My knowledge of Dublin is fairly sketchy. I have the map from the North Side Story book, but it even says that you mustn’t use it as an actual map, that it is not to scale and diagrammatic only. I have looked at Dublin on Google maps for a couple of things, obviously U2 related. If I were to sit down and draw a map of Dublin from memory it would be extremely basic, probably wrong in many places. If you are a Dubliner reading right now you probably want to stop reading, or maybe take the rest of this as a comedy piece.
So my map of Dublin would begin with a line through the middle, crossing from left to right. This is the River Liffey, which I am not about to try and drink dry. I think it goes across the city and ends in the east at the Irish Sea. North of the Liffey I don’t know much, I know there’s a giant statue of a needle or something just to the north, I don’t remember what it is but it’s really shiny and looks weird in Google street view. Way to the north is where the band grew up, I know Cedarwood Road is up there somewhere, and I guess the rest of the band came from around there, although I don’t know where without looking it up. Malahide is I think just to the north of Cedarwood Road, right?
We go from north to south of the river, I believe the jail where they filmed the Celebration video is just on the south side, but way out on the west side of the city. Kilmanhaim Jail, or something like that. Back into the center of the city on the south side is the college, the bars where they began playing, the place where Windmill Lane was, all those early places that often get a mention. Somewhere in there, and it may be just on the north bank of the river, is the Clarence Hotel, the hotel that the band owns.
I bring all this up just to mention something I have in my house, one of my U2 souvenirs. This is not so much a souvenir though, more of an art piece. A guy I work with, who knows how big a U2 fan I am, travelled to Dublin a couple of years ago for work. Being a bit of a photographer in his spare time, he took his camera out and about in Dublin, and ended up at Windmill Lane. There he took a number of photos of the U2 graffiti wall, and when he got back home had some of them printed and framed, signed them and gave them to me as a gift. This was an amazing thing for him to do, I very much appreciate it. I appreciated it even more earlier this year when a developer tore down the studio, meaning it is something I will never see in my lifetime. My friend was disappointed though, but happy that he had gotten to see it before it was gone.
So, that’s my tour of Dublin for you. Did I get it right? Yes, one day I will go there, and I will take the U2 tour (I bet there are many, I will take them all). Then I’ll come back and write it all again, and maybe get some of it right.