Chase the Rainbow: Dublin Selected *275


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Last week we were all about exercising our vote, and it paid off. The 23rd May happened, and it was a haze of hugs, as we stood around, dazzled by just how amazing one day could be. How incredible it was to share such an experience.

History is so often experienced in the abstract that the experience of being involved in the campaign felt vaguely surreal and cinematic, but the results were very, very real. People felt comfortable holding hands with their partner for the first time. Others were finally able to think about the wedding they’d been planning as a real wedding, and not just a civil partnership. Like the weddings their parents and grandparents had before them.

The campaign saw people we had always known to be exceptional absolutely startle us with their eloquence and tenacity. House parties chanted ‘Colm O’Gorman for President’ as the tallies rolled in, but until that moment, no one could even dare to bet their bottom dollar that the campaign would succeed. But it did, and for the ultimate ‘hero’ roll-call, head over to GCN where there’s an entire issue dedicated to the marriage equality warriors. You’ll have your personal heroes, and we have ours, but it’s a pretty good place to start.

Who would definitely have voted for Niall from One Direction to be president? Kate or Michael?

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Maria Nilsson Waller

Blanca, a show as part of Dublin Dance Festival

We spoke to the blooming lovely Marion Keogh and Esther Gerrard, founders and creators of the annual Bloom Fringe Festival. We asked them about all things green, and found out more about the happenings on Saturday, 3oth May. See here for more. PHOTO: Ciara Corrigan 

Where did the idea for Bloom Fringe come from?
All good festivals have a fringe, Ireland’s Bloom in the park is a great success and bringing some of that energy and ethos and enthusiasm for greening into the city was a natural step.

Being passionate about city living and urban-ism, Esther always wanted a platform to promote and celebrate all the good work that goes on in the city by community groups and innovative entrepreneurs, while Marions’s baby is flowering the city, making it Bláth Cliath and so Bloom Fringe was born.

How did yourself and Esther know each other, and what are your respective backgrounds?
We met on Parking Day in 2013 on Camden Street when our ‘parks’ in a car-park space were down the road from each other. We then kept bumping into each other at different events which culminated in the DCC Vacant Lot Seminar. Here we discussed the idea of a Fringe to Bloom to promote and celebrate lots of the good work in the city.

Marion, who works as a garden designer had already worked on four Bloom Show Gardens is a big advocate of this but wanted to do something more urban and grassroots. Esther’s research as a landscape architect had focused on the idea of making change in the city through small incremental improvements. Urban Acupuncture interventions, where small steps and easily implemented changes combine to make a large difference. She’d worked on a Park Walk with Granby Park and community based interventions in the UK.  As a project manager she was naturally really interested in rolling out a Fringe to Bloom and showcasing some of her research through action in the city.

What is the main aim and ambition of Bloom Fringe this year?
We focus on ways to improve Dublin City life with nature in mind. We want to celebrate the existing groups in the city and we hope our themes drive the conversation around Greening Dublin, Nature in the City, Healthy living and urban space, Biodiversity, Community and neighbourhood Co-operation.

Is Dublin becoming a more green-fingered society? Are there any public initiatives which could help?
Ireland and Dublin has a lot going for it in terms of livability, and being a good city to live in. It is definitely green, it is walkable, cycle-able and we hold close the village values of community, scale and localism. But we at the Bloom Fringe team think we need to celebrate this more and then work on these strong points with more green infrastructure, more seats in the city, more cycle routes and more promotion of innovative and sustainable measure in the city.  Our green wall in Crampton Court as part of the Love The Lanes initiative was the first green wall in a Dublin public space and we need to encourage and respect the demand for more green spaces from the public.

What do you say to people who think you need a garden to engage with horticulture?
Come to our Seed Bomb Workshops and you will see the potential for gardens and urban greening in unlikely places.

Any personal highlights from the weekend?
Wow, well we have 55 locations across the city with multiple events from talks, workshops, interactive events, installations, tours, pop-up gardens, community open-days , food sampling and demos and of course we also have other guerrilla and street-art interventions that show Dubliners what can be achieved in the municipal environment.

Your top tips:
We are really thrilled with our remodelled Thorntons Skips, which promote more seating and greening in the city, see them on Temple Lane South, North Earl Street and Dublin Castle.
The Sod Show, Ireland’s only gardening radio programme, is hosting a panel of live chats (The Sod Show Sessions) in Powerscourt Townhouse from 10am.   Also check out Queens of Neon’s pop up garden by Peter’s Pub.

Dublin Castle has some lovely family workshops in the Printworks Building centering on growing and recycling, while you can have your very own garden clinic with a top designer in the Dubhlinn Gardens in the afternoon. While getting there don’t miss the Georges Street and Temple Lane South Bloom Fringe pop up gardens (Why Go Bald Square and Sláinte Street) with food sampling and cooking demos. You can’t miss the hanging gardens of Dublin on Dame Lane across the road.

We have music performances by IMC’s Down with Jazz musicians throughout the day and do venture further afield to community gardens in Mud Island, Flanagan Field and the community collectives in Corrib Road.  Dog lovers can bring your best friend to the Doggie Do beside City Hall while plant lovers can get some plants at our plant sale there too. We will also have special Thyme Travel give aways at secret pop up locations.

However, if that’s all too much you can chill out and do some yoga in Dublin Castle and Brighton Square and even get a massage at Melt.

Le Help

Le Cool is a free weekly magazine distributed every Thursday that features a selection of cultural events and leisure activities, revealing the things you really shouldn’t miss. We filter out, among other things, the best art, film, music, and club nights, as well as a careful selection of extraordinary bars, restaurants and other fine places. Le Cool content is chosen because we believe it is worth your time and will never be traded for money.

To contact our editorial team, email Kate.
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Published by: LE COOL GROUP

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