The Crescent Student Night: A Success to be Repeated

It was on a sunny, cool Thursday night that the students of Limerick’s university and colleges congregated at the Crescent Shopping Centre. Here, they had been told was to be an event, an event that would solve all wardrobe issues. From the morning struggle to find a top you hadn’t worn all week, to a pair of shoes that’s soles weren’t worn to your skin. This, rumour had it, was to be the pivotal night of shopping. This was The Mega Student Night.

Word of the event spread quickly approximately three weeks ago at the start of the semester when the Crescent Shopping Centre announced their elusive event. In the following days and weeks, the event’s page on Facebook began to fill with images and information on the discounts. These ranged from the highly anticipated 50% off Ristorante Del Arte on the night, to the 20% off the popular shoe shop, Schuh, on the night. Among other popular stores that offered 20% off to the hungry and penniless students were River Island, H&M, Quiz and Zumo.

The evening of September 29th in Limerick was riddled with traffic. It took up to an hour for students travelling in cars and city buses to make the trek to their destination with the rush hour traffic combined with the mass of people attending. On arrival, the car parks proved to be packed, with several people resolving to leave their cars on the side the driveway in and out of the centre. Inside, there were similar scenes. On first entering the centre from the Omniplex entrance, one would notice the lengthy queue at Ristorante Del Arte. Their 50% off offer overwhelmed their neighbours’ Rockin’ Joes, whose deal consisted of two meals for €15. As students continue14572064_1866782076883297_1211282523_od their way through shopping centre, it was obvious many students suffer from worn soles. Schuh was mobbed. The entire store was decked out in staff trying to deal with the hordes of students that so desperately needed a good pair of Sketchers.

 

Other stores featured similar scenes. For Penneys, all checkouts were in operation, while the Spin South West stand was under siege by dozens of students. The radio station broadcasted live on the night, giving away prizes both on the show to listeners and to attending students.

As the night was supposedly drawing to a close at 9 pm yet there were still masses of students around. Stores and restaurants struggled to shoo out lingering shoppers who picked up the final few clothes, shoes, and products for the night. On the night, students described the atmosphere as “Christmas Eve”-like.

Overall, the night was a success. The only real issue towards the end was a matter of fitting all these students into a city bus so that they could get home safely. The Crescent Student Night will be repeated in the future years. It was a welcome sale for those who are tight on cash at the beginning of the semester.14513786_1866782273549944_1145093716_o

Whelan’s Bar: The Pub That is Bringing Life Back into Town

 

Since the cancellation of Westfest this year, the town of Newcastle West has experienced a definitive lull throughout the month of September. The event, which started out as a local festival, had grown to a national festival, drawing in people from all over the country and beyond. Headliners such as the Coronas, Walking on Cars, Hudson-Taylor and The High Kings brought in great tourism for the town and community. The announcement of its conclusion caused a great deal of surprise and disappointment as the reason was deemed to be funding issues. However, in spite of this loss, the town has a new and exciting bar which has welcomed a new lease of life to the nightlife of the town.

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Whelans Interior

The Whelan family has held a high role in the pub scene of Newcastle West for the best part of four decades. Pat Whelan, the patriarch of the Whelan family, ran a highly successful bar known locally as Small Pat’s for dozens of years. Since earlier this year, Pat’s son, Gearoid, has been managing a new bar, Whelan’s Bar and D’Terrace Gardens.

The family behind the name never had an issue in garnering a crowd, their reputation withstands time. The unique aspects of Gearoid’s new bar are that it attracts both the younger and the more mature generation. There is a cool atmosphere in Whelan’s. It bears both a stylish vibe with live music every weekend as well as a traditional one with sports matches during Saturdays and Sundays.

Sports is clearly very important to the Whelan family. Adorned on the beer garden walls are paintings of rugby, golf, football, hurling and soccer stars. The bar never misses its chance to show any match live, as it draws it a large crowd. During the daytime hours, the bar also serves soup and sandwiches to their customers.14513545_2103254979900182_1215081705_o

Music, like sport, is an integral aspect of the bar’s essence. Three nights of the weekend a dedicated to showcasing live performances from acts both local and from further afield. The live music gives the talented musicians and singers of the community a stage to perform and develop as performers. this is the only pub in the town that offers live music every night of the weekend, and it’s good music too.

