Grafton Street

If Temple Bar is pub paradise, Grafton Street is shoppers’ heaven.  Shops, shoppers, flower vendors, souvenir kiosks, restaurants, and street musicians provide endless entertainment for avid people-watchers even if you don’t buy a thing.

Monsoon -- upmarket department store on Grafton Street

No need to go in — Monsoon’s is just as pretty on the outside as the upscale items displayed for sale inside.  If you’d just rather buy some flowers, walk a bit further down the block.

This impressive display would even dazzle the most jaded flower vendor on any San Francisco street corner.

If you’re still up for some serious shopping, the Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre is at the top of Grafton Street.  With three stories of over 100 outlets, you could easily spend your entire vacation in here.

Stephen's Green Shopping Centre

As we walked the length of Grafton Street, we turned our heads towards any side streets we came upon. Lucky we did — otherwise we would have missed this statue of Philip Lynott on adjacent Harry Street.

Dubbed by Dubliners as “The Ace with the Bass,” this statue memorializes Philip Lynott, Irish singer, songwriter, musician, and poet.  He stormed through his short life singing and playing in a variety of bands, including one he started — Thin Lizzy.  He died at the age of 36 from complications stemming from too many years of drug and alcohol abuse.

If that story makes you too depressed, you can drown your sorrows at the Hairy Lemon.

At the end of Grafton Street,  we ducked into Stephen’s Green, a huge public park, and perched on a bench amidst verdant lawns to rest our aching feet. Ducks dipped playfully into the pond, oblivious to the frenzied capitalism running rampant just a few steps away.

St. Stephen's Green Public Park

Threading our way back down Grafton Street, we paused to listen to a youthful musician singing like a grizzled blues man while playing a sizzling rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s Red House on his electric guitar.

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