Columns, How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish In Philly This Week

James Joyce Himself.

It’s Bloomsday week—the annual event celebrating the day (June 16) in the life of Leopold Bloom, chronicled in James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” The Rosenbach Museum on Delancey Street in Philadelphia has a copy of Joyce’s manuscript so it’s the perfect venue for a day of readings by local actors, celebrities, and ordinary Joyceans. You can also go inside and take a peek at the manuscript.

Before that—on Monday, June 13—you can spend an evening with Irish author Jamie O’Neill. His stream-of-consciousness style novel, “At Swim, Two Boys,’ tells the story of two 16-year-olds caught up in the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin and owes something to Joyce, O’Neill admits.

Quick, get your reading done! Fergie’s Pub is holding a Bloomsday 101 Quiz with James Joyce experts Melanie Micir and Lance Wahlbert on Tuesday, June 14. Not your usual Quizzo, but we happen to know that owner Fergus Carey is a serious literature fan and is usually one of the readers on June 16.

Speaking of literature, this is also the week to catch “Stoker’s Dracula,” a play adapted and performed by Philadelphia actor Josh Hitchens at the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion in Philadelphia. Setting: a dark, candle-lit room, perfect for this tale of horror. And there’s another Rosenbach connection. This wonderful little museum-library also owns a copy of the Dublin-born Stoker’s handwritten notes to Dracula, his best known work.

There’s plenty more going on this week that doesn’t require any extensive reading:

Sunday, June 12. An Evening at the Races at the Philadelphia Irish Center will benefit the family of Lori Kiely, who died last August leaving four small children. Kiely was involved in kids’ sports, particularly Gaelic sports, so many of her friends from the fields are sponsoring this event to help out her young family.

Thursday, June 16. After a day of Joyce, drop by the Camden Riversharks stadium. It’s Irish Heritage Night there, with Irish music, dancers, and probably a few surprises. (Order tickets for as little as $5 in advance by using the secret discount code: IRISH. Oops, guess it’s not a secret anymore.)

You can also hear Shaun and Jerry of the Broken Shillelaghs at the Blue Monkey Tavern in Merchantville, NJ, that night. Why do we know this? Because Shaun and Jerry wisely put this on our calendar themselves, knowing we would mention it here, in our most-read feature. You can do this too. Simply go to the orange bar at the top of the page, click on Irish events listing and you’ll see the words, “Submit Your Irish Event.” Fill in the blanks and submit! See, it’s so easy, even Shaun and Jerry can do it.

Check said calendar for all the details and, if people put addresses in correctly, even a map!

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