Miscellaneous Comments

Miscellaneous Comments

Postby BulldozerGirl » Sat Feb 14, 2004 9:52 pm

I just had a few comments and questions about various things. There was some sort of construction or maintenance on a building near St Stephen's Green Bank of Ireland. It started sometime in late 2000 and finished 3 year later. I still don't know what they were doing - there is no difference. So why did they overtake all of the pavement and half of the street with their fence thing for the construction for 3 years in a major part of the city? It doesn't look nice - don't they have priorities for what areas they should work faster? :rolleyes:

Also, what's with the Planet Hollywood and TGI Friday's that have been closed for more than 3 years, and they're also in the middle of the city. What are their plans? And there are some horrendous buildings on York Street, that I think, are finally going to be demolished. What took them so long? Why is everything so slow?

The city centre is compact and there's not much to do. What is there for entertainment other than old pubs and cinemas? Why don't they at least make something that looks modern - even if it's just a pub, instead of nasty old designs.

The infrastructure is terrible, and there doesn't seem to be any sign of improvement. What are the reasons for the current state of Dublin? And what's happening to all that tax money? :confused:
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Postby shaun » Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:51 pm

You've been in Dublin for 3 years and you still don't know what to do for entertainment ???

I must check out those buildings you refer to on York street, I've always loved that street, that long terrace of (tenement ?) houses and then the salvation army building at the end.

As for the infra-structure, well the problem is there is no motorway network in Ireland so all the trucks etc. are forced to go through the city centre, yes, we are about 20 years behind the rest of Europe on that one.
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Postby BulldozerGirl » Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:48 pm

I've been here for longer than 3 years, I was just saying that the time it took to do the construction work on that building and the time since Planet Hollywood and TGI Friday's have been closed, is 3 years, maybe even more.

Spending a long time in a city doesn't necessarily mean that you will "find" entertainment. Maybe for a short visit there will be things to do, but then there's not much more. How many times can a person go out with friends to the same restaurants? There's no variety. Maybe some people don't realize that because they intoxicate themselves for entertainment.
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Postby shaun » Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:36 pm

You're right, intoxication is an inbuilt part of life here, we're brought up with weekend drinking and all week drug consumption, it's a British isles thing I'm afraid. I read in the newspaper today that the Irish branch of the Freemasons
are desperate for new members, now that might be interesting for entertainment, and they have a fine building in which to do their thing up on Molesworth street, just across from
Leinster House.
Apart from entertainment, what do you think of the city, architecturally speaking ??
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Postby BulldozerGirl » Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:27 pm

Hmm.. I'm not too sure joining a freemason lodge is a good idea, but thanks for the recommendation :p

About 2 months ago I was stopped by some guy in Lower Baggot, he asked if I had heard of the "Harvest Moon Center". I said I did, they do some sort of yoga thing. Then he said, that's right, but now they have a "special offer" for floating massages, and they will perform a "mass massage" with ten men and ten women, and he will be one of the masseurs. Then he said: "if you know what I mean" :eek:

As for the architecture in Dublin, I haven't noticed any particular building that caught my eye. But in general, it's "nice" (ran out of adjectives), but can be depressing sometimes (or many times :( ). I like seeing plants (do you call them plants?) growing on buildings. It looks like the building is rotting. There are many buildings that are grey - did they not paint them or did they paint them grey? At least many of the shops have very bright coloured signs - I like that. And also the coloured doors of houses.

Some streets look respectable, like Leeson or some parts in Ballsbridge, but there are places where the buildings on both sides of the street look like they were built quickly after a war - sort of like a mass housing project with all the houses the same - flat and brown. Having clouds and rain all the time isn't very flattering for them.

I like most of the old buildings, like Trinity College.. etc. But I feel if I go a few kilometres out of the city centre radius, I see very bad buildings and areas that look like they're full of criminals and trash. There is only a very limited upclass area.

I also think there are many "two-faced" buildings, that try to look good on the side facing the street and are rubbish from behind. An example is the Jury's Montrose hotel which is supposedly 3 star - it's normal from the front but the back of the building isn't even painted and you can see all the pipes running on it exposed. I just wonder what their kitchen is like if the building itself is externally dirty from behind :confused:

Hmm.. what else.. yes, why are the pavements and roads full of cracks and the colour changes suddenly? You can also spot footprints in the cement from careless workers.

