when i first heard about Temple Bar from my parents who bought me a Temple Bar t-shirt when they visited Dublin last year (which i’m actually wearing as we speak), i thought it was well, just a bar. yes, there is, quite confusingly, a bar called The Temple Bar in Temple Bar, but it’s actually a trendy little neighborhood that, as i understand it, is overrun with people at night. i went in the early morning, though, on the way to Dublin Castle — the morning after St. Patrick’s Day, a refreshingly quiet time. i could tell it wouldn’t be my type of place at night (not really a bar/nightlife person), but during the day? yeah, definitely. my kind of stores — from Starbucks and Urban Outfitters to trendy boutiques to “army surplus” and tattoo parlors — and my kind of street art — nice big murals. (does that make me a cliché?) the neighborhood reminded me a bit of The Haight in San Francisco, if you sprinkled in some bars and put everything in old buildings with narrow cobblestone alleyways.
sidebar: the name according to my Rick Steves(!) three hundred years ago this area was a loading dock (=”bar”) along the river, and the Temples were a wealthy merchant family. it fell into disuse in the 19th century as the city spread eastward only to be gentrified more recently.
yep, the day after St. Patrick’s Day: