Dublin has been my home for over 10 years now. I ended up here on a whim really. Faced with two job opportunities after university, one in Dublin and one in Amsterdam. My reasoning for picking Dublin was pretty practical – I had been in Amsterdam before but never been to Dublin. Hey presto – I packed my bags (all two of them) and boarded the ferry from the U.K to Dublin.
I am still here. Will I stay here forever… not sure to be honest. I might decide to look around elsewhere, to try a different place yet. We’ll see what happens I guess. (It would involve more than two bags packed though…. a lot more, including two cats who would be less than impressed to be put on a plane…).
The funny thing about Dublin is that it gets under your skin. It is impossible to pin down what it is. I know so many who left Dublin after a few years here; giving out about the place, the weather, the mañana mañana attitude here and the rougher areas around and being glad to leave… yet after a few month away they miss it and often come back to visit.
So as I sit here trying to crystallize 5 things I really like about Dublin, I realize it is not as easy as it sounds. Even so, here we go:
- Dublin pretends it is a big (well big-isch) city but it reality it is just one big village. Everything in the city centre is in within walking distance and you are always likely to run into someone you know.
- The music. All from the traditional Irish music (which is perfect with that pint) to the many venues around town where you can listen to the latest or quirkiest or up-and-coming artists in a small cosy setting or on the big stage. There are not many artist that bypass Dublin.
- Walking down Grafton Street amongst the mix of locals and tourists. Listening to the busking acts that are everywhere on the street. Going off into all the side streets and browse through the shops and have a coffee or two on the way. Or maybe have a pint in one of the many pubs around. The atmosphere is always good (or as they say here, the “craic” is good, and that does not refer to any white powdery substance…).
- You can always find a nice restaurant, whether for brunch, lunch or an evening meal. Dublin has a great variety of restaurants from all cuisines around the world. For me that means; brunch at Herbstreet (as I just cannot resist those Eggs Benedict), lunch at Koh (lovely Thai food and the cocktails are not bad either…), dinner at Yamamori Sushi (I just love everything on their menu and spend way, way to many evenings there). Then you can also find more traditional restaurants (such as The Winding Stair which is both a book shop and a very good restaurant) or why not pop into one of the many pubs that also serve food, more known as “pub grub”, and have some spicy chicken wings or a tasty burger with your pint of Guinness or even try one of the pubs that brew their own beers and that also serve really nice food such as The Porterhouse.
- Finally and maybe the greatest thing I like about Dublin is all the people I have met here and the great friends I have made. Dublin is a melting pot of people from all over Europe and the rest of the world. I continuously meet fantastic people here and count myself lucky that I have made such fabulous friends from all over the world right here in Dublin.
What do you like about the place where you live?