This weekend I had a grand old time going to a free comedy show in the basement of a pub just off of Grafton Street. I believe it was called “Stag’s Head”, but the event was certainly named Comedy Crunch. All of the acts were Irish folks, but interestingly there were equal number Irish people attending the event as there were performing! That equals 6 Irish folks in the audience to 6 Irish comics. It was shocking considering the basement was jam-packed with likely over 80 people. The first comics decided to take a survey of the room to get a feeling for the makeup of the crowd, which was quite diverse. There were a pair of Dutch gentlemen, three bankers from Scotland, a handful of English ladies, a couple tables of Spanish people, an Argentinian fellow, a Brazilian couple, a few Canadians, a couple of French Canadians (friends of mine), a couple of French people, an overwhelming number of Italian people, and a handful of Americans (including myself). Yet, there were only two small groups of Irish people, one group was a rowdy bunch of Dublin marathoners and the other a group of college aged kids. Impressive in the amount of diversity there was, but strange in the lack of local attendees. The comics were all entertaining, I noticed each of them made a joke about America likely because I and a few other Americans happened to be sitting right in front of the stage. A couple of them were also quite critical of Ireland’s financial situation often relating it back to the EU’s financial situation as a whole. I was surprised as one of the comics was quite dour the entire time he was on stage, not sure if it was part of his act or if it was his personality, but his jokes fit well with his demeanor. In any case it was interesting to see and my friends and I had a great time, plus it was free!
A few other things I noticed while walking in Dublin this weekend were the people, mostly about the modes of transportation. Recently, I’ve noticed that, despite the stereotype that Europeans all drive tiny cars, that seems to becoming less and less true. I keep seeing larger sedans (Mercedes), SUV’s, and even a few mini vans; they’re not hard to pick out either in comparison to the numerous tiny cars that still populate the streets. It may be that the large-car craze is catching on in Europe. Secondly, although Dublin is a big city, by any standards, the people don’t seem to walk as the stereotype is for city-folk: FAST. I’ve never lived in a big city (Philadelphia, New York City, etc), but I’ve been to these places and the people there do tend to walk quite quickly. I tend to walk fairly quickly, but not at an NYC pace. It was only this weekend that I noticed people in Dublin, on average, walk noticeably slower than I do. I was a bit surprised by this as I was expecting fast paced, big city walkers. But, I suppose it’s hard to do that when people are stopping to listen or watch street performers, which is definitely one of the coolest parts of downtown Dublin. Additionally, it could be that the volume of people walking on the sidewalks is too much to maintain a fast pace as many of the sidewalks are narrower than those found in more modern big cities, much of the architecture, including the streets, is quite old in Dublin (another facet of the city’s charm). Just a few more observations, Halloween is tonight, going to a few events, Halloween is huge in Dublin, but more on that later.