Corned beef and cabbage, leprechauns, and green are all things synonymous with Ireland to those living outside the country, but New York Times Travel writer Brian Lavery discovers the heart of Dublin is much more diverse in his article “Near a Main Artery in Dublin, a New City.”
“Historically and geographically, O’Connell Street is the heart of Dublin. The boulevard, which runs south about five blocks to the River Liffey, has emerged from several decades of seediness, thanks to a continuing refurbishment that aims to create a Hibernian version of the Champs-Élysées, centered around a 394-foot-tall steel needle, the Spire of Dublin.
But step off O’Connell Street in almost any direction, and you glimpse a different Dublin, a parallel city that is neither homogenous nor traditionally Irish. In a tiny enclave within two blocks of the main artery there are a nascent Chinatown, a budding Little Odessa and even touches of West Africa, all catering to a recent influx of immigrants drawn to the country’s economic prosperity.
The hub is Moore Street, a gritty three-block-long row just west of the main drag. For generations, weathered Dublin women have hawked fruit, flowers and fish here, creating a bustling street market. Now they share sidewalk space with Asian grocery stores where shoppers weave through sacks of spices and rice piled waist-high, and African beauty parlors where hair extensions hang from ceilings like sausage links.
At night, much of the action takes place along Parnell Street, a rundown corridor that crosses the north end of O’Connell Street. The Ice Bar, opened by Chinese immigrants, draws a young, mixed crowd of sharply dressed Chinese and bohemian-chic Irish. The pub is decorated with calligraphy scrolls, has an outdoor patio for smokers and is the site of occasional gigs by techno D.J.’s.”
Find discount flights to Dublin