Archive for January, 2009

January 30, 2009

January 30th, 2009 by meemmi10

Another busy week. Had a nice lunch with our cultural advisor, Silvia to catch up after the holidays. Siliva had mentioned a few theater performances, so another friend and I went to see La Dispute playing in the Peacock Theatre- a smaller theater in the lower level of the Abbey Theatre. Quite an interesting show, but another thing I appreciate about living here in Dublin is the close proximity of everything.  This Friday I had a few classes, got together with friends at the Science Gallery Café, and then went to see the show.  It’s funny to learn how quickly you can discover a city and walking around with my friends, I realized how much I will miss being in Dublin after my year here.

January 26, 2009

January 26th, 2009 by meemmi10

My 21st birthday!  While, in US it’s maybe more exciting, it is still a fun birthday to celebrate here in Ireland and its quite popular in Ireland to have a big 21st celebration.  Some reasons as to why: 1. Some of my Irish friends told me that the hype use to be due to the fact that you would get keys to your own house (maybe not so popular these days…I don't know…). 2. It’s kinda like our Sweet 16 celebrations in the US.  3.  Who wouldn’t want a party thrown in their honor anyway?

So my day was great, got a new look, went to class and met up with friends at the Pav, where the Irish Society was having a conversation table and upon hearing that it was my birthday, I was treated to “Happy Birthday” sung in Irish.  Pretty fun!  I’ll get back to you on how to spell it properly when I hear back from my Irish friends.

After the Pav, I got ready to go out with friends for dinner at a great place in Temple Bar (the area, that is) called Elephant & Castle, another HCer showed us her favorite gelato place right around the corner, the next stop was Captain America’s ( I know, you can laugh, but our Irish friends rave about it) for drinks and meeting up with other friends, and last stop was another Trinity favorite, Doyles.  It was a pretty quiet night, however, being that it was a Monday, but a great 21st birthday just the same.

January 23 – 24, 2009

January 23rd, 2009 by meemmi10

January 23, 2009
After recounting my guerrilla light night with friends during classes, it was time to celebrate a friend’s 21st Birthday and I meet up with my Irish friends and went to the favorite Friday night dance spot – The Palace.

January 24, 2009
Almost my 21st Birthday!!!  I was treated to a lovely surprise by my roommates and close friends- a cake with candles, some balloons and card to celebrate my 21st.

January 22, 2009

January 22nd, 2009 by meemmi10

Lots of running around and I got an email saying that the time, day, and venue of a class had changed..  So quick, adjust!  I had a great time during coffee hour with the modern language society in between classes and after attended a Neuroscience seminar.  This seminar was really interesting as Dr. Paul Young was visiting from another Irish University (University College Cork) and he spoke about his SLICK method and neural circuits (to keep it short for ya).

The most interesting and funniest part of the day was between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.  I was a guerrilla!
A light guerrilla, that is!  At The Science Gallery on Trinity’s campus, also below my apartment, there are exhibitions every few months.  This month is LIGHTWAVE.  After coming from the neuro lecture and spotting a classmate we stopped to chat outside the Science Gallery and before we knew it we had agreed to volunteer 30 minutes of our time to explore the LIGHTWAVE gallery.  This is what we were told, but really it was a 3.5 hour experience, but fun all the same.  As part of the debut of this exhibition, there was a company that works to conserve light energy while also introducing ways to light buildings up at night for an aesthetically pleasing city.  Other cities in which they have their “guerrilla lights” on include London and Glasglow and a few others.

The purpose of the mission: light up Dublin.  So, my friend and I were given a badge (Team 2, Guerrilla 4) and followed our leader outside where we were handed “torches” (huge flashlights) and colored filters.  Our first stop was to light up Ulster Bank which faces the Liffey, there was a huge number of people watching this spectacle and of course it started raining once I was instructed where I was to hold my large flashlight for the next few minutes.  While each of us “light guerrillas” were put into position, photographers and videographers were capturing the scene.  A horn went off and we all turned our lights on, by the number of people stopping and staring, it must have looked pretty cool.  Our next stop was to then light up the front of Trinity College, by the Front Arch- I even got to stand on the grass in front of Trinity that you’re not allowed to stand on!  I know, doesn’t sound that huge of a deal-  but believe me, it is.

After being a bit freezing, yes, it was still raining, we joined the reception at the Science Gallery and were treated to drinks and starters.  Yum!  After that, our last stop was to light up St. Mark’s Church right across from the Gallery.  By that time, it was around 9 p.m and I was exhausted but thought what a random volunteer experience that turned out to be really interesting.  Had it not been for my neuro seminar, meeting my classmate and love for the Science Gallery, I wouldn’t have this funny story to tell.
FYI- the pictures of the buildings we lit up, may be on the web, so when I find them I’ll attach the link and be able to show which part of the buildings I lit up!  Haha.

January 21, 2009

January 21st, 2009 by meemmi10

A regular day filled with classes, but I joined another society – The Choral Society.  I was a part of HC’s choir and missed it and I thought since it’s a new term here at Trinity, I’ll start something new here as well.  Practices are fun and I met some new Irish friends and another American (we’re everywhere!).  I am excited about the piece we will be singing in the concert hall- Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem.”

January 20, 2009

January 20th, 2009 by meemmi10

I started my morning off by going food shopping, but instead of going to Dunnes, I crossed the Liffey and went to Tesco (I know – this story is thrilling, but…).  Along the way, I never realized that there’s a fresh fruit and vegetable market on the side street-which was fun to shop through as well.  I won’t always have to wait for the Sunday Market in Howth.

