Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Molly Malone Moves! Many Mutterings and Multiple Misinterpretations!

Beep beep beep beep beep beep...

This is a blog news flash! Molly Malone, famous fictional Dublin fishhawker/streetwalker has been moved from her longtime resting place for refurbishment and relocation down the street!

Busty Babe Molly Malone Dublin, Ireland
Busty Babe Molly Malone
That's right, The Tart with the Cart, The Dish with the Fish, The Trollope with the Scallops, and all the other names she goes by is long-term temporarily (long-termporarily?) moving.

Her old home was at the north end of Dublin's famous pedestrian-only Grafton Street, and it always created a huge human traffic snarl. The jam-up was always made worse by the presence of at least one, sometimes two competing grown men in leprechaun suits taking tips for photos with this bulging bronze broad.

True to Dublin style, the north end of Grafton Street is called the bottom of the street, presumably because there is a very (very) slight downhill slant to the street. Most visitors (and blogging expats) think of the bottom of a street to be the south end of a north-south street, unless it is a noticeably steep hill. Slight slants don't count. Unhelpfully, the south end is called the top of the street, endlessly confusing even Irish visitors to Dublin.

Molly is being moved as Dublin works to remedy another baffling issue- the fragmented Luas tram system. Currently, Dublin's public transport is an absolute mess, for locals and visitors alike. I have heard enough locals gripe about it that I feel like I can chime in and agree. One arm of this messy and frustrating system is the Luas (Irish for speed) light rail tram system. The trams run on the streets with overhead cables. By most accounts, trams are comfortable, frequent, and speedy. The dumbfounding flaw in the system? There are two Luas lines, Red and Green. The Red Line runs generally east-west, connecting the west suburbs with City Centre. The Green Line runs generally north-south, connecting the south-central suburbs with City Centre. The two lines do NOT connect.

Yes, you heard that correctly. They built a modern transport system with two lines that do not connect. Someone needing to take both lines would have to get off and walk a half-mile through the worst sidewalk traffic (Grafton Street, College Green, O'Connell Bridge) to get from one line to the other. I understand that the oldest part of Dublin is the busiest and the most difficult to develop, but I have to wonder what people said when the Luas system was proposed. Now, they are finally going to fix it. At least a little bit...

A new bridge was built over the River Liffey just for this Luas connecting line, and the new line will run right through the spot where Molly used to tumble out of her bustier for the delight of the tourists. To make room for the construction, she was taken from her historic spot in the dead of night to a storage unit for cleaning and repair before she will be moved down the street to the tourist office on Suffolk Street until the Luas construction is completed in 2017.

Molly's Old Home north end of Grafton Street Dublin, Ireland
Molly's Old Home

I am interested to see how she fits in at her new home. It will surely help alleviate some of the congestion at the intersection at the north end (I refuse to say bottom) of Grafton. Much of Grafton Street and the area around Molly has been under construction since we arrived in Dublin last year, so hopefully moving the crowds around Molly from Grafton to Suffolk will help foot commuters navigate that area more quickly.

Tourist Information, Suffolk Street Dublin
Tourist Information, Suffolk Street

The tourist information center on Suffolk Street must be delighted with the move. Located conveniently in City Centre in a beautiful converted church, the information center is inviting, helpful, and has free toilets. An increase in foot traffic should only help them spread the good word and book those bus tours.

Look for an update in the coming months for my opinion on the move. If she isn't moved back until 2017, I might not see her back in her original home before we have moved on from Dublin's fair city...

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