Tuesday, 28 May 2013
Lunch for two writers … and some Victorian remnants
It was a surprise and an unexpected pleasure to have lunch this afternoon with the American writer and editor Jamie Clarke Chavez, who is visiting Ireland for a family wedding.
We had lunch in Damascus Gate, a Lebanese restaurant near Kelly’s Corner in Camden Street, and had a wide ranging conversation that included mutual friends, walks on the beach in Laytown, Christian publishing and blogging.
It was also a surprise and an unexpected pleasure to find some summer sunshine after lunch this afternoon. So, instead of immediately catching a bus, I took a stroll through Portobello, past George Bernard Shaw’s birthplace in Synge Street (so appropriate after a writers’ lunch), the Dublin Jewish Museum in Walworth Road, and the old Methodist chapel that later served as the now-closed Women’s Labour Exchange, all in the old ‘Little Jerusalem’ area that has inspired the name of Damascus Gate, and then along the banks of the Grand Canal as far as Harold’s Cross Bridge.
There were no swans in the Canal at Harold’s Cross, but the sun was shining so brightly on the water it was easy to imagine there were blue skies above and the summer might just be on the way.
I walked on as far as Harold’s Cross, spotting unusual Victorian-era, Venetian-style balconies in a pair of houses opposite the Hospice, and wondered why a nearby Victorian letter box in a convent wall was closed up.
These Victorian letter boxes are a century and a half old, yet An Post seems to have free hand in neglecting this part of Dublin’s history and heritage.
The sun was shining on Harold’s Cross Green, and I reminded myself that at some stage I must look at how these suburban green space was purloined in Victorian times from the Vicars Choral of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and passed into the hands of Rathimes Township and then into the hands of Dublin Corporation.
But the 49 bus arrived and made this a task for another day.