Until recently there didn’t appear to be an end in sight. It was going to be cans in the gaff whilst staring at your friends through a screen for all of eternity. But with the reopening of the economy being accelerated in recent weeks there seems to be some tentative glances towards a light at the end of a tunnel.
It’s not quite clear yet what life will look like and for how long we’ll have precautionary measures in place, but the recent changes are bringing a bit of much needed hope. We can start to think about all the things we are looking forward to post-lockdown without torturing ourselves. Whether that’s pints with friends or giving your gran a hug.
First up the District crew have shared what they are pining to do once lockdown has ended.
Craig Connolly – Director, District Magazine
Egg & Chorizo in Tang
Middle Abbey Street isn’t known as a culinary hotspot but Tang’s arrival a couple of years back has changed all of that. A stone’s throw from our office, their eggs & chorizo combo is the perfect way to start the day!
A carvery in Fagan’s Drumcondra
A full portion served with extra stuffing and gravy served by Mario in the D9 institution was a staple of my 20s. I’ve since moved out of Drumcondra but still yearn for its savoury caress every weekend. I’m determined to be served first when they reopen.
An after work pint in Mulligan’s on Poolbeg Street
This is a pretty obvious choice. Most people daydream about what that first drink will be like when they get back into pubs, but Mulligan’s is different. The tradition, the heritage, the ritual, the staff remembering your order – hook it to my veins!
We’ve all had to make do with substandard takeaway Guinness served in plastic cups over the last few weeks, so to finally be served the greatest pint known to man after a long day in work will be worth the wait.
A trim from Alex in Trinity Barbers
My fiancé has done a surprisingly good job of keeping me from looking like that Big Foot character from the Virgin Media ads, however, I miss the craic of a busy barbers and wouldn’t mind having an actual hairstyle again. Alex always does a 10/10 job and the football is on while you get your chop – bliss!
Throwing the launch party for our new website
One of the best things we get to do at District is throw really fun parties from time to time, the idea of any sort of post-lockdown party would sate even the most seasoned party goer, but to be throwing a party especially for friends and all the people that backed our Kickstarter campaign is going to make it one for the history books.
On Friday we linked up with our buddies at @softboyrecords to host a party in @WorkmansDublin and things got wild. Big love to @slowthai and the crew for coming through and getting stuck in. Shot & edited as always by @BZithelo. Watch it in full: https://t.co/l2HYBeaUgH pic.twitter.com/xH0PT0tP3W — District (@districtmagazin) October 14, 2019
DJing (badly) in a venue like Wigwam
This is very similar to my last point but it still needs a mention, playing tunes to people in a sweaty club or bar is the most premium of craic. We’ve never said we’re the best technical DJs in the world but give us a room of 100+ people with an appetite for slow jams, hip hop bangers or soul classics and we’ll turn them into a quivering love-mess! Miss you Wigwam!
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Going to the Lighthouse for ANY film
I didn’t think I’d miss going to the cinema as much as I do but you really can’t recreate the excitement of seeing the film that everyone’s been talking about for months in a dark room with like-minded people. There’s going to be a sizeable period when no new films will come out due to COVID-19 but at this stage I’ll settle for 2.5 hours of Nepalese B-movie trailers once there’s a large combo involved.
That first outdoor gig
I was going to say festivals instead of an outdoor gig but realistically you could write a book on the excitement we’re all feeling for when the likes of All Together Now or Longitude open their gates in 2021. What I will say is this – if they made a Yankee Candle that smells like chip van, Portaloo and stale cider it would be the number one scent this Christmas!
Going to Kilkee Co. Clare
Every year we head to Kilkee with my fiancé and her family. It’s a tiny seaside town in west Clare that comes alive between the months of May – September. Now into our 7th year of going down and it’s arguably the trip I get most excited for every year. A few days of sandy feet, ice cold rock pools, 99s, cheap pints and a surprisingly good Chinese restaurant is just the tonic we all need to kickstart this summer.
Other Voices in Dingle
It’s weird that it’s the middle of summer and I’m this excited to be freezing my little nuts off again at Other Voices down in Dingle in the lead up to Christmas. It’s testament to how special a weekend the crew involved have made it – a community spirit that many strive for but very few actually achieve. I’m not even sure if OV is going to be going ahead this year but rest assured, whenever it does happen they’ll have me spending Dingle Dollars to beat the band.
