Belfast and America
"`He has no personal name at all. His dadda is in far Amurikey.'O'Brien left out a few details, but other than that, he's got America down, I'd say.
"`Which of the two Amurikeys?' asked MacCruiskeen.
"`The United Stations,' said the Sergeant.
"`Likely he is rich by now if he is in that quarter,' said MacCruiskeen, `because there's dollars there, dollars and bucks and nuggets in the ground and any amount of rackets and golf games and musical instruments. It is a free country too by all accounts.'"
So much for an Irishman on America. Now for a North American on Ireland, and that North American is me.
The world has heard much of Belfast from the 1970s on, but one rarely heard what a stunning setting the city has. From my guesthouse, I can see Cave Hill and its companions of the Lagan Valley.
It was a pleasant shock to be able to see such natural beauty looking down my own street. It was a jarring and an emotional experience to see those same verdant hills up the Shankill Road and the Falls Road, and to think of the violence and rage that divided those streets during the Troubles. I wonder if residents of those passionate and benighted streets ever paused to contemplate those green hills during the years of violence and perhaps to take a moment of solace from them, perhaps even to be shamed out of committing a violent act.
© Peter Rozovsky 2008
Irish crime fiction