Even though the sun was out, the air remained crisp and you can immediately sense that fall is now hitting Dublin like a freight train. Think what you want but I truly believe it’s no fluke that September is also the month that’s jammed packed with several high quality events happening all around town at every turn. After all, maybe a distraction from the fact that winter’s almost upon us is exactly what the doctor ordered. And right on schedule, this past Friday night marked Culture Night in Dublin (and around all of Ireland to be 100% truthful). For one night and one night only, museums, galleries, churches, historic houses and such all have their doors open later than usual for a free night of really cool events.
As it’s an event on a Friday night and I’m nothing more than your typical worker bee, I had to pick a neighborhood and attempt to see as much as humanly possible as time wasn’t on my side. The majority of the events closed their doors at 9pm with only a few that catered to night-owls by staying open slightly longer. After some furious texting back and forth – the Aussies and I decided that the one must-do of the night was to tap the The Old Jameson Distillery. Armed with my mitts, scarf, and Harajuku Lovers hoodie, I managed to make it to Monster Truck Gallery and Studios, The Old Jameson Distillery, Block T, and The Church before it was time to call it a night.
The first three events of the Monster Truck Gallery and Studios, The Old Jameson Distillery, and Block T all exceeded my expectations. The fact that Jameson was handing out a tasty beverages to the touring public upon arrival was a nice surprise but Block T with their wines (unfortunately there was none for latecomers such as ourselves), stellar nibbles, and free postcards of the work being displayed made the experience even better than the three of us had bargained for. Unfortunately, our lucky streak of awesome experiences ended when we hit the Church. The Church is the building where Arthur Guinness got married that was built in the 1700s and despite the fact that it’s been turned into a restaurant/bar – the beauty of it still shines through. This was enough to get us to take a break from all the culture soaking and get a bottle of vino and a few nibbles to give us strength to truck on. Instead we got a grumpy server who brought us a bottle of wine, had absolutely no clue about specials or the menu itself, and served it all with a side dish of sour face with a sprinkle of skunk eye.
My one regret of the night is that we took that break at The Church as the customer service was appalling and it turned into a total time suck that prevented us from seeing any more of the events. Regardless of this one rather unfortunate experience, Culture Night was a total craic as the three of us had a blast along with plenty of laughs exploring the venues. The cherry on the cake was that the spirit continued on the streets well after the doors of Culture Night closed and we found ourselves within friendly mobs of people during the wee hours of the morning as random music filled the streets of Dublin. All and all, a great night and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year.