Caitlyn is doing. Here's a little video of what we saw today . . .

Dublin's "Kings of Concrete" Festival from Brandon Wellcome on Vimeo.


Ronda's Rants said...

Just found your blog by accident. I visited Dublin, Ireland a little over a year ago and can't wait to visit again...I love it! I'll visit your blog until then to see Dublin!

Ronda's Rants said...

Hey...What's happening in my favorite place....Dublin?