Posted on 20 September, 2014
Every year I think “oh yeah , Culture night is on this weekend, oh that was last night wasn’t it”. Well not this year, this year there was studying of the program and even an advanced booking! It was not going to pass me by (again!).
Culture Night is the one night of the year when Cork throws open it’s doors open and free events flood the program. Galleries, theaters, church towers,parks,food markets, flea markets, everywhere you look there’s something happening and it’s all free!
This year the city even opened it’s river and that’s where my friend Dee and I headed first. Meitheal Mara (which roughly translates as community of the sea) are a community boatyard who specialize in currachs . They provided us with a long boat and team of rowers to take us, and other keen Corkonians, for a trip on the River Lee.
The currachs looked stunning but if we had got a place on one of those we would have been put to work rowing. As it was we got to sit back and enjoy the city from the river.
We went under Patrick’s Bridge, a bridge which I cross nearly every day and found a surprise. From above I never knew it had a pretty cool bust of St Patrick, the man himself, hidden under it’s arch. Each arch has a carved stone bust watching over who passes under it’s arches and I never knew they were there.
The Meitheal Mara people were warm and friendly and they even made the rain hold off until we got back! It felt pretty special to see the city from the water and to be rowed about the place like ladies. We landed back to the quay pretty chuffed with ourselves and Culture night wasn’t over yet.
After a some food and a quick trip through the English market which was thronged with muscians, dancers and wine drinkers we stocked up on black rubbish sacks and headed to Fitzgerald’s park to watch a film. The black sacks were in lieu of blankets or a seat but as it turned out they provided enough cozy beanbags and chairs to go around.
In full rain gear we sat on our black sack covered bean bags and settled to a night of The Commitments and an overall feeling of smugness that for once Culture night didn’t pass me by.