Culture & Recreation

Where to begin?

For those unfamiliar with Dublin, let’s begin by saying that Trinity College is the cultural and geographic heart of the city: it’s the landmark by which all other destinations are reckoned. On the literary front, besides the two research libraries, a short list would include the Dublin Writers Museum; the James Joyce Cultural Centre; Joyce’s Sandycove Tower; and the Usher’s Island house, recently restored, in which “The Dead” is set.

But for a Joyce scholar, the entire city is full of echoes and resonances: St. Stephen’s Green; Newman House at University College Dublin; Kilmainham Gaol; the Phoenix Park; the Guinness Brewery, and the newly renovated Guinness Storehouse; the Jameson’s Distillery; and on and on.

Other artistic resources include the Hugh Lane Gallery Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, including the reconstruction of Francis Bacon’ London studio; the National Gallery, National Museum, and National History Museum; the Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art; and Marsh’s Library.

During the summer, Dublin’s theatres are full of a variety of Irish and other drama;tickets are relatively inexpensive, and good seats can often be had even the day of the performance. Dublin’s movie theatres feature first-run movies, and music venues attract major acts as well as traditional Irish performers. You’ll find an essay on Dublin that Kevin wrote in 2008 for the Chronicle of Higher Education here.