Later that night, I helped with costumes for the theater performance.  But the big thing to write about is—
the 44th Inauguration!

Just a little before 4 p.m., a few friends and I ventured off to The Pav, our campus pub, so we could watch the inauguration on TV.  It was great to see that Sky News had it covered already and we were watching it live.  What is more interesting was that there were a lot of Irish students there, waiting to watch it with us.  It was great to see the American flag, our political leaders parading through, the National Mall crowded with people.  It was a wonderful ceremony and I really loved the orchestral piece with Yo Yo Ma.  But by far, the best moment in the Pav that day, was when they announced Barack Obama’s name.  After announcing our President’s name, there was huge applause in the Pav – and being filled with more Irish than Americans, I felt really proud.  Some of us even became a little teary.  But to see that reaction, while being in a different country- to see and know that many respect your country and your new President, it was a great feeling and I felt a huge sense of pride, hope, and happiness.  I’ll always remember where I was on the 44th inauguration and what I felt- joyous and proud at the Pav, watching America, my country with a pint of Guinness in my hand.  : )

January 19, 2009

January 19th, 2009 by meemmi10

My brother’s birthday!!  Ok, well exciting for him, but in speaking to him, he told me he’s coming to Ireland in February!

Another society I am in, the DU Players, the theatre society at Trinity, was also hosting the debut performance of the improve group, “Improve, she wrote.”  They were hilarious!  In meeting some new friends in the society, I also mentioned that I’d like to help out with some of the shows costumes, make-up, and/ or choreography.  With that said, I had a job doing just that for this week’s show “At the Telephone” and some shows in the future.  Pretty cool!

January 16 – 18, 2009

January 16th, 2009 by meemmi10

Madrid, Spain!  So with a free weekend, my roommate and I decided to go and visit a really good friend and recent HC grad, who’s studying for her Masters in Spanish.

We had a great time.  Our first cultural experience was visiting the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum.  I had read that this museum had some really great works by the Impressionists, Expressionists, Fauve, and Post-Impressionists, so it really was a must see for me.  I kept looking at some of the works thinking that their might be a Roderic O’Conor (my favorite Irish painter) in there, but I’ll just go to Ireland’s National Gallery again.

After that museum, we strolled along in the city, window-shopping, and wound up in a Mexican restaurant for lunch- it’s my favorite food- something you can’t always get in Ireland- and funny that we wound up at a Mexican place in Spain.  Next stop was the Retiro Garden and along the way we saw the Opera House and Spanish Palace.

The next day we went on the free walking tour of Spain- which was fabulous!  We saw all the sites and learned some of the history.  What was even funnier?  Our tour guide was a recent grad of Trinity College!!!!  Small world, huh? It was hilarious and during our tapas tasting, we talked about Trinity and places we hang out in Dublin.  We also visited the Museo del Prado and bought a few Spanish foods for lunch- empanadas and croquettas.  One of our last stops was “El Rastro” which is a HUGE flea market- where a few souvenirs and gifts were bought.  Our last night we explored the city with my friend and her Spanish friend who showed us the best tapas places.  Olé!



January 10, 2009

January 10th, 2009 by meemmi10

Paris: We arrived in Paris on Dec. 29th and I flew back to Dublin on Jan. 3rd.  Five days in Paris was wonderful, but as we were warned, it wasn’t enough time to see everything.  Still, it was wonderful to speak French again, order un café et une crêpe and have some fresh baguette.  Right near our hostel we found two great boulangeries, already I think I’m missing the French bread.  Some of the highlights of the Paris trip were seeing the stained-glass windows and the light – up Nativity scene in the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris, ice skating in front of the Hôtel de Ville, taking pictures by La Sorbonne and the Pantheon, and strolling the boulevard du Montparnasse.  One of my favorite places is the Musée d’Orsay which holds the works of one of my absolute favorite artists- Degas.  Other visits around Paris included the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe, the Moulin Rouge, and the Sacré-Coeur.  After having studied about Paris and Eugene Ionesco and the Theater of the Absurd in my french class at Holy Cross, friends and I were able to enjoy a show (La Leçon) at the famous La Huchette theater near the Fontaine St. Michel.  My last day in Paris was spent at the Louvre- so I was able to see Venus, Winged Victory and of course the Mona Lisa.  Friends and I were very lucky on New Year’s to have met up with our other Holy Cross friend’s on New Year’s and we celebrated all together right underneath the Eiffel Tower.  I still can’t believe it actually happened.

Of course, this is a very brief synopsis of my travels this Christmas break.  So much was discovered— whether it be a new favorite painting, getting lost in a new city, or finding old friends in a foreign place — and part of the beauty of these discoveries it is that some of the story is meant to be untold.

A final important discovery of this trip was that in visiting all of these major cities this break, it made me even more excited to go back to my own city, Dublin, and explore it again, find something new.  I was so excited to go back and see my roommates and my flat and to start the new term.  Additionally, I learned that while all of these cities have their own unique trait to offer, when you observe the people around you, going about their daily lives and when you learn your way around a city, it suddenly becomes less striking, less romantic, but in a good way.  From each city, I take a part of it that really impresses me and now in 2009, I plan to see further what makes Dublin my city.

Ciao, salut, cheers,

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January 9, 2009

January 9th, 2009 by meemmi10

It was a pretty normal week at Trinity and one of the societies I am in The Phil, had an interview and mini-concert session with the lead singer from the Cranberries!  Remember the songs “Linger” and “Zombie”?  It was really interesting to hear about her rise to fame and growing up in Limerick.