Friday, September 08, 2006
Friday, July 21, 2006
Joe set sail from Cape May on May 24 in a sloop named after the town. His dad was born in Falcarragh. Ferry had tried twice before. The third time was the charm.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Nothing about Gaelic football and hurling is subtle. (OK, I'll confess, the scoring system is a mystery.) But if you're used to watching pro sports, probably the only one that comes close to matching the non-stop action of Gaelic athletics is hockey. And even hockey seems sluggish compared to Gaelic football and hurling.
Especially hurling. (See photo at right. That's hurling.) Hurling seems like hockey, football, baseball -- and assault with a deadly weapon, maybe -- all rolled into one.
If the Phillies bore you -- and, lately, even offend you -- and if you just don't give a rat's ass about the coming Eagles season, you really ought to give Gaelic athletics a try. It's free, and it's a whole heckuva lot more fun and involving.
The folks who play Gaelic sports clearly have lives off the field. When they play, they play for the sheer love of it all. They throw themselves into their sport with reckless abandon. They don't stop the game just because someone has been minorly concussed. ("Ooooooooh, me fookin' head!") The people who pull on the bright jerseys each weekend are not jerky jocks who care more about themselves than they do about their team, and they haven't a hope in hell of a multimillion-dollar contract. Fox isn't going to pay jillions for broadcast rights. You won't see the play of the week on SportsCenter. There's a raw, emotional purity here that is often missing from pro sports. I had a coach in high school whose favorite saying was "Ya gotta love the game, son." (He said that all the time, even when he was substitute teaching freshman algebra.) Well, these guys -- and women, too -- truly, madly, deeply love the game.
And if you claim Irish heritage, well ... why aren't you there? This is every bit as vital a part of the tradition as the music.
Find out for yourself. More games at Cardinal Dougherty field this Sunday. See the listing on our sports page.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
They're really putting their backs into it (as you can tell by the look on the face of the guy with the glasses and the bandanna).
And they're not paddling ordinary rowboats. They're plowing up the Delaware in currachs (pronounced "CUR-rah"), derived from traditional Irish fishing boats.
This is a hard, hard workout, and yet another example of an obscure Gaelic sport that has made its way to our shores.
Check out lots and lots more photos and stories:
Friday, June 16, 2006
Celebrate Bloomsday Today at the Rosenbach The great museum on Delancey Street commemorates James Joyce's masterwork "Ulysses"with a day of readings by local notables. And check out the museum's Joyce manuscript.
Locals Make Beautiful Music at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh We Philadelphians have a lot to celebrate.
Brian McNamara, the "Piper's Piper," in Coatesville His style of playing uilleann pipes has been called unique. Find out why. Go to the concert this weekend in Coatesville. We have an interview with this gifted Irish musician.
A Salute to Tommy A local musician sent us an e-mail praising the venerable Tommy Moffit as he retires from his radio show. Hey, praise seems like a great idea. Let's pile it on.
A reminder ...
The Kane Sisters in Concert at the Philadelphia Irish Center July 22 The Philadelphia Ceili Group will present a concert of traditional Irish music featuring The Kane Sisters from the Connemara Gaeltacht in County Galway on Saturday, July 22, 2006, at 8.30 p.m. at the Philadelphia Irish Center/Commodore Barry Club.
- Aoife Clancy in Concert at Longwood Gardens ( Fri., June 16)
- Uilleann piper Brian McNamara . In concert at the Coateville Cultural Center and sponsored by the Coatesville Traditional Irish Music Series. ( Sat., June 17)
- The Tom Standeven - Liz Anderson Sean Nos Tional ( Sat., June 24)
- Eileen Ivers at Sellersville Theatre ( Sat., July 15)
Monday, June 12, 2006
Both are pretty wild, fast-moving games (unlike U.S. football, which is about 90 percent beer ads, butt scratching and officials waving their arms and throwing their hankies down, apparently in a fit of pique).
Hurling in particular can be exceptionally hairy. My partner Denise, who shot the photos, was standing along the sidelines as the football game came to an end and the hurlers started to take the field. She noticed that all of the women and children started to move back -- way back -- from the field. She asked why, and she was told, essentially, you could get seriously beaned.
Anyway, both are full-contact games played by guys who are passionately committed to throwing themselves into things body and soul. The souls probably hold up OK. The bodies? Ummmmmmm, a whole 'nuther question.
Check it out:
Friday, June 02, 2006
Solas is by far the most popular of the 10 concerts in the Pastorius series, drawing 2,000 to last year's show.
If you come, make sure to bring a folding chair or blanket, and maybe a picnic supper. And don't forget bug spray. One of the down sides -- maybe the only down side -- of the outdoor venue is skeeters. But annoying little buzzing things aside, Pastorius is a lovely venue.
Although there is no charge for the concert, contributions are gratefully accepted, and we do encourage you to support the concert series.