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To Cork, June '09

The Lobby Bar, Cork

Republic of Ireland
I visited Cork City in the summer of 2002, taking a bus from Kilkenny, where I'd been living for a year or so.

I found a hostel, got something to eat, and went out looking for a place to have a pint.

In those days Ireland was going out en masse, full of drink and money. I found out that evening that downtown Cork was mobbed on the weekends, full of roaring and squawking punters, every place filled elbow-to-elbow — "black."

I didn't like that, and it made me sad, lonely. I wandered the "middle borough," the area between the two halves of the River Lee, but there was no place that I would feel comfortable.

I headed back toward the hostel, resigned to the idea of staying in.

I found the Lobby Bar. A string quartet upstairs, melancholic and somber. I spent the evening there.

I didn't talk to anybody. I remember the cello.