at home (in Dublin) with…Sascha, Erin, C&G

We hop the pond and find ourselves on the other side of the road in this installment of our at home with series. Jacque worked with Erin at indiewire – actually it was partially thanks to Erin that Jacque even got the job, having seriously bungled the initial interview – over a decade ago, pre books and babies and expat status. She was around for Erin’s courtship with Sascha, a moving story that continues to add chapters, the latest featuring a bittersweet ending of sorts. After a year and a half overseas, the family will be returning to the U.S. So there’s a beginning built in there too. Before saying goodbye to their cute cottage, we wanted to hear thoughts on finding their place in Dublin, life with toddlers (twins!) and where to go when we finally get a chance to visit.
sascha-erin-ireland
Names & day jobs:
Sascha, writer/producer of children’s television, Erin, author and twin-wrangler

 

Where are you both from originally?
Erin (on Sascha): You’re a borough-bred. (NY, NY.)
Sascha (on Erin): You’re a suburban sweetheart. (Rocky Hill, CT)

 

Why did you move to Dublin?
We guess we wanted to prove to ourselves that parenthood wasn’t the end of our adventures!  (Either that or we were too sleep-deprived from dealing with our 18 month old twins to really think about what it would be like to live abroad with two toddlers and no support system). It was also a great job opportunity for Sascha: story editing a new show for Disney, Henry Hugglemonster, at an Irish animation studio called Brown Bag Films.

 

And now what’s bringing you back to the States?
Job opportunity in Los Angeles.
Biggest surprise about living in Ireland?
We’re so far north on the globe that in the summer, it is light until 10pm. The flip side of that, of course, are the short, short days of winter. Being awakened by our sons sometimes, we’d convince ourselves it had to be the middle of the night because it was so dark, and wince to see the clock read 8 in the morning.
cottage Dublin ireland
How’d you find the cottage?
Erin did a lot of research on daft.ie and then used Google Maps to learn the neighborhoods. We had friends who lived in Ranelagh, so we knew we wanted to be in that area because it was very walkable. When Sascha went over to Dublin by himself for two weeks for meetings, Erin would send listings, Sascha would visit the houses, videotape them (sometimes surreptitiously) and send them to Erin for her thoughts, and then we would Skype and discuss.

 

Erin: I could just tell when I saw the house that it was a happy place. It was bright with all the skylights –  I was worried about it being dark when it was rainy in Ireland—and because the owner was an architect who lived in it himself, I figured he made it as warm as possible. I was also worried about being cold. One house Sascha visited was a lovely old Georgian place by the water, but it had plastic over the windows and space heaters in the bedrooms—in July! When I saw the video of the lane with all the little cottages, it just didn’t look like anywhere in the U.S., which I loved.

 

How long until you felt like you got the hang of the place / could find your way around?
Well pretty much now that we’re leaving, we’ve really got it figured out! It takes a good year or so to really settle into a place. But Dublin is a very small, livable city so it wasn’t hard to get around. Getting used to driving took a bit—mostly the narrowness of the streets.
dublin cottage
First reaction from people when they visit?
“I feel like I’m on a film set.”/ ”How’d you find a cottage in the middle of Dublin?”/ “You live in a magical little storybook house, with skylights.”

 

What are the markets like there?
Everything from small grocery stores to large UK chains like Tesco to upscale Dean & Deluca-like markets such as Donnybrook Fair & Morton’s. In Ireland, all the markets charge for plastic bags, so as a result everyone has re-usable bags.

 

 

Favorite food find?
Vegetarian Scotch Egg at L Mulligan Grocer.
What’s always in the refrigerator or pantry? (both local and from back home)
Local: strawberries from Wexford, Ballymaloe sauce from Cork, Kerrygold butter, Wicklow blue cheese,
From the States: Bisquick pancake mix, sriracha sauce, Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips, and a giant bottle of ibuprofen.

 

july 4 dublin
Kids at dinner parties…baby sitters or bring them in to socialize?
We hosted Thanksgiving last year and when our sons went to bed while the party continued, they kept asking when our friends were going to leave and complained they were “too loud!” Right now they are still very young, so we prefer to have babysitters and relish holding and finishing a conversation.
 
What will you miss most about Dublin?
Too many things. Biking to work, the playground in Herbert Park, the smell of peat burning in fireplaces, Dublin at Christmas, our chatty neighbors, our sons’ burgeoning Irish brogues and their first real friends, thriving independent bookstores, the Irish Film Institute, amazing co-workers, real Guinness, and the perfect mix of seclusion and community with our cottage at the end of a secret street. Our dear friends. When we first moved, everyone would always apologize about the weather, but someone also said that “the sunshine of Ireland was her people.” It is totally true.
castle ireland
____
must see / do / eat in Dublin
must see: Powerscourt Gardens (just a 1/2 hour outside of Dublin), Chester Beatty Library, Marlay Park market, Meeting House Square Farmer’s Market, (with giant, retractable umbrellas), music at Christchurch Cathedral during Tradfest (we were lucky enough to see Maura O’Connell)

 

do: Have a pint outside The Barge Pub, on the banks of the Grand Canal (you might even get to see them operate the locks); see Irish band Altan perform or go to an impromptu trad session at Cobblestone Pub in Smithfield Market; see a summer concert in Phoenix Park; take the DART to Dun Laoghaire, cliff walk at Howth, shop at Tower Records (one still exists off Grafton St!). Also, get a drink at the Lord Mayor’s Lounge at the Shelbourne overlooking Stephen’S Green. It’s so old school Dublin.
About Larks & Japes

We host parties pairing culture with cocktails & canapés while collaborating with quality makers. goods • get togethers • getaways

Trackbacks

  1. [...] http://larksandjapes.com/at-home-in-dublin-with-sascha-erin-cg/ [...]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP (72.233.96.192) doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP (76.74.254.123) and so is spam.

  2. [...] old friend, Sascha, at The Bungalow. Last time we hung out was back in 2010 – he’s been busy in Ireland since [...]