All Things Irish – Part 2: Not Your Usual Tourist Photos

In July, my partner Mick and I spent a week in Dublin so he could attend a genetics conference at the University of Dublin. We stayed in the Ballsbridge Hotel, just down the street from the American Embassy in Dublin. The first time I walked by our embassy, I stopped and stared at the building, thinking about mutant beehives.

US embassy in Dublin

The American Embassy in Dublin is one of the ugliest buildings I’ve ever seen. It is also well-protected with fences, cameras, and a guard at the gate. I would have hated to have had a reason to go there.

Fortunately, there are a lot of other things to look at in Dublin. There are beautiful buildings and parks and the River Liffey runs right through the middle of the city.

My attention was consistently drawn to the many pieces of street art and other public art that we encountered all over the city, in official places, tourist places, and little alleys we ran down on our way to catch a bus. From the pieces in the National Gallery to the stuff I saw painted on the bricks of old buildings, I admired images that weren’t in a standard advertisement for traveling to Dublin. And I took photos everywhere we went.

The photos I’m sharing here today give just a hint of a city that we enjoyed for its people, whiskey, music, ease of getting around, and overall exuberance. We did learn that one does not go to Dublin for the weather. Rain gear required.


Street art that I stumbled on everywhere:



A face in the wall outside Bull & Castle and the bar inside it:


Mural-covered buildings:


A mosaic in a parking lot:

Dublin mosaic in a parking lot


My friend Oonah mirroring a piece in the National Gallery:

Oonah at the National Gallery - Dublin


Sculpture outside of Christ Church Cathedral and a piece on Irish women writers in an alley in Templebar:


And one of the best sights of all? My friends and fellow poets, Oonah Joslin and Marie Fitzpatrick, who traveled to Dublin so we could all meet up. I love having friends on the other side of the world. These beautiful women kicked off our time in Dublin with style.

Three Poets in Temple Bar Dublin