“The supreme object of life is to live. Few people live. It is true life only to realize one’s own perfection, to make one’s every dream a reality.” Oscar Wilde
Late last night as I was contemplating which one of my dreams I could make a reality, as per Oscar Wilde’s advice, a “Yellow Alert” lit up my phone: STATUS YELLOW – Weather Alert – High Temperature Warning for Ireland. During the day all conversations started and ended with comments about the sweltering heat. The cashier at Dunnes – “There’s no air. It’s just deathly heat.” My favorite chef at Lemon creperie – “I want to buy a little inflatable pool for myself – just like on The Simpsons.”
It’s 77 degrees.
But even as the Irish are melting, I’m enjoying my best Dublin ever. For me the weather is spectacular – there is no humidity, the sky is clear, and the breeze is salty. And for the past week, my cousin Andrea has been here visiting – it’s her first time ever in Ireland. I am amazed by our good luck with everything – from the weather, to the people that we have met, to the fantastic food and shopping, to the days spent outside the city. After a fantastic week together, here are just a few of the places and things we’ve loved best, along with a few quotes from Irishmen I admire.
“The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.” Brendan Behan
“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” George Bernard Shaw
For the best Cappuccino in town go to Clement and Pekoe. Get a tiny but delicious piece of carrot cake for only one euro more. Sit on the bench outside for fantastic people watching.
Go to Lemon for the best sugar-crusted waffle with strawberries, fresh whipped cream, and maple syrup. Our favorite savory crepe is the power deluxe with smoked salmon, spinach, cheddar, and creme fraiche. (Gar, the soft-spoken chef behind the counter, also just happens to be the lead singer in a heavy metal band called Theories Divide.They make Metallica sound like a lullaby. You can check them out on Facebook.)
For the most creative burgers ever, go to Jo Burger. Be sure to sit outside for great people watching on one of the best corners in all of Dublin.
Grogan’s is just across the way. Get a pint of “the plain stuff” – Guinness. But as Andrea discovered, “the plain stuff” can be made extra nice with a shot of black currant liqueur. (She says it makes all the difference – you can trust Andrea.)
Go to L’Gueuleton, a beautiful French bistro on Fade Street. The bartender, a handsome Frenchman, came to our table to talk to us. He told us which wine to choose, and to come back Friday night when the DJ comes on at midnight for late night dancing. We loved the arugula salad with salted cherries and fried halloumi. We think the French onion soup might be the best we’ve ever had – it’s deep dark brown from the wine and butter in the broth.
“Don’t feed me – I will come back.” from a song by Hozier
Go to the Irish Film Institute for dinner and a movie. We saw Maggie’s Plan, a romantic comedy written and directed by Rebecca Miller. (Of course she’s Arthur Miller’s daughter and Daniel Day-Lewis’ wife. She lives in the Wicklow Mountains just an hour from Dublin and she makes her own movies – it’s just all too much for me to fathom.) Anyway, we loved the movie. She managed to say something new and funny about women and men. And she threw in Travis Fimmel as “the pickle man” just because she wanted to – I can’t blame her, I would have done the same thing if I had all that power.
“I have the simplest of tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” Oscar Wilde
Andrea and I are world-class shoppers. We did ourselves proud this past week. We loved Avoca – it has it all from tea towels, to jewelry, to take away food. They have their own cafe with its own cookbook. It’s “Adorable!” personified.
We both found dresses in Om Diva, a funky vintage clothes store that also has the latest in style. Hers is a gorgeous flowered vintage dress and mine is black lace.
And for presents for everyone at home, Andrea found Thunder Solas right here on Cow’s Lane for gorgeous leather and silver jewelry handmade in Ireland.
“We spend our days, each one of us, in looking for the secret of life. Well, the secret of life is in art.” Oscar Wilde
The National Gallery has a small collection of Leonardo DaVinci’s drawings on display now, but the permanent collection is stunning as well. (I’m sad that Andrea missed seeing The Meeting on the Turret Stairs – it’s only available for viewing on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:30 to 12:30.) We compensated with the beautiful cafe and gift shop.
And of course go to St. Stephen’s Green. Today was even more crowded and more impressive than usual because of the Irish version of a heat wave.
The list really could go on and on, but I’ll stop here for a short while. So until next time, I’ll leave you with the Irish blessing, “Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.”