Riham's Blog

Those docks that I love

Wherever I go, there is always one area about each place that I love, that makes me happier than any other. The reasons behind each choice aren’t always clear, and it’s not always the best or prettiest area of the city. In Dublin, the grand canal square has taken this special place. What’s interesting is that it seems to be the case for several other people I know. I guess the reason behind this particular choice is that it is in fact a beautiful area.

During the day

I tend to express this love by taking a photo (with a crappy resolution due to bad mobile camera) every chance I get. Since I work and live in the area, this seems to happen quite often.

What can I tell you about it?

Another day shot from a different angle

Apparently, this area was not the best or the safest in Dublin over 10 years ago. A friend’s parent lived in Dublin at the time, and she informed him that whenever she passed by that part at night, she’d have to hurry in fear of being robbed or at the very least confronted.

The red sticks coming out of the ground all face (and lead to) the Grand Canal Theatre. They all light up at night, and there are some green parts around the ground. This was designed by an architecture and urban design firm called Martha Schwartz Partners. A friend told me that these sticks were supposed to represent trees, and the green lights on the ground is supposed to be the grass. This did not really click in my head; why would trees be red? As it turns out, these were just supposed to create an exciting and vibrant atmosphere for when people  go into a premiere or an event at the theatre. This makes more sense, especially since the ground is also a shade of red, which creates a red carpet kind of thing.

Yet another angle at a different time of the day

That area also seems to be paradoxal to me with the rest of Dublin. Dublin’s buildings are small and seem more traditional, while this is the only place I can think of that has a more modern feel. That particular idea reminds me of one of the places in New York that I absolutely loved. It was a a rock in Central Park that I loved as soon as I saw it for a similar reason. It was so rough and high, overlooking the park where you can see all the trees and the nature. Yet if you just look up, you see all the skyscrapers and towers, a “concrete jungle” even. The contrast was so interesting and beautiful.

As you can quite clearly see, a small part of the city is over thought and overanalyzed in my mind. When that happens, a rant needs to take place.

Well lit at night, unlike the rest of Dublin, which goes asleep way too early.





Vintage Radio Museum

I haven’t blogged in a long time, but I went to a place that I felt deserved to be recognized from my part, which is the Vintage Radio Museum.

Who would have thought a museum could be located there?

It is located in the Martello tower in Howth, Ireland. You would think something this cool would be known among people who live in the town, but you would be wrong. I had heard of it from a friend, and I figured it’d be pretty easy to locate. I was able to find it on the map of the town, but when I asked people for directions to its exact location, they had never heard of it. Eventually, I was able to find it. There was a small sign followed by a pathway going upwards, that leads you to a very plain tower. The reason it was not painted or changed is because that would require approval.

This is what they used to make morse code. It would get printed on a different paper which would be deciphered by recipients!

When you walk in, you feel like you’re going into an old basement full of things that you no longer use, or that you went to your grandparents’ house. Everything in the museum was so well preserved and valued for what it is, and the guide (I don’t know what else to call him) just comes up to you and starts telling you the history of the radio, by showing you the radio from that period at every step. He doesn’t want you to come in and take a look at some old stuff, he wants you to know exactly when they were used and why, he puts it into context and is open to so many questions and discussions.

The best part was also listening to songs and speeches using a gramophone, or seeing him tune the radio using an eye that is on it. You get to see gramophones that need swinding in order to work, and you get to actually listen to them in action!

A radio from 1920s

Colored radios!

The radio came with Marconi, who was basically rich enough to get this “hobby” of his up and running. The americans developed it more later on and came up with colored radios, which were held by ladies like purses!

The radios started coming in sets later on, including the radio and a record player. They took up lots of space in your house, which I guess would serve as decoration as well!

From the radio set: the record player

From a radio set: the actual radio

An undercover radio! It has wires in the back, and was used in France when they were occupied.

It is just amazing to actually see all of this, and realize that this only dates back to 100 years ago. We often take for granted how much things have changed in that field. These radios couldn’t catch too many stations, which I would assume were often used for war propaganda. Yet here we are, some years later, with hundreds of options as to how to listen to music, get news and listen to talk shows. The museum was also full of old flyers and ads about this that even make this all the more fascinating.


Well, some things haven't changed. Who doesn't like waking up to music?

The old equivalent of "I read it on the Internet!"

50 years of Radio!