I’ve been getting inspiration for posts from other bloggers these days. This post’s inspiration comes from Brian Fishbone, a community builder and professional whom I know from his time here in Korea. Brian is now based in Philadelphia, where I also have family, and he has chosen to make this city his home for over a decade. Much of what Brian writes about is reaching out and “Becoming” yourself by becoming part of your community and becoming something for other people (I think that’s a fair way of putting it).
As Brian said at the start of his original post, “I believe a big part of “becoming you” is finding a place you can call home”, and I couldn’t agree more than him. This is something I’ve been asking myself a lot through my posts here, and while I seem to always look to Ireland, I know that there’s a pretty good chance that I won’t find my final home there. But still, Dubllin is my city, and this is my love letter to that city.
How’s it going? Did I ever tell you there’s nothing like you?
Back in the day when I scrambled to get into the bars before the doormen came duty at eight o’clock, I’d see you’re devilish temperment in the daylight causing short skirted women in high heels to hobble precariously through Temble Bar on a similar collision course with a doormanless bar. And later the shouts and intermingling with the types who didn’t need to worry about the doorman, who had much more of a devilish temperment than you could ever muster, clashed with their alcohol inspired egos to the fore. Ducking I’d dash for the nitelink, hoping I’d survive to make it out again the next weekend. From then I was hooked on you.
The smell of the streets is what I love the most. On a damp windless day, walking through Stoneybatter and into Smithfield, the smell from the barley roasting in Saint James Gate filling my nostrils as I carefully stride down through the narrow littered streets, avoiding the damp granite slaps and well polished cobblestones as slipperey as a kitchen floor. That’s when you know you’re in Dublin. Then the breath of fresh air as you walk out by the Four Courts with the tide out in the liffey, the smell of seaweed only waiting to take you in further. By the time you get to Capel Street and across the bridge to Parliament Street, the damp stone’s smell and the busses seem to have decided that the river and the Guinness have gone back to bed.
There’s something about Dublin from that point in; the buildings all uniformly high, the red brick and the occasional limestone grey, the odd tree, and always a yellow and blue bus there to ruin any attempt at a sneaky photo opportunity free of modern fare. Sure, everything is all mixed in together now. Barbers, bars, appliance shops, supermarkets, beauty salons, banks, and Rick’s Burgers, of course that blue and red sign permanently on the corner of Dame Street and Georges Street. And then of course, there’s College Green. Green but motoring.
I could talk about so much more. But that would spoil my best memories of walking through the city in the early morning on the way to work, before the city really takes off and really becomes obnoxious and indifferent to me. In the morning it listens to me. In the morning it could be my own city. Not one that the only the bus will bring me too.
Take it easy, pal.
I don’t usually do this but…
Now it’s your turn. Can you write a love letter to your home? If yes, what would you say? If not, why not? Feel free to share your thoughts, and/or your own love letter, here.