Thanks to Steven Glasman for the write up on his le cool Dublin Experience:
'Normally when I start in a new city, I’ll either explore on my own at first or I’ll take a guided tour that gives me a good overview of a city. Hop-on/Hop-off bus tours are really good for this, because you can see a lot of major sites in one pass and decide easily what you want to spend your time on later.
Dublin was different though. About two months before my Dublin trip, I stumbled across the “Le Cool Dublin Experience” online. From their website: “Find out about DIY culture, street art, fashion, emerging music and literature, artists, hidden historical gems and the latest trends.”
In other words, you never know what you’re going to get when you sign up for a Le Cool Dublin walk. The route and stops are different each time. Only the date and time are announced in advance, so you get there and the rest of the walk is a surprise. “This continually evolving two-hour tour will reflect the now and engage with people behind initiatives which are reshaping Dublin city in vibrant and meaningful ways.”
My tour started with a Q&A session with Jean Butler, who was in preparations for her show, “Hurry.” I was unfamiliar with Jean Butler before this walk, even though I’m quite familiar with Riverdance, a show she helped to launch. If you’re curious, just go to Youtube and put ‘Jean Butler’ in the search box. She’s quite well known, just not to me before this tour.
The Le Cool tour moved on to this gentleman, a tailor who makes hand-made suits. Jude Hughes has been running a tailoring shop in the same location since the 1980s. (Interesting side note: I did some Google searches to find the best link to point to for Jude, and in every single picture I’ve seen of him, he’s wearing a green sweater. Possible the same green sweater in every photo. That’s a bold, Barney-Stinson move, don’t you think?)
Our tour also visited a pair of people who were rushing to open up a new restaurant with a grand opening less than two days later- they were still constructing the place, and had just put the walk-in refridgerator into the building. They spoke with us for a few minutes but couldn’t really stick around.
The final stop of our Le Cool tour was at the apartment of Kevin Powell and Robin Hoshino, the folks behind News Of The Curd, to talk about their suppers. They do a weekly two course supper for roughly a dozen people, using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients in the Temple Bar area.
The Le Cool Experience walking tour was a very interesting introduction to the city, before I got on with the more typical touristy tours I had on my plate for the trip.
You can read the rest of this post and more from Steven’s blog here.
So says Carolyne Parent of Montréal’s Daily le Devoir:
’Is it because of the River Liffey that crosses through? Of the streets lined up with Georgian houses? Of the many parks and squares? Or is it because of the pubs where people clink drinks faster than their shadow? Of the dynamism of the population, one of the youngest in Europe? Is it simply a mix of all these things? Without a doubt. The point is that the city of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Bono, among the most famous Dubliners, has a bloody sex-appeal.
“When Ireland was still part of the British Empire, Dublin was the second capital, and as such, the city had to be as sumptuous as London”, explains Canadian guide Charlotte Jehanno. One example of its splendour is the magnificent Trinity College, founded during the reign of Elizabeth I. The library, The Long Room, is filled with 200,000 old books, among which the Book of Kells, a manuscript as old as Methuselah that was illuminated by monks in the abbey of Kells.
But the city, which has a population of 1,3 million people, has more to offer than just imposing monuments and splendid cathedrals – even though St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a major attraction. Dublin is also a modern city, with an alternative scene that multiplies funny initiatives such as… ephemeral art installations in Eircom phone booths.
Actually, Dublin is filled with so much life that Michael McDermott came up with the idea of Le Cool, an online weekly magazine, and also created the “Cool Dublin Walking Tour” to help Dubliners as well as foreigners discover new emerging artists, chefs and designers.
The tour is never the same and can include the visit of a sex shop, of the Irish Film Institute or of restaurants that put the old-saying, according to which an Irish menu of seven-services is composed of a six-pack of Guinness and a potato, to shame.
The Celtic Tiger may have withdrawn its claws because of the global economic crisis, but in Dublin, it’s still growling. “Great ideas pop out when times are hard and here they’re blooming in every aspect of life,” explains M. McDermott’.
If you’re not convinced of our translation (and let’s face it, that could be with good reason) you can read full article in all its French glory here.
'Kinda find out where the party's at' … sure what more would you want from a Walking Tour?
Watch le cool’s Michael give the low down on the le cool Dublin Experience.
Thanks to Ciarán Maguire, Nevan Riley and Eoin McGuinley for the great film.
Thanks to Aileen Power for including us in her great post on alternative tourist Dublin. Here’s her take on our walk:
'… But my goodness, it is cool.
When I took the lecool experience during October’s Bram Stoker Festival, the theme was horror. Guide Michael told the collected audience that he had racked his brains on where to bring us. Then he walked across the road and ushered us into a funeral parlor.
After speaking to the manager of Massey Brothers, slightly reliving a scene in Six Feet Under and asking the weird questions you always wanted to ask a funeral director, we followed him to a steel door of a warehouse off Meath Street.
He knocked. We quivered. The door opened and revealed a sea of monstrous screaming faces – we were in a special effects studio. Aoife and Ben of the Bowsie Workshop showed us around and talked us through some of their scariest models and faces, including work for the film Stitches.
Our last stop was a crypt – in a gothic city like Dublin, you couldn’t avoid the old, cold stone sites on a horror tour. We were marched under Christchurch where a Bram Stoker short story was being theatrically read to an audience.
Their next tour will be completely different – but it will cover pop-ups, new initiatives and generally places so cool not even locals have heard of them yet. Yes, even me.’
Read the full article here.
le cool Dublin Experience gets a mention in Polly Humphris’s recent Metro London article on The Craic Capital … that’s Dublin in case you didn’t know.
'GO GREEN: Le Cool walking tours are an ever- changing alternative way to see Dublin and because walking is the only transport involved, your footprint will be anything but carbon. Proudly ‘of the moment’, the tours incorporate modern elements of Dublin life, such as pop-ups, collectives and street-art exhibitions as well as quirky points of interest such as The Waldorf on Westmoreland Street, Dublin’s oldest barber shop’