That's what I have to say for now. I have a nice view of Blackrock and the sea from my apartment - but I haven't got my camera at the moment. Maybe I will post pictures of nice and ugly things later if this forum allows pics :)

Thanks for reading my silly comments.
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Postby notjim » Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:03 pm

stuck for entertainment, you need to go dog racing:

http://www.shelbournepark.com/
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Postby BulldozerGirl » Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:39 pm

notjim - I might try that one of these days :)

I found the building which took 3 years to fix. Here's a picture: click for pic.

It's at 14/15 St Stephen's Green, and is an office building to let by Colliers Jackson Stops.

I can't believe this simple building took so long to maintain, not even build.
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Postby StephenC » Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:45 pm

Girl - what planet are you on!
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:57 pm

Quote "I can't believe this simple building took so long to maintain, not even build."

Restoration takes longer than construction for the simple reason that a buildings fabric & fittings must be carefully restored.

Removing the old finishes takes a lot longer than applying new ones.

If it took three years it was worth it, a top notch job, well done to all concerned.


Entirely unlike the renovationof Portebello bridge where much of the stonework has been damaged in it's being taken down.

When will builders learn that impact drills and 18th centuary facing stone do not go together?

:mad:
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Postby GrahamH » Mon Feb 16, 2004 4:38 pm

This was a massive restoration job and has been done meticulously by the City Council.

It looks amazing now - albeit very very pink.
I know the 1980s loved the Georgians, but I didn't know the Georgians loved the 1980s!

And glad to see a comparative newcomer has noticed the city's paving - something some people said visitors don't notice...
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Postby BulldozerGirl » Mon Feb 16, 2004 5:13 pm

Oh, well - I know zero about construction, but still, I think 3 years to fix a building is too long, especially if the construction is taking half of the street and it's in the city centre.

StephenC - I am on Planet Ireland :p

Another annoying thing about a lot of buildings here is that the rooms are separated by wood (excuse my poor architectural vocabulary). And I think the floor is wood also. Sounds are transmitted easily and you can hear footsteps from above. The size of everything is very small also.

Why don't they permit the construction of residential and office buildings that are at least 20 storeys? The city is spreading out and it's flat. It also doesn't help that the infrastructure is so bad and public transport isn't good enough. How are people expected to reach their place of work from outside the city? Since the city centre is so small anyway, they should build high-rise buildings and provide accomodation for people nearby until they figure out a solution for this metro thing.

Why shouldn't Dublin have skyscrapers? Will they hide something which is short and beautiful? Why do they want to have a Georgian style, or whatever it is they call it, throughout the city? They can have sections like that and another section with modern structures. The entire city doesn't have to have one theme. And anyway, not all buildings have Georgian style. There are some nasty-looking 70's and 80's style office buildings that are brown and try to look modern but their design has expired. I like the new 02 building in Upper Baggot - but maybe its style will expire after a couple of decades as well. So, since they have these short "modern" buildings popping up in places like Fitzwilliam Square and wherever, why don't they go ahead and build taller ones?

And we need more restaurants! There is no place to eat - the choice is limited and the restaurants are also too small, like the houses, and they're too crowded. There is more demand than supply - for everything in the city. :(
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Postby Blain » Mon Feb 16, 2004 6:49 pm

That whole skyscrapers thing is a long running issue both on this board and in reality and has been done to death here really, however I can rarely resist another "Cardboard box" rant. I used the word "skyscrapers" but really what we're talking about are only 20-25 storey buildings, and wouldn't be described as skyscrapers in many other places.

Most people I would think are in favour of taller buildings in Dublin/Ireland in general, the problem is the planning system up until recently seemed to be awash with ultra conservatism, and is generally appallingly slow to support anything different. Then you've got your serial objectors who like to object to buildings on the basis of their height alone without even considering anything else (the local tree-hugger representative is usually prominent here),which means developers are more likely to propose the patented "cardboard box" solution so beloved of Dublin city to avoid all the hassle.

Witness the extraordinarily shite IFSC extension for proof of that. I absolutely loathe that IFSC place, especially the recent extension which is more boring than one of Father Stone's visits to Craggy Island. One of those boxes even looks like a public toilet (the white one at the end that seems to be clad in sanitary tiles), yet it still got permission despite its utter shitness (get it?) because it was in box shape. Do you actually have the use of a bulldozer like your name suggests? If so I can think of a good use for it.

Anyway things seem to be slowly changing, there are several proposals for taller buildings in Dublin particularly. It remains to be seen if they actually come to fruition though.

