feeding my own misguided insanity

Temple Bar: A Great Place to Live, for the Deaf Insomniacs

You have no idea how many people advised me against moving to Temple Bar, the watering hole and club district in central Dublin. I only heard bad things about the square mile, but after a couple of night owl jaunts, I fell in love with the place.

Moving In

It’s not like me to leave things to the last minute, but with my measly student accommodation costing barely thirty percent less than a full studio, there was no point in delaying any further.

My reconnaissance of Temple Bar was complete but when it came to signing the rental agreement I still felt a slight flutter of apprehension on account of those negative stories I’d heard.  I managed to come upon a converted studio apartment in an old warehouse, The Granary, smack bang in the middle of Temple Bar. A nicely converted place with large Victorian-era windows and plenty of light. Plus, it was twice the size of other properties. Sure, it was overpriced – Dublin prices its inner city rentals on par with Manhattan – but it was the perfect area for me, and I’ll tell you why.

Temple Bar Positives

  1. Bar on every corner, The Temple Bar Bar within sight (title pic)
  2. An arty-farty cinema on my doorstep
  3. 20 cafés within 100 metres
  4. 24hr quickie mart
  5. Farmer’s market, visible directly outside my window on Saturdays
  6. Large Tesco within 300 meters
  7. Walk to work in under 15 minutes, 6 minutes on bike
  8. Countless restaurants and eateries
  9. Trinity College within 5 minute walk
  10. Shops and retail outlets abound
  11. A constant hive of activity

Walking back from work each day left me looking forward to what was waiting for me in Temple Bar. Each day brought with it something new; an exhibit today and a band tomorrow. Plenty of things to see, plenty of touts encouraging small detours, and plenty opportunities for a pint or two. Of course, no week would be complete without at least one pit stop to devour some delicious Galway oysters (my favourite at the moment).

To balance this argument I should try to find at least one negative. The location and the apartment were great but let’s be honest, I wouldn’t be writing this if there wasn’t a problem.

Temple Bar Negatives

I’ve searched high and low, but there really are only two things about Temple Bar that bugged me:

  1. Amount of noise at night
  2. Discovering someone had crapped on your doorstep

The second point seems to point to the fact that there is a lack of lavatory facilities for the desperate few far away from their home toilets.  Still, this wasn’t a deal breaker.  Those early morning power-wash people did clean up “most” of the urine and feces.  Now, provided I could find a way to insulate the noise coming from the surrounding pubs, revelers, clubs and garbage trucks, I think I could make a go of it.  I decided to write a letter to the letting agency.

Letter to Letting Agency

Dear Helga,  (names changed)

Let me start off by saying that I love my apartment and the location. However, having spent almost two months living in the premises, it has become apparent that sleep will not be possible.

When I enquired about the noise level before signing, Rudolf said that it is perfectly liveable provided that the shutters are closed. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. The shutters did nothing to dampen the daily barrage of noise. At least now I understand why, upon my arrival, every window was sealed shut with packing tape.  No doubt a crude attempt by the previous tenant to damped the noise.

During the day the noise level is negligible but from 8pm onwards it is unbearable through till 4:30am. It’s enough to drive anyone mad.

I’ve tried using various earplugs, white noise audio and even noise cancelling headphones. The earplugs only left me with an ear infection and noise cancelling headphones proved unsuitable for sleeping. I’m exhausted to say the least.

This list is an event log of a typical night:

  • 8pm-2am Music from Crowbar and Button Factory.
  • 10pm-midnight – People screaming, bottles being broken.
  • 1am-2am – Harley motorcycles being revved while using Curved St as a parking lot.
  • 11pm-3am – Drunk revellers fill Curved St, facing my balcony. Yelling, singing, fighting outside the Button Factory.
  • 2am-4am – Once the pubs close, large groups of euphoric revellers congregate and attempt to sing in Curved St.
  • 3am-4am – Street sweepers, garbage trucks and bottle collections.
  • 4am-5am – High pressure water cleaners hose down the streets.
  • 6am-7:30am – Kegs being delivered and empties collected.

The windows need to be insulated with secondary glazing. The same holds true for the balcony door which has a 2cm gap along the bottom through which one can observe the street below.  I’ve inspected all the openings and it is quite feasible to fit frame-style glazing fixtures on the inside of the house without disrupting functionality nor character of the windows.

I want to stay in the apartment but we do need to address the noise situation.

Kind regards,

Shem

Reply from Helga

Hi Shem,

Thank you for your email.

I have spoken to Wilfrid in relation to this and I have also emailed your landlord.

I am afraid we cannot do anything in relation to the noise levels on the street. This is a protected building so the windows etc cannot be changed and even if it was the case that they could be the landlord is not in a position to carry out such extensive repairs.

Please note that if you intend to leave you would need to provide 30 days notice to do so. Also if you break the lease you are at risk of forfeiting you deposit.

Please advise what your intentions are.

Thanks
Helga

Final Words

Obviously I don’t expect the noise on the street to die down, that’s part of the attraction.  There were further email exchanges but all ended the same way.  No love lost over that one.  A shame though, because I really liked that place.  I would have happily stayed long-term had they invested a mere €1100 on soundproofing (I enquired from a local tradesman). Alas, the landlord was too cheap to install secondary glazing, which by the way, was a standard feature on other Victorian buildings on the street.  So much for “protected buildings” and all that.

Don’t let my experience turn you away from Temple Bar. I think it’s a truly underrated residential hotspot that will one day be in the highest of demands.  Just don’t forget to check for adequate soundproofing.

Me, I’m already napping elsewhere.

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