With A Fada

We were sitting on Drury Street one afternoon, after visiting a few bookshops in our nearby proximity. By ‘a few’ I mean at least thirty. I never really understood the fear that bookshops are dying. Maybe I’m the generation after that mindset, too young to have seen that deterioration. Up in the city there’s no less than fifty bookshops within a mile radius of us, and that’s only the ones we have visited.

I seem to spend an awful lot of time in bookshops. Although come to think of it, when I compile the hours I spend scanning shelves or flipping through pages I wonder if it accumulates to near the amount of time I’ve spent working or scrolling on my phone. The answer is most likely no, which - to me - is a sign that I should spend more time in bookshops. Regardless of how long these hours feel.

I have a cappuccino sitting in front of me, and he has a mocha. ‘He’ is one of my closest friends from college, a Castlebar man with an unaffected love for Irish and an open mind. Real humble, in the kind of way few people are. I’ve never been to Castlebar, and he’s never been to Wexford. I find it incredible that we are able to imagine each place judging by the way we describe them. I look up photos of Castlebar sometimes and it’s exactly how I envisioned it. I’m kind of terrified of Castlebar, and he often tells me he feels the same about Wexford.

Drury Street is a metropolis of outdoor dining. I don’t know if this is a new occurrence with the gained popularity of sitting outdoors while eating, or if the street was always this way. Regardless, it is one of my favourite places in the city. Part of that is because the street links to George’s Street Arcade. I’m not sure why I’m so madly in love with George’s Street Arcade. The first time I went there the whole experience was overwhelming. There’s a bookshop in the arcade too. There’s also a record shop, a café with posters of concerts covering every crevice, a piercing shop, along with several other stands that change from time to time. I’ve always liked the kind of places with a whole load of creativity squashed together. I don’t think this is a good sign. Maybe it’s the practicality, rather than the lack of exposure.

One of the other reasons I love Drury Street so much is because it has some of the best coffee in Dublin. Most of the food is great too, despite the tiny portion sizes and massive prices.