Reflections on The City 200: What Area of Dublin Feels Most Special To You?

Posted March 18, 2022 in Design

As we publish our 200th issue, we glanced back at the ever-evolving landscape of Dublin and interviewed well known faces around town about their experiences in the city.  


“There’s a corner of my heart reserved for Rathmines. Its laneways, its weird, niche shops. It still feels like a neighbourhood where people live… (But I can’t afford to live there.)”  – Shane Daniel Byrne, Comedian


Q: What area of Dublin feels most special to you?


Shane Daniel Byrne, Comedian

There’s a corner of my heart reserved for Rathmines. Its laneways, its weird, niche shops. It still feels like a neighbourhood where people live.

It was mentioned in O’Casey’s Plough and the Stars. There’s nearly always something utterly bizarre happening in the street. I just love it.

(But I can’t afford to live there.)



Zoe Ardiff, Photographer

Probably the area I live near Ringsend. I base a lot of my photo shoots around locations there. It’s also where I grew when I was younger before I moved to Mayo, and then when I moved back to Dublin I lived there with some of my best friends from college so it holds so many special memories.



Ayuba Salaudeen, Tola Vintage

I have lived in many areas and worked in many areas in Dublin, but Temple Bar means the most to me.



Tara Kumar, DJ

For me it would be Smithfield because it’s where I first lived when I moved here (and paid 300 for a huge double room in a house which is insane when you think about it now!) and also Drury St, Fade St and South William St, it’s an area where I made friends, I worked in cafes and restaurants in this area and it’s where I spent most of my early 20s.



Barry Sun, Chef

That has to be Blackrock as it’s where I set up my first restaurant on my own, Volpe Nera.

We have been welcomed here with open arms by the local community and from indoor dining to outdoor dining to dinner boxes, they have supported us so well in the last couple of years.



Jordan Hearns, Artist & DJ

10 Belvedere Court, Mountjoy Square.



Jialin Long, Photographer

There are many great places in Dublin but I think The Temple Bar area is most special to me. It’s a place that can make you free from worries.



Colm Keane, Chef, Owner of Daddy’s

The Phoenix Park is my favourite part of Dublin. I walk in it most days, I forage food there, have picnics there, I rang in Bealtaine there with some pals and there’s lots of history there. It keeps me healthy in every sense and I love it to bits.



Aoife Ní Thuama Keogh, Designer

I grew up on the Northside and currently live on the Southside, so I have different pockets of Dublin that feel special to me, we have exceptional coasts, from Howth to Dun Laoghaire up to Dalkey, on a good day there is nowhere like it in the world.



Grace Enemaku, Designer and Illustrator

Though I grew up in Blanchardstown and it will always have a fond place in my heart, the area that feels most special to me right now is probably Dublin 7.

Growing up a lot of my good friends were and still are from Cabra so I have a lot of great memories there of long nights and early mornings. And there are so many lovely cultural places scattered throughout Stoneybatter and Cabra like the Lighthouse cinema and the recently opened Little Deer Comics which sells indie comics and graphic novels from talented artists both locally and abroad.



Orla King, Graphic Designer

The Northside hands down, particularly the stretch from Finglas to Phibsboro. I grew up in Finglas and went to school in Glasnevin so that area is very nostalgic for me. Also, doing my lockdown walks from Finglas to Phibsboro helped keep me sane over the last two years.

When I get the bus back from town and start to see the span of red brick houses and the Met Éireann building, I know I’m almost home.



Shaylyn Gilheaney, Stylist

Probably Dublin 8. I lived there as a child so it has some of my earliest memories. Nowadays I definitely gravitate towards it for its coffee shops, pubs and charity shops. Definitely a contender for some of the best in the city.



Aisling Phelan, Artist

Definitely Dublin 8. I think Thomas St. is always going to have a special place in my heart, I’ve spent most of my college experience there so it’s probably the community I feel most connected to.

Dublin 8 is one of the parts of the city that’s suffering the most from the effects of rapid gentrification. I became very aware of this by getting to know some of the locals and going on the tours that they give explaining the impact that gentrification is having on them and their families.

Micheal Malin Park on Vicar St. is also one of my favourite pitches to play on with 1815 F.C. We’d often have the kids from the surrounding areas play with us as well, which always gives us a great sense of community.



Taurean Coughlan & Kevin Roche, cafe owners Two Boys Brew

For us, we are most happy when we’re close to the water or near a park. Getting lost in the Phoenix Park with our dog Milo is great for the soul, as is a dip in the sea in Sandycove when we’re over that way.



Eric Ehigie, Podcaster

Merrion Place!

I am the Politics Coordinator at Black and Irish, and a follower of Irish politics, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to name any other place:) @eric.ehigie


Killian Walsh, Creative Director

Its a large village rather than a City. It has the community feel that other cities don’t. I think its really thriving and people are doing some really interesting things collectively.

The food scene is incredible and some people are really pushing boundaries creatively.



Interviews: Kerry Mahony & Eric Davidson

Image Credits:

Shane Daniel Byrne by Brian Teeling

Jialin Long by Raisha Dong

Colm Keane by Al Higgins


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