Last week I went to Dublin for a research project. We are working with an Irish brand, and were tasked to dig into the culture, uncovering points of pride, Irish characteristics, and unique insights that could only be gathered locally. So on Wednesday morning, a colleague and I left for the airport bright and early, with a long list of hypothesis to verify and a short amount of time to do so. I had a sneaky, personal Irish bucket list as well. Thankfully, it could be accomplished in one sitting, and read something like . . . . . . . . bacon, eggs, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, beans, sausage, Irish breakfast tea, and a rainbow of puddings.
Speaking of rainbows, on our way to the airport in Amsterdam, there was a faint rainbow in the sky. I absolutely hate airplanes, so I took this as a good omen and considered myself blessed with some pre-Irish luck.
Upon arriving in Dublin, we checked into our hotel. By coincidence we were staying at the Radisson Blu (they’re actually a sponsor of Pressed Words), so I took a few snaps to show you my jazzy business room.My favorite part was the tub, and I’ll tell you a little secret . . . on Wednesday night we got in late but I NEEDED to use this tub. So I stayed up soaking until 2am . . . . despite having to leave for the airport only two hours later, at 4am. YOLO!Ohh, ‘hi’ from Dublin :)After dropping our bags at the hotel, Varia (my trusty Strategist side-kick) and I hit the streets to chat with some Irish folk. We walked towards Temple Bar, since this area guarantees lots of foot traffic. We spent the afternoon weaving in and out of shops and pubs, chatting with clerks, pedestrians, and bartenders along the way. We then stopped at O’Neill’s for lunch. The walls of the pub were a dark mahogany, lined with leather benches and cliché pub art.We both ordered a full Irish breakfast, and dug into the local culture, fork first!Stuffed with sausage and black pudding, we said goodbye to O’Neill’s and hit the streets once again.
I used to have a boyfriend who lived in Ireland, so I’ve been to Dublin quite a few times . . . back in the day when a Ryan Air flight from Leeds to Dublin was only €10! My previous impression of the city still stands – it’s a hodgepodge of architecture, featuring old, new, colorful, dark, and dreary facades. It reminds me of Boston in that the city doesn’t seem planned, and the locals love their pints! We resisted a stop at the appetizing Hairy Lemon . . . . . . and instead walked towards the James Joyce statue. Along the way we stopped for a pint of Guinness and some bar snacks, and made friends with a delightful barmaid who kept calling me ‘pet’ in an adorable Irish accent (she actually called me ‘pet’ three or four times before I could decode what she was saying!!) We really lucked out in that the skies were blue, and it was a great day to roam the city. If it had been raining, it would have been difficult to make friends or start conversations on the street, but as the sun was shining, the masses were out in full force. Towards the end of the day, Varia ducked into a small art shop to pick up a souvenir. Not being one for postcards or keychains, I popped into a vintage clothing shop, Eager Beaver, right next door. The racks were filled with gently warn Lacoste sweaters, Burberry jackets, and funky tie-dye T’s. I began sifting through miles of vintage glory, when suddenly, something red across the room caught my eye. I walked over – no, it couldn’t be. Sitting there on the shelf, proudly displaying a ‘new’ tag, was a stunning pair of Christian Louboutins. They were the exact style I had always coveted, and as I slid one shoe gingerly onto my foot, I realized they were also exactly my size. After some cheeky googling (I was convinced they HAD to be fake, because this was too good to be true) and a long chat with the store clerk, I bought my first ever pair of Louboutins.We had a small focus group planned for the evening (really just friends of a friend who had agreed to meet us for a drink), so we met up in a pub and had a super casual evening, chatting about Irish celebrities, hotspots, and perceptions, all whilst sipping Guinness.
And although our plane ride back the next morning was super early, (6am – puke!) it was an absolutely beautiful fligh. We soared between the clouds and watched the sun rise on the horizon. And were at work by 9.30am! Ohh the life of an international commuter ;)