Nouveau Riche and the Celtic Tiger
Dublin is nothing like Mara described.
In fairness, her description is from the previous millennium -today the robust economy has created a critical mass of nouveau riche who obliterated my perception of the Irish as a humble and friendly people.
By humble I mean self-deprecating, not indigent.
I have also spent most of my time on Grafton Street or around Temple Bar.
Conspicuous consumption seems to be the rule, and when I asked a garrulous native about the women's ostentatious dress he flatly told me, "They are overcompensating for something, clearly."
It is not as clear to me.
Mara's old college room mate came to mind; about ten years ago as she had me copy-edit her thesis on the growing Irish economy, the now so-called "Celtic Tiger,"; her predictions were on point, these people have CREAM.
There had been a bus strike because bus drivers are being pushed to work extra hours without extra compensation, but hey, you can go to a pub and watch the locals strut Chanel.
Good luck trying to find shepherd's pie.
The Voodoo lounge was a slice of punk NYC from the mid 80s (not that I saw it firsthand). The DJ played Ramones- "Blitzkrieg Bop," Sex Pistols- "Anarchy in the UK," Sisters of Mercy- "Temple of Love."
Haven't heard music like that since the days of Mara's crazy house parties, which she insisted were modeled after some club, "Berlin" on Steinway Street in Astoria.
SOD shirts and oxblood Docs pepper the crowd but no one seems to mind I'm in dress pants and Lanvin flats.
Now they are spinning old Smiths and a Guinness costs exactly 4.20.
It is kind of a small city for what I have gotten used to, but I just heard the NYPD killed some guy holding a hairbrush. Think I'll stick around these parts for a while, the cops here are friendly.
Maybe that is why she lost it upon her return.