Entertainment TonightJenn and the kids have been hanging out in town for the last few days, making friends with various news crews who are in town to cover the Chelsea Clinton wedding. We have no interest in the wedding, per se, and I find it interesting that there is so much media interest in this wedding, compared with, for example, that of Jenna Bush. Dare I say it reeks of a liberal bias in the media, and a fascination with all things Democratic ? We are, however, happy that the wedding will be held in Rhinebeck, since the publicity will probably bring tourists to check out our ‘sleepy little town’.

Anyway, the kids were excited to hang out with the ‘Entertainment Tonight’ crew, and after Eoghan got to hold the microphone he has decided that he wants to be a cameraman when he grows up. They were busy last night watching all the news shows that had segments on Rhinebeck and the wedding, and spotted Grandma walking down the sidewalk.

Click to view video !Orla and Eoghan on NY1
They headed into town again this morning and spent time chatting with their new-found friends, but weren’t interviewed. However, tonight when they were checking out the various shows they were thrilled to see that footage of them taken yesterday was aired today on the New York TV channel, NY1. The footage also features Grandma (in pink) commenting about Chelsea. Even if we didn’t make the cut for the wedding, they feel famous now…



Eoghan and Dad
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It’s been obnoxiously hot here this week, so we haven’t been doing too much. On Sunday we took Eoghan and Conall to Hudson, a town right on the river and with a long, wide main street, full of antique stores, although it’s still struggling. There are some decent eateries there, and this time we went to one of our favourite Mexican restaurants, Mexican Radio. Orla’s not a fan of spicy food these days, although when she was younger she loved Thai and other ethic food. The boys, though, enjoyed it as much as Jenn and I did.

We also took the kids during the week for lunch at our local Japanese restaurant in Rhinebeck, along with Sue, Justin and Beth. Jenn had taken the kids into town to see some of the TV cameras that were filming segments in town about Chelsea Clinton’s upcoming wedding, and the kids were hoping that they’d be filmed and become famous. Not this time, though. They enjoy going to the Japanese place, because they always love watching the chef performing at the hibachi grill, although Conall got a little freaked out at the pyrotechnics and bade a hasty retreat to another table or a while. He was happy to come back and join us when it was time for some ice-cream, though !

Orla collecting crabs in the Hudson as the sun sets

Orla collecting crabs in the Hudson as the sun sets

Despite the heat we also went for a few walks at Mills Mansion, taking our golden retriever Angel with us. We all like going down to the sandy beach by the river’s edge, and Angel loves to swim in the Hudson. The kids love searching for pirate shipwrecks and other treasure, and on this trip they weren’t disappointed as they found quite a few dead crabs washed up on the shore. Next time we need seafood we know where to go…



Walking down the street these days in Rhinebeck it’s impossible to miss the TV cameras and assorted journalists who are scoping out the town in anticipation of Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. Rumor has it that the wedding will be held at Astor Courts, the old Astor estate that borders Annie Liebowitz’s pad looking out over the Hudson River. As it happens, the supposed venue for the wedding, an impressive house on 50 acres, is only a small part of the original Astor holdings; the family still own a huge tract of land in Rhinebeck.
Orla and Eoghan are excited to see the news crews in town, and are sure that they’ll be interviewed and become famous. Meanwhile, I’m just hoping that the commotion over the wedding doesn’t upset our day to day routines too much, and that there will be no road closings.
We can take comfort in the fact that it seems certain that another initially rumored venue, The Locusts, is now out of the running. Coincidentally, the Locusts adjoins the site of a now-demolished manor house, Hopeland, that was the site of an Astor wedding back in the early twentieth century. Since that estate is situated literally across the road from our house, if the wedding were to have been held there it would have been a right pain in the rear.



Back to Dublin

July 18, 2010 | 4 Comments

Miriam and Roisin
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I was hardly back in NY from my last trip when I mentioned to Jenn that my sister Mary was off to France on holidays. Well, says Jenn, why don’t you go and stay in her house ? You can work on your writing there without any distractions. That was on a Wednesday morning, and Friday night saw me flying back to Dublin.

This trip was the first one in a long time that I flew on Aer Lingus, and I was reminded why I’m not too crazy about them. On a late-night flight to Dublin, when you’re trying to grab 40 winks, the last thing you need in a stewardess telling you to put your seat up because they’re serving their lousy food. This is after they tell you that won’t be serving wine with dinner, so if you want any you better order it in advance – for a price. They’re happy to nickel-and-dime you, even after charging you $1,200 for a ticket…Then, just as you’re finally starting to doze off, they wake you up to let you know that they’re about to start peddling their duty-free. Now I just stick to Continental and Delta, even though they’re annoying in their own way. Of course, when flying business Aer Lingus is okay, but then you get what you pay for…

Dublin is great when there’s not much traffic – really, the city couldn’t cope with the level of traffic that we saw in 2006 and 2007, but now, thanks in part to a new tunnel but largely due to the recession, it’s easy to get around again. The trip to my sister Ann’s for lunch was very quick, and I had a nice afternoon there catching up in advance of her trip to France with Caitriona and Tim.
For most of the week I didn’t do any socialising, and focused on getting some work done, when not watering Mary’s flowers. I did manage to meet up with David Quinn for a pint at Clontarf Castle, where Donal joined us, and I had dinner and Ann and Tom one night, and Niall and Maria and the kids another night. I was able to drop in on Maureen, who I was glad to see has picked up since March and is looking much better. I also got to meet up with Anthony and Leanne on Friday, and went back on Sat for dinner followed by a sing-song in their courtyard until all hours, fueled by some Bushmills…

We met up again on Tuesday at the opening night of a new production of The Quare Fellow at The New Theatre. I hadn’t seen it on stage before, so it was nice to have the opportunity to see it in such an intimate venue – and quite an apposite one, for a Behan production, being behind the Communist Party bookshop. As is customary, we went for a celebratory drink across the road where Donal joined us.

On the way home from dinner at Kinara on Thursday night, I heard about the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lavery exhibition on at the Hugh Lane gallery, so I decided to head in on Friday. The exhibition was quite interesting, given that Lavery had made the acquaintance of many of the signatories of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and had painted their portraits. I must confess that, on the evidence of her solitary painting on show, I thought that his wife Hazel – she of the Irish Pound Note fame – was the better painter.

Friday night saw me catch up with Miriam and Roisin, who was delightful. After a drink at the yacht club, we went to an Indian restaurant in Malahide, where it was great to catch up at our first dinner in Dublin in years, and to see how Roisin is growing up. We’ll definitely have to introduce our kids and see how they get on. The night was all too short and it was back home for a few hours sleep before heading out to the airport for the return to NY. Two weeks sure does go fast !