Dublin Local Custom Tips by Dabs
Dublin Local Customs: 164 reviews and 150 photos
Oscar Wilde's boyhood home
Playwright and author Oscar Wilde (October 16, 1854 – November 30, 1900) is another of Dublin's native sons. He was born in Dublin and the family moved to Merrion Square in Dublin in 1855 where he lived until 1878, there is a plaque on the house where he lived which now houses the Irish American University. After 1878 he lived in London and Paris where he died penniless in a hotel, he is buried in Pere LaChaise cemetery in Paris, his tomb covered in lipstick prints.
Wilde is almost as famous, or maybe more so, for his sexuality as his witty plays, he was sentenced to prison for two years with hard labor after being convicted of homosexual relationships. Although he was married, he had a long relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas which was the focus of the 1997 film Wilde starring Stephen Fry who has an uncanny resemblance to Oscar Wilde.
There have been a couple of excellent adaptations of his plays, The Importance of Being Earnest with Rupert Everett, Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon and An Ideal Husband with Rupert Everett, Jeremy Northam, Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett and Minnie Driver.
Doors of Dublin
As you stroll through Dublin, you may notice the red brick Georgian houses can be distinguished from one another by their colorful doors, red next door to blue next door to yellow. And if you step foot in any tourist shop, you'll see posters and postcards featuring the "Doors of Dublin".
Several different theories are espoused by tour guides to how these doors came about, one has writer George Moore living next to another writer, Oliver St John Gogarty, Moore painting his door green so that the drunken Gogarty wouldn't think it was his door and Gogarty painting his door red so that the drunken Moore wouldn't think it was his door. Another states that after the death of Queen Victoria England ordered the Irish to paint their doors black and instead they thumbed their noses at England and painted them in bright colors.
I suspect the truth is closer to this theory, the Georgian row houses are all very similar, in order to set themselves apart, they added ornamental things such as door knockers and fanlights and painted their doors in bright colors.
You'll find author and native son James Joyce (1882-1941) celebrated throughout Dublin. Even though he chose to spend most of his adult life outside of Ireland in Trieste, Paris and Zurich, where he died, his best known works are centered around life in Dublin. The novel that he is most famous for is Ulysses which chronicles just a day, June 16, 1904, in the life of Leopold Bloom. I confess that I have not tried to tackle this tome, nor am I likely to, which topped the Modern Library's list of the best English language novels of the 20th century. Depending on the edition it weighs in at 600-1000 pages. At those stats, it would take more than a day to read about a day....
Joyce fans, who apparently have a lot more fortitude than me and have actually digested the novel, celebrate the author and his most famous work every year on June 16th, which is known as Bloomsday, by reliving events that occur in the novel.
You'll also find at least two statues in Dublin, besides the bust in St. Stephens Green, there is a statue on North Earl Street right off O'Connell Street known as "the prick with the stick".
There are walking tours offered by the James Joyce Centre or you can take a self guided tour of the 14 plaques that were installed in 1988 from the old offices of the "Irish Independent" to the National Museum in Kildare Street via O'Connell Street and Bridge, Trinity College, Grafton Street, Duke Street and Dawson Street. I came across one, quite by accident, which you can see in the attached photos.
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