Today – June 16 – all over the world and especially in Dublin, fans of literature are celebrating Bloomsday, the day on which the masterpiece James Joyce’s Ulysses is set. Since I did my thesis work on the pubs in Ulysses I think this day should be celebrated with a pub crawl!
(If you want to know more about Bloomsday and why it deserves a celebration, first read my post on reading Ulysses and celebrating Bloomsday.)
If you, like me, happen to live where no one else (that you know of!) is celebrating Bloomsday, it is entirely possible to pay tribute to the pubs of 1904 Dublin in your own city, assuming you have a decent variety of pubs and gathering places from which to choose.
As Leopold Bloom has shown us, it is even possible to stay sober during this adventure if you so choose!
Here’s your itinerary to celebrate Bloomsday (exact timing is optional):
I created these pub “ads” for my thesis defense years ago.
Destination 1: Find your “moral pub” like Davy Byrne’s (1 p.m.)
This should be a mostly quiet place with a bartender who knows your name and may stand a drink every four years (“in leapyear once in four”) and where everyone pretty much knows everyone else.
To be like Bloom, order a burgundy. Bonus points for a gorgonzola sandwich.
Destination 2: Find a restaurant with live music like The Ormond Hotel (4 p.m.)
This stop should be somewhere with a bar and a restaurant. The food should be a “good value” like the Ormond, the “best value in Dublin.'” The music is most important to this stop and the atmosphere should be warm and intoxicating.
To be like Bloom, order a cider here with your dinner. I’m having trouble remembering/finding what he orders for dinner here! Let me know if you remember!
Destination 3: Brace yourself for a pub like Barney Kiernan’s (5 p.m.)
This destination should be a drinking establishment (no food!!) where people are REALLY throwing some back. You don’t have to – Bloom doesn’t – but you should be ready to hear some stories and buy some rounds when you enter this place. I seriously doubt and hope there is no where too similar to the Barney Kiernan’s depicted in Cyclops, or a regular patron like “the citizen,” in your town! So this particular stop might require some imagination.
To be like Bloom here, refuse a drink and just have a cigar. But you may choose to have a beer in celebration of this scene/chapter, one of my favorites in the book. Buy a round if you can!
Optional side excursion: Find a maternity hospital where people are drinking (good luck with that!!) Here you would drink a Bass beer. This scene still cracks me up!!!
Optional nightcaps: Find a Burkes, this is another pub (not much description about it) where to be like Bloom you drink a ginger cordial and then a “Rome boose” (wine).
And after all this (5 drinks) he is still one of the most sober in the bunch!
Wherever you are and whatever you drink, enjoy your Bloomsday, everyone!!!
You may also enjoy my previous post on tips for drinking on Bloomsday.
If you are interested in reading Ulysses with a fun group of people so you can celebrate Bloomsday, look for more information later this year on my Ulysses reading group (virtual/online) to start January 2018. Follow me on any social media platform (see images under Let’s Keep in touch below or to the side) or sign up to receive posts by email to stay informed.
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