A Visit to Dublin

Dublin, an interestingly familiar city. Paul commented that during his last trip, roughly 10 years ago, it felt a lot like Newcastle. The two cities have a lot in common, architecture, nightlife, that old industry feel. Over the last 10 years a lot has changed in Dublin. It also reminded me of Newcastle but for very different reasons.

Taking in the View

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon when we arrived. We stayed in the Christ Church area, seconds away from what turned out to be the first of many markets we’d see that day.

Jamie Lewis’s felt animals
photo from Temple Bar Cultural Trust Website.

The Designer Mart takes place on Cow’s Lane every Saturday and has a some fantastic stalls. It wasn’t long before we found a book market, and food market too, both weekly and both very good.

The Temple Bar Food Market

We planned to head back past the food market later in the day, I was sad to find out it was only on until 4.30pm. They could do a fantastic evening trade I’m sure.

There was another market just around the corner in a place called Exchange Dublin, the appropriately named Exchange Market.

Image from Exchange Market Facebook page.

Exchange Dublin is a volunteer run space for groups to get together, exchange ideas and put on events. It has a lot in common with the Star and Shadow Cinema, I can see scope for some form of international collaboration of volunteer run spaces there.

Around another corner a strange thing came into view.

The wool is taking over.

Crochet Coral Reef

The Irish Reef, part of the International Hyperbolic Crocheted Coral Reef, a project that combines maths, marine biology and crochet. I have a soft spot for anything that combines science and craft, it’s a winning formula. I never did learn how to knit, or crochet. Maybe I should learn, any volunteers?

On Sunday we wondered a little further, stopping for breakfast at Queen of Tarts, it must have been good, I went back there again on Monday for lunch. Delicious. On the way over to the National Gallery we spotted an interesting shop front. It was mostly interesting due to the 3D printer in the window.

Image from Science Gallery website. 

Make Shop is a workshop space for the making of things. All things. From electric buzzers to cross stitch, robots to salt dough creations. Make Shop is linked to Trinity College’s Science Gallery, it’s a pop-up space with all sorts of fun tools and toys, part workshop part shop of cool things. We had a great chat with the folks there about their 3D printer, the workshops they do and the ups and downs of being in a pop-up space.

Some other highlights of the trip:

Jack of All Trades – an exhibition of illustrations by Jack B Yeats, including his work for Punch Magazine, what fascinates me is how relevant his political cartoons still are.

Drawn to the Page – another exhibition, in the Long Room. I came across this as a result of going to see the Book of Kells which I understand is a thing you should do while in Dublin. The art in this exhibition was amazing, it’s on until April 2013, if you get a chance you should go.

The Loft Market – a lovely boutique shop hidden at the very top of a shopping centre. This shop is full of independent designers, artists, jewellery makers and vintage collectors. The collective have been going strong for 7 years and are just bursting with talent.

So that was Dublin. I think I’ll go again. What should I look out for next time? What bits of Dublin do you like the best?

An interesting fact, Dublin is twinned with Barcelona, another of my favourite cities.