one of the many pubs claiming “oldest” something, this one in Belfast.
many of the older establishments are hidden in back alleys, for reasons dating to initial phases of settlement and plantation. because of the proximity to Scotland, many of the earliest non-native Irish settlers to Northern Ireland were of conservative Scot persuasion. with them, these Scots brought certain ideas about the display of vices. in other words, the enjoyment of spirits had to go on in back alleys where nosy neighbors or religious leaders wouldn’t spot you succumbing to vice. as an additional consequence, often situated next to these pubs were gambling halls. immediately to my left as i took this picture was a Paddy Power betting spot. (which, i just discovered, is the official betting partner of RTE, Ireland’s national television and radio broadcaster.) stand in front of a pub pretty much anywhere and there’ll be a betting hall within sight.

more to come …

Author: Erica

born in the midwest with wandering feet.