Sunday, March 25, 2007

here comes a long one!

Ireland Spring Break part deux:

So "Julius Caesar" was okay. The acting left a little to be desired, but not because it was "bad," it just didn't fit the characters quite right. Brutus, for example, seemed too defeatist. It was like "You want me to kill Caesar, Cassius? You mean my best friend in the world, that Caesar? Oh, um... okay. Why not?" Blah. The costumes and sets were mesmerizing, though. The costumes culled from all different eras, which I read as representing a number of different war eras. WWI helmets, Greco-Roman armor, samurai armor, etc. And somehow it all mixed together cohesively.

Wednesday we went to Trinity College, where we saw the Book of Kells. I didn't find it terribly fascinating, actually. The campus was lovely, though. We also went to Dublin Castle, which was interesting because it's still used for meetings and dinners with politicians now. I took a short look in the Chester Beatty Library, which had Catholic, Islamic, and Hindu and Buddhist art on display. I only had time to see a little of it, though, as we had to move on to Saint Patrick's Cathedral. The cathedral's stained glass windows were less than impressive, but it had some really lovely patterns on the floor tiles to make up for that.

Thursday was the Dublin Writers' Museum, which was a snorefest unless you're really into your Irish literature, which I confess I've read very little of. In the afternoon we went to Kilmainham Jail, which I found absolutely fascinating. For one thing, I instantly recognized the big hall from pictures in books on Foucault, who I love. It was a panopticon, which is when the guards can see all the prisoners at all times, but the prisoners can't see them, so they never know if they're being watched or not. The jail was also fascinating because that's where the course of Irish history completely changed. They executed the leaders of the 1916 rebellion (against the British), which rallied the rest of Ireland to the rebellion's cause. Nearby the jail was the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which was kind of disappointing. It was a really dinky collection.

Friday had a lecture with a Californian woman, Karen Fricker, who moved to Ireland to write about theatre. I'm so jealous of her bravery. I love traveling, and would never turn down an oppurtunity to go abroad for a month (or two or three...), but I don't think I could just pick up and move permanently. Later I took a meandering walk around by myself, and checked out the George's Street Arcade and whatever other quirky shops I chanced upon. I found a percussion band made up of handicapped people, which I really enjoyed. Then that afternoon, I got my tattoo! It is beautiful. It came out perfect. I really couldn't be happier with it. See the next entry for photos. I just love it! The travel tattoos are officially underway. And I'll be in France in July for my cousin's wedding, so I'll finally be able to get the swirly fleur de lis that I've wanted for a while now.

Saturday was probably the most fun-filled day of the trip, as it was Saint Patrick's Day! A bunch of us watched the parade in the morning. It was weird. It was more like a Mardi Gras parade, with dragons and animals and other non-Irish-themed floats. In the afternoon, some of us went to a pub to watch the Six Nations rugby tournament, which was fantastic! Picture this: drinking Guinness in a pub in Ireland, while watching rugby, surrounded by tipsy, boisterous (oftentimes singing) natives, on St. Patrick's Day. So much fun!

Hooray Ireland!

Change of subject: Today in NYC was ansolutely gorgeous. Rachel, Marta, and I went to "Indwelling," the women-centric photography show Marta was part of. The theme of the exhibit was women's bodies, and how they see themselves. Some of the stuff was a tad amateurish (a photo of a chubby girl's back with sharpie writing on it saying stuff like "love handles"), but most of it was gorgeous and extremely professional. Marta's photo was actually probably my favorite. It was a sepia-toned 24x20 Polaroid of a naked girl sitting in profile with her knees up to her chest, with lilies sitting on her lap and lilies and almonds placed at her feet. It was really delicate and beautiful-looking.

After the show, the three of us went to "Fabulous Fannie's," a vintage eyeglass frame shop. They had TONS of frames to choose from, but I still couldn't quite find what I wanted. I want a big old black plastic really nerdy-looking pair. But my head is tiny, so it's a struggle to find ones that actually look right.

It was such a nice day that I decided to walk nearly all the way home. I went from the East Village, to the Williamsburg Bridge, then crossed the bridge and walked about half of the rest of the way back to my place, then hopped on the subway once I got to the stop I wanted. It was probably about four miles in all. And I took lots of pictures of quirky stuff on the way. God, I love weekends in the city.

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