IrelandTravel Writings


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All roads lead to Dublin, and I think it’s because of this that I find myself here again. I’m on the better end of three and a half weeks in Ireland and, just as the water on the banks of the river Liffey seem to slightly rise every day, so does my affection for this city. This has been a city considered in the up-and-coming category of European capitals for the past 15 years or so, but anyone who visits today can clearly see that Dublin is far more “up” on the spectrum than “coming”. Having emerged from the fog and rain of history, it is now Ireland’s day in the sun, and nowhere is this more evident than here in it’s capital. Just today I read that Dublin is the 16th most expensive city in the world (just as a point of reference, New York is 27th). Every single day of the week the streets are packed with people shopping, just spending money for the sake of it, and never in my life have I seen so many “Help Wanted” signs. Luckily with the advent of the EU, every week Dublin sees new immigrants coming from different parts of Europe, who are more than happy to fill these vacant positions.

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There are certain by-products of this Celtic Tiger economy though that were completely unforeseeable, things that the famous capitalist theorist, Milton Friedman, could never have imagined. One thing in particular is that Dublin is a city full of men with very dirty hands. I mean this literally. Somewhere along the line, the bar owners of Dublin decided that, since people have more money to spend, they should make their establishment appear up-scale by having a bathroom attendant in every men’s room in the city. Big mistake. Given the choice of using the sink and having to tip the attendant, or just walking out of the bathroom, hands unwashed, no drunk man in his right man is going to choose option one. That is, at least no one that I know (present company excluded, of course). And so it is, that the nasty underbelly of capitalism is shown to us again, making one wonder, is there not a better form of commerce? One where men can feel free to relieve themselves without the guilt of not tipping after washing one’s hands? I leave you with this to contemplate dear reader. Viva la Revolution!

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.

1 Comment

  1. Bonnie
    June 27, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Hi Stuart,

    It was cool meeting you at the Knock Out the other night. I really enjoy your work!

    Bathroom attendants have always stressed me. The pressure of having to tip someone for handing you a paper towel, stemmed from the guilt of witnessing what has to be the most pitiful job in the service industry. I see this often in L.A. but very few other places in the U.S.