Posts Tagged ‘Museum’

Limerick and the Cliffs of Moher!

May 14, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope all is well. Happy Mother’s day to the mothers reading this. Today was a fantastic day. I woke up early, but not too early (sometimes I get very aggressive about waking up early and didn’t want to go crazy today) to set out on a journey to the Cliffs of Moher and then Limerick.

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After a nice breakfast, I left the hotel at around quarter to 8 and arrived at the Cliffs of Moher just after 10. The drive was fabulous. The car is fun to drive and there were winding roads and beautiful scenery along the way. There were no big freeways on this leg.

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There are main thoroughfares, and every so often you slow down because there’s a town. At one point, a storm came through and it poured, then got sunny again. The cliffs were awesome as you can see from the pictures. The jumping pic is real!

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After spending an hour and a half walking around the cliffs, I drove to Limerick, to visit the headquarters of Limerick poetry because i love it. I had a nice lunch of fish and chips and cider, and walked around towards the “Limerick Writer’s Center” but when I got there saw nothing.

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I went to the Frank McCourt museum nearby (the Author of Angela’s Ashes). I saw Frank McCourt speak at my high school many years ago and read the book around that time. I’ll need to revisit the book because I was undoubtedly too young to understand everything. The museum is within Frank’s old school.

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In the museum I met the owner and founder, Una, an artist who knew Frank McCourt. I let her know that I had actually come to Limerick to learn more about poetry and rhymes! She recited some Limericks she knew, and I recited some of my own and she liked them!

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And then she called up the head of the Limerick Writers Association and I was able to speak with him a bit about Limericks. 🙂 I asked his advice, what’s the most important thing to think about if you are writing one… ssoooooo cool. He said that for a good limerick most important parts are the rhyme scheme, the wordplay, topicality, and funniness. Mostly, it has to be funny. By inductive reasoning, I believe Irish people value humour quite a bit. BTW that tent below in Limerick looks like a mini Khan Shatyr (the big tent in Astana).

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Then I chilled with this woman for a while and she took me on a tour of the museum. We ended up having a long discussion about languages and cultural terms, then politics, then religious extremism. I explained the American Electoral College, and why Hasidim wear those curls around their face.

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Una taught me more things about Irish culture, so between last night and today, wow. The word Flahulach, “flaw-ho-loch” is describes someone who throws around money, maybe buys everyone a drink at the bar! “Tight” means “mean” or stingy, not a spender.

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She also said that people in Ireland use Gaelic words in everyday speech. like if they want milk at the store, the Gaelic word for Milk might come out. That guy is flahulach! It’s kind of like the way we may use Yiddish words in every speech “stop kvetching.”

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That was all very special. then I drove another 2.5 hours back to Sligo, did some admin/housekeeping things, and had a nice dinner of beet soup (wonder if it will make everything a beautiful purple like those Trader Joes chips 🙂 : ) and chicken and vegetables. Tomorrow will be a day of work!

Here is one Limerick I wrote about Auchentoshan distillery. A Distillery called Auchentoshan / Has a great staff and marvelous potion / This Lowland supplier / Amended my tire / And set a fun Tuesday in Motion! Its not that funny, so I’ll do better to enter one into any limerick contests.

Love, Anniee

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Sunday: Ueno and Asakusa

November 13, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Today was another big day. I woke early and walked to the Tokyo Tower area. There was a waiting list at the breakfast in my hotel so I ate rice crackers and bottled tea and espresso latte from Lawson’s to have something before a great option happened.

wp_20161113_08_52_33_proI visited a temple and then the Princess Park Tower hotel for work. I pretended to have work on the 33rd floor in order to go up to the sky bar and get a view. As you can see, worth it! After that, took the metro to Ueno. I walked around Ameyoko street, a market for cheap things and seems like a slightly shady area, and then around Ueno park. The park is huge. I ate some more gooey octopus pancake balls and tried some local foods from this Sunday event including a rice ball covered in sweet sesame paste.

wp_20161113_13_06_39_proUeno Park is home to the Tokyo National Museum so I visited that and saw among other things a special exhibit on Zen Buddhism. My museum stamina was low. It was crowded and it’s a lot to take in when already the entire city is like a museum where I’m constantly learning new things. Also, it’s hard to pronounce the names of the artists and subjects so it was hard to stay focused. But still I was there for a few hours and saw approximately 25,000 scrolls.

wp_20161113_14_11_24_proThen I walked to Asakusa, the next neighborhood over. The walk was through more local residential areas, which was great. Asakusa is fantastic. First I visited a tiny Isakaya bar and drank sake, did some transcribing work, and had small dishes including fried tofu with fermented bean stuff on top served with hot mustard. Then kept walking around through the kitchen-supplies sector, then towards the Sensoji temple.

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I had some matcha gelato from a multi-vendor complex that reminded me of Boston Public Market (so it was a little pricey not low-key, but awesome) and wandered around more. Asakusa is kind of far away, about 9 stops on the subway from my hotel’s stop, but without a transfer. I’d really like to go back there for some tempura over the next few days! It’s a really cool neighborhood with all sorts of low-key bars and shops.

It’s a full work day tomorrow and I begin with a meeting at 10:00am. I will try to go super early in order to avoid the rush hour metro traffic and find breakfast near the meeting. Hope you have a great Sunday!

Love, Annie