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Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Blog, Music and Concert Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

The Real Star of U2’s Classic Anthem — “Pride (in the Name of Love)”




For those of us of a certain age, raised on a steady diet of MTV (when music videos were played exclusively), many of us will remember U2’s huge breakthrough hit, “Pride in the Name of Love,” recorded in 1984 which came off The Unforgettable Fire album, a masterpiece.

That’s always been one of my favorite rock songs, written by Bono and intended as a tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Long before other musicians were winning Oscars for other anthems dedicated to MLK, U2 did their own salute, which certainly stands the test of time.  Rolling Stone magazine routinely picks that as one of the greatest songs of all time, and rightfully so.  Even if you weren’t around back then, you’ve probably still heard it.

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Posted by on Apr 5, 2015 in Blog, Restaurant Reviews, Travel | 1 comment

Restaurant Review: The Sussex (Dublin, Ireland), a Five-Star Dining Experience at a Fraction of the Cost




Five-star dining is too often associated with stuffy ambiance and snooty service, at astronomical prices.

Hence, what I seek out isn’t just the quintessential five-star meal — which is always available if you’re willing to go broke while parsing over predictable continental menus and ridiculously marked-up wine lists — but the near perfect dining experience combined with an affordable cost.  Call it my culinary Holy Grail.

Earlier this evening, I found just such a place in Dublin (Ireland), which is named The Sussex.  Located within a short walking distance of the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton in Dublin 4 on Upper Leeson Street (in South Dublin), this small gem of a hearty yet healthy restaurant is located above a local tavern and is a rare find in what’s become a highly-competitive urban restaurant market, with newer places vying for distinction and attention.

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Posted by on Apr 4, 2015 in Blog, Personal, Travel | 1 comment

The Dublin Zoo Sucks




I love zoos, but I then again I hate zoos.

Zoos are sure fun to visit because you get to see lots of really cool animals.  But they’re also a glaring and ugly reminder of our own inhumanity towards nature.  Being an animal rights activist and then visiting a zoo is sort of like admitting pigs are intelligent and then ordering a full slab of baby backs.

I’m as guilty as anyone of hypocrisy and the double standards within most of us.  Worse, even — because I’m aware and troubled by it, yet do little.

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Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Blog, General Poker, Travel | 1 comment

My Arrival in Dublin (2015 Paddy Power Poker Irish Open)




Writing about a city where I’ve never traveled to before and know virtually nothing about seems inherently foolish and naively arrogant — two qualities that I’ve undoubtedly mastered far beyond reparation.

Until now, Dublin was just an ink spot on a map, an brief episode on Rick Steves Europe, and we all know of course — the home of Guinness, which I’ve been told is a popular brand of beer.  I also knew Dublin to be the substantive and spiritual muse for many great writers — including James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw, to name but a few.  It’s also the home of my own musical lion, Van Morrison.  Oh, and U-2 also.  Other than those Irish peculiarities, and a few castles, there isn’t much else here to see.

I’ve been granted both a gift and an opportunity to change that ridiculous previous statement and broaden my horizons.  My dear friend Padraig Parkinson asked me to fly over the Atlantic and attend the 2015 Paddy Power Poker Irish Open, and celebrate the 36th-year anniversary of the Irish poker scene’s beginnings, which I’ll be writing about a bit more.  The PPPO will be played here in Dublin over the next week.  [READ MORE ABOUT PADRAIG PARKINSON HERE].

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