Monday 26 January 2009

Slumming it

will do anything for publicity on this blog. I see the success of the motion picture Slumdog Millionaire (the book's better) has lead to an new demand for tours of the slums of Mumbai and an increase interest in "poverty tourism" in general. Obviously this raises a lot of Questions and fewer Answers about the moral dillema of this type of tourism. We do have at least 1 book on this subject in the library. Pro-poor tourism: who benefits. And we also cover almost every aspects of tourism imaginable with books on eveything from wine tourism, gay tourism, monarchy tourism, sports tourism, ecotourism of course, film tourism, etcetc and the rather dodgy dark tourism. which explores peoples fascination with visiting places associated with death tragedy and disaster.
One of the delights of growing up in Belfast was talking visiting friends to places like Milltown cemetry up the Falls Road with its Republican plot and associated Nationalist history, and who can forget Michael Stones' infamous attack on mourners back in 1988. Now of course black taxi tours of "The Troubles" loyalist and nationalist areas of the city are big business.

If you could spot the next niche market you'd be on to a winner........Howsabout credit crunch tourism with visits to decaying financial services areas and down and out bankers. See also post from 22nd oct last.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Blog Bless America

apropos of nothing to do with the subject matter of this blog, Passing the American embassy in ballsbridge, dublin this morning and seeing their flag flying gave me a sense of pride satisfaction and hope that i didn't think i'd ever see again. Hand of history time Barack and as he quoted yesterday from Corinthians, "the time has come to set aside childish things." The same can't be said for those ejits, in Offaly is it? who are trying to lay some irish ancestrial claim to the man.
I'm not being biased here and have no American blood.

Friday 16 January 2009

Aingeal sa Chistin - kitchen angel...i think

There are some very talented people in the DIT School of culinary arts and now 1 of them, Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire, is in danger of becoming the next celebrity chef. Think inflated egos that have to be massaged, raving tempers, prima - that's the library. I managed to catch the second of Mairtin's new lifestyle and cookery programme Aingeal sa Chistin on TG4 last night at 8pm. It's wonderfully well thought out, refreshing and professional. Each week Mairtin helps out a friend who is planning a special occasion or event. Last night he was in connemara helping to prepare a bar-b-q for a family reunion. The focus was on doing fish and shellfish as opposed to the usual burgers and dodgy chicken. What made it so good was the way it showed the whole family helping to prepare the food, children helping their mother make ruhbarb crumble and everyone relaxing, exploring rock pools, canoeing, fishing, etc at the beach - that couldn't have been filmed last summer? Could it? And if you looked very closely you could see the dit logo on the side of Mairtins' apron

Wednesday 7 January 2009

What cookbooks really tell us

the Christmas (that seems like a long time ago) issue of the Economist had a marvellous light piece on the history of cookbooks. Pluck a flamingo took us on a romp from Apicius through to the celeb chefs of today, taking in the Italian Renaissance chef Maestro Martino, Englands housewife's favourite Isabella Beeton, the french doyen Escoffier, the queen of American home cooking Fannie Farmer, and so on. Interestingly many cookbooks reflected the ages in which they were published, whether that be social upheaval, the Reformation, Revolution or Civil War. Plagiarism really took off with the invention of printing while the order of the Renaissance was reflecected in their cookbooks. But why do we need them and why the insatiable appetite for them? Worth reading, as is most of their Christmas bumper edition - online or of course in glossy format in the library - articles on the attractions of oysters, of chilies, the link between sex and scent, also between music murder and shopping, Angels in the virtual world, Tintin, AND the worlds largest cookery library....... in Parma, Italy