day 18: class, coffee, and meeting Micil

across the pond galway! travel

We kicked off the day with my Interactive design class meeting in my professor’s apartment. The place we’re calling home for these weeks in Galway was nice, I knew, but it wasn’t until I entered the courtyard to get to our professor’s apartment that I was struck with just how cute and gorgeous it was inside. The flowers spilling out of their hanging pots contrasted so nicely with the brilliant white of the stucco on the walls and black trim, and I couldn’t help but think of my mother and her love for the hanging plants we have on our porch, and the petunias that adorn our front steps.

We crowded around her living room to discuss our assignments for the week, as well as get a better glimpse into what we could expect on Friday [which is the first day we would be at Foroíge to work with the kids there, embedding them into our various teams for our food project]. We discussed the uses of some social media as well as how best to use certain platforms for certain types of media content. The food project was going to be big, and it would coincide with the Film Fleadh as well as our other interactive design class projects. That night, we had an assignment due; we were to create a Snapchat geofilter that depicted a popular yet historic part of Galway’s west end. 

Afterwards, I went with one of my classmates to a local coffee shop [that I later learn was one of three high-end dining experiences crafted by local chef and restauranteur,  JP McMahon]. It was called Tartare, a cafe restaurant by day and wine-bar by night. The inside was brilliantly decorated, with a dark and moody yet artistic atmosphere.

My favourite part [and gorgeous, provocative statement piece] was on the walls— a pinkish, reddish neon lighted sentence in all caps:


I ordered a [gorgeous] cafe mocha and got to work designing and sketching for my geofilter. 

A lover of modern art myself, I chose to re-create my run-in with the Galway Hooker in Eyre Square:

After spending a couple of hours there, we headed back to the apartments to meet in the backyard of the house the boys were staying in.

On our way back, we passed some graffiti on the canal wall that caught my attention, and I couldn’t help but relate it back to all the art we saw in Derry.


Once we were all gathered as a program, we officially broke off into groups to build our media teams. We had a web team [responsible for building the site and uploading the content, as well as managing some of the social media], the storytelling team [who would be responsible for interviews, data collection, and feature stories related to our topic, the video/audio team [responsible for visual storytelling and bits of audio and video related to the rest of the project], and my team—the multimedia team, which was responsible for gathering any content that the other teams needed, as well as creating a logo and branding scheme for our website and project.

After we were all officially broken up into teams, we designated project managers and brainstormed ideas and plans for the coming week ahead. 

I headed back to our apartment to put the finishing touches on the filter as well as finish a write-up for my creative process. By the time I was finished, my roommates and I were all famished, so we made dinner and made plans to go out for drinks afterwards.

We were a bit undecided on where to go at first, but we found ourselves ducking into a place called the Salthouse Bar, a cozy, hip place right near the Claddagh [pier thing].

The inside was adorned with fairy lights that illuminated the seemingly endless collection of tap-stickers and tap labels stuck to every inch of the walls and ceiling of the bar’s interior, including one from a brewery that I knew to exist near back home in Leesburg!

ft. Delirium!!

Their bathroom was cool too, the insides of the stalls were plastered with Wonder Woman comics and part of a Batman comic.

A friend back home, who had been on my study abroad program trip last year, had recommended a few things to me for my trip:

  1. Pack extra socks
  2. A jean jacket is a good idea
  3. Order Orchard Thieves cider every chance you get
  4. Order “the Special” on the west coast

Socks = check, same with the jean jacket. I’d had many a round of Orchard Thieves in Dublin and Derry, so I decided the Salt House would be my “Special” debut. I asked the bartender for “the Special”, and she gave be a bit of a quizzical look. Did I order it wrong? Oh no I must sound like an idiot LOL I thought, but then she asked the other bartender working, who then came over to me asking if I wanted the whiskey or gin special. On a bit of a whim, I answered “gin”, and he poured me drink of Micil Gin and Elderflower tonic.

When I tasted it, I immediately fell in love. Apparently, Micil gin was the gin of the month at that bar, and I just had the equivalent of a great first date.
I think I accredit the Salt House bar with my newfound love for Micil Gin. 

low lighting and bad photo but quality people (:

It was a cozy evening excursion with the girls, and we headed back after an hour or so of playing the Jenga [covered in visitor graffiti, pretty cool[ they had in-house while listening to the bar’s eclectic music choices. 

We headed to bed full of food and good drink, looking forward to the empty work day ahead. 

steph ☀

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