Whelan’s Bar and D’Terrace Gardens, like its predecessor, Small Pat’s, is sure to remain and in the community for decades to come. Overall, the early success of the pub this year is sure to transpire to the next. The new bar is welcome to the town as it has reinvigorated the nightlife of Newcastle West. Call in for a pint or a bowl of soup and enjoy the atmosphere.

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Childhood Nostalgia: Oh, How I Miss Thou

Back in the days when I was a young’un, I wanted to grow up as fast as I could. How incredibly naïve of me. And by saying this out loud, my parents get the immense satisfaction of proclaiming “I told you so”. They were right, oh boy, they were right. When I was seven years old, I was obsessed with the film ‘Titanic’titanic. I remember this especially because when I was seven, I found it was amazing that Rose, the main character, was seventeen. Seven. Seventeen. Get it? I was almost distraught when I was told that Jack and Rose’s love story was mere fiction, for until I was seven I believed that films were events that actually happened in real life. Rose’s story was the fuel to my desire to grow up as fast as I could. The idea of growing up, falling in love with a certain Leonardo DiCaprio and travelling across the Atlantic on a romantically named ship was perfect. Of course the drama of the ship sinking (following my safe rescue) made it all the more exciting. Unfortunately now that seventeen has come and passed me by, adulthood has been extremely anti climatic. If seven year old me saw current me now, lying on my bed lazily typing on a laptop, she would scold me and tell me to get up and party. But I don’t have the energy for that!

As a child, I saw an infinite amount of problems with life. 1) My bedtime was 8 o’clock (Except on Monday nights when I was allowed stay up until half 8 to watch Malcolm in the Middle even though my brother and malcolmitmsister had to go to bed. Ha. Ha. Ha.) 2) Dinners were my worst enemies (Potatoes were my kryptonite and noodles were saviour). 3) Learning joined-on writing was the biggest load of balderdash ever to come onto the face of the earth (but it was required of me if I wanted a Pen Licence which would enable me to write in BIRO- exciting right?). And of course there’s numerous other issues that I could shamelessly bore you with but I will allow your brain cells a little bit more time before they begin to degrade. When I thought of adulthood, to me it meant freedom, choosing my bedtimes, eating whatever I wanted, going out every weekend and the likes. What a disappointment, eh? Instead, my body never lets me stay awake past 11 pm on a normal night, my housemates are used to me leaving the sitting room around half ten to retire to my slumber chamber. I eat what I want, but what I want usually leaves me hungry just an hour or so later so I’m required to get a more filling, healthier option. And writing in biro is a lot messier than pencil anyway.

I have to say that, as you may have noticed, I am quite nostalgic. I adore looking back at old photographs of days spent at beaches, exploring the surrounding fields and birthday parties. The thrill of finding something new and exciting is getting less and less frequent in my wise, old age. Which is why I’m hoping that this new college life is going to reintroduce some of that excitement and motivate me once more! Living in the City is new for me so as I move on through the next couple of months I’m sure that new experiences and delightful happenings will reignite the nostalgia of my youth! Here’s to First Year!

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Let’s hope so, Walt.

The Wiki Assignment: Done and Dusted

For my Wiki assignment, I, along with my group partners, made a Wikipedia-esque page on… Hannah Arnup who features in local Limerick business the Craft Hub! Honestly, I’m not an artsy kind of person. I mean, I appreciate art and I’ve yet to find a work that surpasses Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam in my eyes. But I don’t spend much, if any, of my free time looking up great work or going to galleries to admire various pottery or sculptures.

