Monday, April 24, 2017

Conall McCabe's SerialKiller Exhibition at Gallery X

Gallery X has to be the coolest, most underrated art gallery in Dublin city centre (you probably passed by it endless times in South William Street without noticing it). Every single exhibition rarely fails to meet my expectations and there is a constant macabre, obscure theme that makes this little spot unique.

Conall McCabe's watercolour portraits are beyond disturbing, in the best way possible. I was transfixed by the fascinatingly haunting faces, eyes and expressions I've seen many times before in documentaries, tabloids and criminology books. Sure you're wondering "who the fuck wants to have Ramirez framed on the wall?" but the concept is more about depth rather than decorative purposes. I loved how these monsters were captured - Aileen  Wuornos looked nightmarish in blue hues and some shades of red were spot on, considering the way we imagine such horrifying entities of evil and how they invade our minds with fear and unsettling unease.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Behind the Scenes: Maija Sofia's Persephone Music Video

My insanely talented friend Maija Sofia has released a new song and bewitches us once again with her video, brilliantly shot and edited by Ciaran O'Brien. As I wanted the document the making of the whole thing and also be part of the experience (you can see me for a few seconds having some wine with the Velvet Sisterhood - Marnie looked fabulous in emerald, Maija stole the show in burgundy and of course I wore blueee velvet), I had to be in Phoenix Park at 7-ish am, an early start that revealed many challenges to everyone involved: ruthless wind, crippling cold numbing senses and limbs and a mix of mud, bog and bushes slowing down our pace. Some deer activity was finally spotted and the visual reward was worth the pilgrimage. A dark tale adorned with antlers and candles started to take shape. Also, there was wine and pomegranates so it was grand!

This video makes justice to Maija's love-at-first-and-every-listen single, embellished with poignantly poetic lyrics and a voice transporting us to a realm of daydreaming and mystique with a greater message. The subtle allure of intricate beauty and poetry makes this one of the most gifted singer-songwriters Ireland has ever brewed. Maija Sofia immerses her music in a sea of pastel veils and her nomad soul (seasoned with bits of her beloved Berlin, London, Connemara and dirty old Dublin) wanders in the woods, showing us both sides of her own unpretensious wonderland.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Seafood Feast in Octopussy's

I have this theory that, every single time I spend the day in lovely Howth, my gluttony takes over and possesses my appetite. I always end up wolfing out in some crabshack or street food market.

Octopussy's Seafood Tapas Restaurant is often packed for a reason and I knew I HAD to get in there and try all the food my (dilated, ahem!) stomach could handle. I mean, what else is one supposed to do on a gloomy Sunday? A dreary miserable afternoon spent in one of the most satisfying eateries in County Dublin is the perfect excuse to indulge.

After some seal spotting and pub snug pints, this was the place to be. Cosy, warm, good music (The Specials, Bessie Smith and some more formidable tunes) and a tempting wine selection including my all time favourite Alvarinho from Portugal. The portions are, as you can expect, tapas-like in quantity but the quality is fucking extraordinary. High-grade. It took us a while to decide what to go for, since there was a little bit of everything: mussels, calamari, prawns, octopus... you name it. It was like an entire ocean in menu pages. The good thing about the small sized dishes is that they leave room for more and more, allowing us to try many different things in one go.

We started with Carlingford oysters - fresh, yummy and rich in aftertaste. Then, crab mousse with herbs served in brown bread landed in our table and I shit you not, that's the texture and flavour dreams are made of. Describing it as heavenly would be an understatement. Scallops in lemon and garlic butter ensued and there are no words to define such scrumptious taste. The chilli and chorizo squids didn't disappoint either - the spicy factor and garlicky sauce was a real treat. And have I mentioned the char grilled lobster yet? The crustacean was an absolute winner, nothing beats that sweet flesh covered in garlic butter and a home made marie rose sauce to die for. I even dipped the brown bread in it (and in every other sauce, for the record). Given the money and time, we would've certainly go through the whole menu, this I know. The feast eventually met an end but only after we ordered dessert. Crème brûlée, the perfect classic, and oh so delicious. I think of that custard and I drool.

With a casual yet effortlessly romantic (as in candles, sheltered shack-like ambience) atmosphere, Octopussy's offers the best seafood for a reasonable price, meaning it's an affordable option either you're by yourself or with a bunch of friends - just make sure you book it in advance (I didn't but I guess it was my lucky day). I'm glad it wasn't a fancy spot so I didn't have to worry about my manners... This is definitely a "to be continued" kind of place for sure, and fair play to the staff - our waitress was lovely and extremely efficient. I'll be back on a sunny day to try the swordfish teriyaki.