George Voronov – Creative Director, District Magazine
Seeing Family, Friends, and Pets
I mean this is the most obvious one. I miss everyone so much and though I’ve had some form of communication with all of my friends and family there’s an extra special type of joy reserved for the first cuddle with my dog and the inevitable lack of any affection whatsoever from my cat.
Having a sweaty dance
This time of year was always defined by sun-kissed boogies in the Telephones’ schoolyard. It will probably be quite a while at this stage but I’m eagerly awaiting stepping out on the tiles.
Being able to go out and see art in museums and galleries
I suppose this is one of those things that you don’t think about too much until they’re gone. There’s something really special about getting face to face with a phenomenal painting – everything else melts away and you can carve out a moment of quietness for yourself.
I’ve come to grips with the fact that I am hopelessly addicted to caffeine. I’ll take it any way I can get it but the ritual of a well-made espresso is like a tiny beacon of hope in the distance.
Shooting Film Again
It’s all about the small things. I’ve really missed the feeling of remembering memories as they pop up one by one on the scanner.
The possibility of unplanned perfect days out and about on the town coming together spontaneously
It’s a beautiful day so you decide to treat yourself to a nice breakfast. You meet up with some friends and decide to make a day of it and go to the beach. More friends join. You have a picnic and a swim. Head back to town and wash down the day with a pint of the black stuff. Brings a tear to my eye.
Going out for a really god damn nice meal
I love cooking. But I prefer eating.
Hugs being a thing again
I’m a hugger. Waving from a distance just doesn’t cut the mustard.
I’ve always liked the idea of holidaying in Ireland. When the sun shines (and it’s not too windy) there’s no better place. Looking forward to going out West with a load of mates and probably a bike camping trip or two.
The next addition of Another Love Story
Myself and my close friends have a massive thing for ALS. We have been involved with building various parts of their festival grounds over the last two years and returning to Killyon feels like coming home. It’s debaucherous and wholesome at the same time. It’s an amazing way to put a bow on the summer.
Dylan Murphy – Digital Editor, District Magazine
I recently realised that dancing had all but vanished from my life since lockdown started. There’s something hugely liberating about dancing in a dark room and giving it wellies and It’s pretty much my favourite way to blow off steam. Hopefully i’ll be bringing the windmill to a dance floor near you very soon.
Being part of the queues to the bar, not to get in the shop
Pretty self-explanatory, but if there has to be queues of some sort in my life then I’d rather it be for pints than cabbage.
Football stadiums being full again
It’s become really apparent with the reintroduction of professional football in Europe that fans really are the lifeblood of the game. There’s a lack of tempo, a lot of confused faces when players run to celebrate with empty stands and the fake cardboard cutout fans are down right creepy. Can’t wait to see a sea of scarfs and hear audible shows of raw emotion again.
Hugging my family
Some of my family live abroad so I haven’t seen them since Christmas, so some major bear hugs will be in order.
Being able to go to gigs again will be great, but the recent great weather has me horned to be in a field drinking warm cans and trying to side-step whichever stage Chic are inevitably playing on.
Being able to host podcasts with people in my gaff
Skype and zoom calls just don’t cut it for me when it comes to podcasts. There’s a certain level of trust you can only really build in person and it always leads to the most compelling stories being told. Can’t wait to chat the ear off people in person again.
Getting regular haircuts
To drop the top or not? That question has been the bane of my existence the whole of lockdown. I don’t trust myself to do a good job and I miss the pure shite talk in the barbers.
Sitting in the outdoor area of The Sunflower with a cold, creamy Guinness
It could be Christmas before any semblance of normality in pubs and bars and I’ll take being crammed into the tiny confines of the bar, but really grabbing a pint in the sun out the back whilst a pizza cooks in their stone oven is the dream right now. I’ve woken up in cold sweats just thinking about it.
Face melting raves in Ulster Sports Club
One of the best spots to open in Belfast in recent years. It had become the watering hole for the local creative community and home to so many grassroot events, I’d made so many friends in such a short space of time there. More than anything it facilitated new friendships with like minded people and the intimate space has an inimitable atmosphere.
Post football pints
There’s beginning to be a bit of a pattern here, but in this case pints after football symbolised something a little bigger. No matter the result on the day or your own performance you headed down for one (or more) and any tension would dissipate. The ritual is an emotional palette cleanser that ensured that a bad 90 minutes didn’t ruin your weekend and a good 90 minutes felt that bit sweeter.
Photos: Christian Verheyen—Borussia Mönchengladbach/Getty Images// Tony Kinlan – Longitude// Mulligan’s – Irish Times// Joy Crookes – George Voronov