Where Irish ‘Troubles’ Began, the Arts Heal
BRENDAN SPIEGEL is a travel writer for the New York Times.
“SUPPORT OUR POWS. END TORTURE IN MAGHABERRY. RELEASE MARIAN PRICE,” scream the block-letter graffiti messages lining the 400-year-old stone walls that surround the historic center of Derry in Northern Ireland. Ascending the long staircase leading to the walls, I paused and looked back down the hill at a sign reading, “You Are Now Entering Free Derry.” Behind it, a somber mural depicted a gas mask-clad young man enveloped in a battle scene. At a glance, one might think I had stepped into a war zone.
In fact, this once hotly contested city is far from it. As I wandered under an archway and into the walled city, I was a bit taken aback by just how far.
The notes of a classical piano piece rang out from the First Derry Presbyterian Church, the clomps of an Irish step-dancing class echoed loudly through the narrow streets, and a chorus of enthusiastic buskers belted out tunes for passing shoppers. A rainbow-colored tourist trolley swung a busload of photo-snappers around the corner....
comments powered by Disqus
- Roman Gladiators ate a mostly vegetarian diet and drank a tonic of ashes after training
- Massachusetts is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the wedding of John and Abigail Adams
- King Tut had overbite, club foot because his parents were brother and sister
- Prehistoric humans were far smarter than previously assumed
- Priests race to save manuscripts from jihadists in Iraq
- Niall Ferguson Joins Schwarzman Scholars as Distinguished Visiting Professor in China
- Francis Fukuyama is still bullish on where history is headed, but Americans should worry: republics can decay.
- Highlights of the recent Oral History Association Meeting
- Rick Perlstein response to Sam Tanenhaus's complaint that he's an aggregator
- Thai historian faces charges for daring to challenge a story about a royal king