PS Are you sure TGI Fridays is closed? And if so when did that happen?
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Postby BulldozerGirl » Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:21 pm

Blain - I don't really know what you mean by "cardboard box solution", I'm a bit thick in the head :(

I never attempted to enter TGI Friday's to see if it's really closed, but it appears so, because the windows and doors are painted white and covered with newspapers. Is the decor of the entrance like that?

Sorry, I don't have access to a bulldozer (only in my dreams ;) ). I don't know which building is IFSC.

How old are the people who are in control of what buildings go up in Dublin? Are they very old people, like 70+? I heard that most conservative people have haemmorrhoids :D

Maybe some of the people who want high-rise buildings should start using better methods of getting their point across to the people in charge, like for example.. offer money :rolleyes:
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Postby BulldozerGirl » Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:46 pm

I found this description of Dublin in an article about Jews in Ireland:

It's almost impossible not to be taken by the physical beauty of Ireland and the friendliness of the people._ The cities are small, old and charming, with streets that are safe at all hours._ There's little evidence of "progress" in the form of high-rises or modern architecture._ Dublin, where the majority of Ireland's Jews live, is still very much an 18th and 19th century city._ The pace of life is unhurried and people will strike up conversations with you on the street and in stores.

Is that a good description or a bad one? :D

Oh, here's the full article in case anyone is interested: Ireland's Jews.
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Postby shaun » Tue Feb 17, 2004 11:16 am

Dublin is indeed a largely intact Victorian city, high-rise buildings aren't appropriate in the city center. There are also large Georgian sections of the city which have survived despite been neglected for 200 years, but large parts of the Georgian town have been demolished due to total neglect.

So try and get over the high-rise thing, European cities like Dublin are built on another scale, learn to love the city for what it is.
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Postby GrahamH » Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:18 pm

I never knew we had a Victorian city...
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Postby BulldozerGirl » Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:11 pm

The people who wrote that article about Jews in Ireland might have meant that Dublin was beautiful as it is because it has old buildings. But this is only nice for a visitor, who expects to come and see and old city. For the people themselves who live here, this is not a good thing. They have to live a backward life and have problems with transport and a lot of other things because of this image preservation.

The old visitors from the U.S. or wherever who come to see Ireland regard the place as a village of some sort. You hear people saying, oh Ireland is nice, it's friendly.. etc. But it's also not developed. Don't you care about what is important for the people themselves rather than what visitors will think about the theme of the city. If Dublin doesn't want to build anything like that, even in a special section outside the current city, then let Cork or Galway or anywhere else build many highrises, because there's no way the entire country can stay flat and village-like.
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Postby PVC King » Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:22 pm

Quote"Dublin was beautiful as it is because it has old buildings. But this is only nice for a visitor, who expects to come and see and old city. For the people themselves who live here, this is not a good thing. They have to live a backward life and have problems with transport and a lot of other things because of this image preservation."

No the reasons for the problems with transport are because successive governments have not invested sufficient money in a decent transit system to serve the Central Business district. Even if the buildings were newer and taller it would still be a mess.


Quote "If Dublin doesn't want to build anything like that, even in a special section outside the current city, then let Cork or Galway or anywhere else build many highrises, because there's no way the entire country can stay flat and village-like."

Without an adequate transit system ie a metro it would be very difficult to increase densities without the city grinding to a halt.

The government had the opportunity to build a metro to the docklands an area of 150 acres of land that could easily have accomodated high density mixed use residential and offices. They chose not to. So look forward to more 5-6 story visual wallpaper that passes for architecture in Dublins docklands. It was the best opportunity for a new generation to stamp their mark on the city. :mad:
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Postby AndrewP » Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:10 pm

Can I be a voice in the wilderness and stick up for my hometown?
It's got plenty of problems - a lot of which are slowly but surely being addressed - but it's not the derelict, backward shithole that this thread makes out.
It's got ten times more life in it than your average Euro- of British city, with or without cracked pavements!
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Postby GrahamH » Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:57 pm

Abolutely! So many areas are looking great, and many are about to.
The city needs to mature now, away from some of the rash development of the 90s.
And in 15 years or so, transport should be sorted.

should...
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Postby BulldozerGirl » Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:50 pm

This thread isn't saying that Dublin is a shithole. Dublin is a small city (at least its city centre is very very small) and I'm just pointing out some things which I have noticed, even if they are trivial.

Things are slowly improving, but I think they're too slow. The population is increasing very fast, and it doesn't look like the city can handle it. Until another 15-20 years at least, it will be difficult to live in this city (or town).
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