Ranelagh (Dublin 6)

(or Raghnallach in Irish; I have no idea what, if anything, this means)

is where I live. It's a nice pseudo-suburb of Dublin, surrounded by Clonskeagh and Milltown on the south, Rathmines to the west, Donnybrook to the east and the city itself to the north. Quite a lot of Ranelagh consists of old Georgian houses built in the early 1900s, and many of them have been converted into flats. Because of this, much of Ranelagh's population consists of young professionals (singles or couples), and college students. Ranelagh is probably the ideal area for a student in Dublin to live, as both UCD and Trinity are both no more than 20 minutes' walk away, as are the IT colleges; and Dublin's third university, DCU, can be easily reached on the number 11 bus.

Due to the large student population, it's not surprising that Ranelagh is served by more than it's fair share of take-aways. In total, there are 3 plain old fish and chip shops, three take-away pizza shops, two Chinese take-aways, and one Thai and one Indian take-away. As well as these, there are also a few excellent greasy spoon restaurants (including Hobarts, the "home of the hang-over cure"), several fairly up-market restaurants (the divine smelling TriBeCa among them), a nice coffee house (Coffee Society, hookskies' favourite), a very good Italian coffee house called Er Buchetto (which, ryano claims, serves the best coffee in Dublin, as well as serving excellent panini sandwiches), and, of course, a McDonalds. As well as these, Ranelagh is served by a 24-hour Spar (which has an alarming amount of American candy in it - Hershey bars, Reese's stuff, and Root beer, which I've never seen for sale in Ireland before) and a Centra, as well as Morton's supermarket, which sells quite a lot of tasty speciality foods, as well as having a brilliant delicatessen counter.

Another place to spend your money in Ranelagh is the Nethouse internet cafe. Former home of ReiToei and hookskies, this is an excellent Net cafe, with a fairly decent connection and great coffee. The only problem is the charges. I guess they have to make a profit too, but once affordable broadband becomes widespread (or even available...) in Ireland, they'll probably take a huge drop in business. Other electronic entertainment options are the two (soon to be three, once Blockbusters opens) video libraries; XtraVision is good for the latest Hollywood dross, or for console games, while Laser caters for a more refined movie palate. Both shops stock DVD and VHS copies of most titles.

For socialising, my favourite pubs in Ranelagh are Mc Sorleys (who have Erdinger on tap....mmmm....wheatbeer....), Smyths (who have traditional Irish musicians banging away in a corner most nights), and Russells, which is a pretty big pub, boasts a tasty menu, and has a cool roof-garden-cum-balcony, which is a fun place to be when it's sunny. The other main pub is The Four Provinces, which is almost always practically empty, and served by staff who look either suicidal or stoned most of the time. Most of their customers are sad old men, who stink of desperation, and line the bar sipping their Guinness. You can sit in the corner and catch up with your friends quite merrily, though; this is an excellent pub for talking in. Be warned that the Who Wants to Be A Millionaire machine in the corner is broken, and will eat your money, given the chance.

In conclusion, Ranelagh is a very pleasant place to live, eat and drink, but I certainly wouldn't try to raise a family there, given the amount of traffic, and the lack of green spaces. Goodnight, and thank you.

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