Behind Locked Doors

You don’t know you’re in a lock in, when you’re first in a lock in. The changes are subtle. You might look up between sips of your pint, perhaps when it’s nearing the end of the glass, to see the blinds drawn tight. The barman, usually standing upright and busying himself behind the bar, might…

Sharing the Strand with Seamus

My feet were always wet in Dublin. If the leather of my shoes was soaked through on the walk to work in the morning, they would remain wet all day. If I sat at the desk by the window, with a heater near the baseboard, they would be warm and wet. Otherwise, they would be…

Hands Like Shovels

I’m not always the most prolific Tweeter, but in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this year — when there is so much bad content being published about Ireland — I suddenly had a flurry of things to say in 140 characters. These were some of my favorites: The Irish don’t eat corned beef, and they…

How the Irish Skinny Dip

When you sit down to write a story, you never know where it’s going to wind up. Sitting at the desk in my apartment on Waterloo Road in Dublin, I wanted to write a story about the side of the Irish capital people seemed to be missing. Whenever I encountered fellow Americans (or any foreigners)…

The Feast of St. Patrick

In Dublin, the sun was shining for the Irish National Holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. Here in New York, we listened to the Pogues, slowly drank a Guinness or two, and avoided green beer like the plague. All of the attention on the Irish pushed me into my archives for some sunny, Dublin photos to share…

Travels of Christmas Past

Christmas markets in Berlin. Orange trees full of glowing lights in Seville. Hidden carpet stores in Tangier. Europe is a fascinating place to be over the holidays. Over the last several years I have spent much of December abroad before waiting for my plane to be de-iced to fly home just in time for Christmas….

Travel Sins

I blame Yeats. I was reading a collection of his poems at a sidewalk café table on a strangely warm afternoon in Dublin’s city centre, when his musings on young love distracted me from my surroundings. The waitress dropped the check pulling me out of my reverie, and as I reached under the table with…

Where to Stay in Dublin

I became a traveler again, faced with all a traveler’s problems. I was in the center of Dublin — the city I called home from 2008 – 2010 — and instead of a resident, I was a visitor with a visitor’s worries: where to stay, where to eat, what to do, how to manage my…

One Perfect Day in Dublin

On my recent trip to Dublin I was asked by an American traveler, ‘if you had one day in Dublin, what would you do?’ We were sitting at breakfast munching on fresh-baked brown soda bread while sunlight streamed through the windows. This question can be answered in many ways – I mentioned a couple of…

Springtime Snapshots

The first signs of spring arrived in New York this week. Blossoms on the trees. Sunny daffodils. Tables returned to sunny street corners. These signals that winter might be taking its final bow reminded me of springtime in year’s past. I spent the last three springs in Europe, and the photographs are full of bursts…

The Glory Days of September

While we may be having an Indian summer here in New York City, I’m reading reports of lovely fall weather arriving in Europe. I’m a big fan of autumn, and I think there’s no better place to be in the world in September than in Europe. I love the blankets they put on the back…

Afternoon Tea with an Artistic Twist

When I first moved to Dublin, one of the traditional experiences I found most enticing was afternoon tea. In the States it can be difficult to find good scones or good tea, so to me, the tradition of sitting down for a couple hours in the afternoon to nibble on teensy sandwiches and scones sounded…

Walk on Water

One Irish tradition I got accustomed to very quickly is walking. The Irish love to walk – after a meal, through a park, along the sea – it barely matters where and it certainly doesn’t matter what the weather is like. That is one part I still haven’t quite adjusted to… So this week, when…