Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Niamh, Yeat's Wife with Spectacles, and Caravaggio

I was looking forward to seeing Niamh who was a classmate of mine back at Limerick. A very good person and very patient in communicating with me (i.e. writing). When she was in NYC by chance in spring 2004, we briefly met for first time since 2002. After we corresponded a bit, we were saying how it was so good seeing you. She wrote that seeing my handwriting, after 2 years of weekly emails and occasional pictures, she is really seeing me through my handwriting as opposed to my physical appearance.

We met at the Grafton Street, a shopping district in centre of Dublin and found a sandwich place to eat. I was still ailing from the cold and she had just flown in from a weekend in London. So, no expectations from each other. After we deposited my rucksack at her apartment, we went to the National Gallery of Ireland. It's a nice change of scenery because I'm so used to the MET. We saw some modern paintings by the Irish before moving on to European paintings. One of them, Jack Yeats who I'm assuming is the father of poet Yeats is a versatile painter dabbling in both modern and traditional portraits. A room was dedicated to Jack's paintings of individual members of the Yeats family. A portrait of his wife showed her wearing eyeglasses. I was very happy seeing a female subject wearing glasses. I'm being silly, I know..

We went on to see other paintings by Vermeer, Caravaggio, Mainie Jellet, some Flemish, French and Italian painting to name a few. The museum is free of cost (unlike $1 suggested donations at the MET) and the visit was very worthwhile. Niamh hadn't visited the museum in "ages" and felt it was worth it. The museum has a nice mix of painting genres.

We went to her apartment for a nap and to rest before we met Caroline for dinner. I'd forgotten that Niamh is a fast walker. I had to double my paces to keep up with her and more than once my underwear rode up. She's slightly shorter yet faster than Alexa.


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