So, I was unsure of my mission one lovely Wearnup potterydnesday afternoon when I journeyed into to city to locate this elusive ‘Craft Hub’ I’d been sent to get photos of. As I trawled through the city streets with my new iPhone and it’s super fancy camera in hand (my beloved slide-up phone of four and a half years met a tragic end two weeks before), I was unsure of how interested I would be in this artwork of Arnup’s. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised up arrival of the Hub that the staff inside were quite friendly and I got to play detective by secretly recording their answers as I asked them about Arnup and her work. The photos I gathered was the easy part, there was another kettle of fish that I had no experience of ever before.

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When it came to the actual formatting of the Wiki page, I was way in over my head. My extent of knowledge in the technology side of life revolved around logging into Facebook and somehow setting up a functioning Skype account to talk to my brother in Brussels. Luckily however, Jonathan, one of the people in my group, was more than helpful in showing me how this mysterious Wiki page actually operates. And so, when I was doing my part on the page about Irish Design 2015, I was actually able to put it up on Wiki myself! A laughable task for some but it was a small milestone for me.

Looking at Group 18’s Wiki page now that it’s been completed gives me a great sense of fulfilment. I’ve never known how Wikipedia works, despite relying on it for the most of my Leaving Cert year, and now I do know. It’s not that complicated or difficult, you know, once you get over all the brackets, equal signs, linking and that techy stuff. Sure, I got a blood-curling fright when I heard the deadline was Friday 30th October, not 6th of November like everything else I have due but you get over these things when the task proves doable. I’m still not a professional at all of this Wiki page making stuff or at this blogging madness but I like it so far. I think.

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The group project on Wiki was pretty cool. Maybe (not promising anything) I may grow to like, even enjoy, formatting web pages.

(Apologies for any incorrect use of computer terms and definitions, I really have no idea what I’m talking about).

Oh and guys! Check out the Wiki page! It’s pretty neat!
http://wiki.csisdmz.ul.ie/wiki/Hannah_Arnup_-_The_Craft_Hub,_Limerick

Smarter Travel: Smart Travel for the Smart Mind

When I was originally given this assignment, I was pretty much clueless on what exactly I’d do. What I eventually did do wasn’t really a stroke of genius and I’m sure that a much smarter person than I would have thought of it on the spot, did the task, took the photos and wrote the blog post in a day instead of waiting three weeks like me. But hey, I’m doing it now!

Okay, I live about five minutes from campus so I walk there, I live five minutes away fromul flagpoles Lidl so I walk there, heck, I even live five minutes from Odeon cinema so I walk there too. Therefore, I was left to ponder, what method of transport could I replace with a more environmental one to be considered ‘Smarter Travel’? Well my dear friends, the answer came one student race day not so long ago when I needed shoes. High heels (but not too high), cream, size 6 and… Well you don’t need all the details. But my quest to find these led me to the City, on a bus, which cost me the hefty fee (in a student’s eyes) of €2 each way. So Eureka! Right then and there I discovered that should I ever need to venture into the City again, I would walk. The opportunity arose just last week when I decided to go into the City to meet up with Mark, a fellow New Media and English student, to study and write up this blog in his humble apartment in the very heart of the City.

All in all, I was unprepared. I brought a heavy bag of books (special shout out to Edgar Allan Poe) and was wearing new Dune boots which, as fashionable as they were, were not suited to an hour long journey. The walk however was refreshing, several City buses passed me as I leisurely strolled by and the dull, grim faces of the passengers gave me an odd satisfaction (as I masterfully nearly tripped myself over a perfectly flat stretch of sidewalk). I returned home that day tired, and would have been €4 richer had I not bought second-hand DVDs in CEX while in the City.
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So on a reflective note, do I think walking into the City was really Smarter Travel? You bet I do! I’m not going to engage you with a load of balderdash about how from now on I’m going to walk to the City. I’m lazy. I like being zapped from one place to the other in a magical transportation device like a car. But usually I’m in the City bus for an hour or more anyway so, if I’m equipped with the correct footwear, I think it’s both more economical and enjoyable to take a nice stroll to my destinations (unless it’s stormy outside, then I most certainly will take the bus).

me and mark

Have a look at the Smarter Travel here!
http://www.smartertravel.ie/