Monday 15 October 2007

Notes from the old town

It's rare that I go back to the streets I grew up on. This time I visited a long stretch near my old house. It's by this bare green space they called a park, where we used to heave ourselves over the wall and find particular places on the other side of the wall where it's steep, to lower ourselves down. They've ripped up all the grass, have covered the whole space over with gravel and sand, apparently they're building tracks and draining the fields. The foot-holes we hacked out of the wall are still there. The wall and the nettley wild space between the back gardens and the wall of the park was, this morning, still intact, still wild. Walking down there, even in my fancy high heeled newyorkcity boots, was a thrill.

Limerick city has changed probably as much as Dubai has changed, over the past fifteen years. New streets where there were no streets before, old streets rebuilt, new bridges, roundabouts (a hot fave here), new building constantly everywhere, a new street pedestrianised every year, old elegant theatres, cinemas and hotels TORN DOWN, to be replaced with names like Hilton and Marriott. I am not taking the piss, Limerick city has a Hilton hotel. I'm sitting in it now. It's quite nice, actually. Free wifi.

But the notion of a listed building seems to be limited to safe old stately Georgian houses in private hands, in Limerick.

Houses have been recently torn down to make way for an expansion in a rugby stadium.. hmmm, it's beginning to sound like Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, the radio pumps out stories of multi-shootouts on housing estates and stabbings in hotel rooms and paedophilia rings in well-to-do neighbourhoods and drugs and stranglings.

And on the women and the men go. Shopping. Shopping. Shopping.


  1., shopping, into the future, shopping, off to work, shopping back the unruly hoards, shopping, stopping, shopping away all doubt...

  2. I'm hearing that comment with that 70's tune in the background, that goes

    Time keeps on turning, turning turning turning ... into the future..

    .... fly like an eagle, into the sea...