Friday 23 June 2017

Who wants to live in a perfect world – our colourful capital adds a bit of spice to life

Dublin, left, and London, right, offer different pleasures and have different drawbacks.
Dublin, left, and London, right, offer different pleasures and have different drawbacks.
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Dublin or London? Which is the better city to live in? According to the annual Mercer 2014 Quality of Living survey, Dublin beats London – coming in at 34th best city in the top 50, while London trails four cities behind at 38th. On the criteria applied, for quality of living, freedom from pollution, low crime – yes! Amazingly! – good recreational, educational and social activities, Dublin, once dubbed 'the Second City of the Empire', has now overtaken what was the first.

Having lived in both of them, over long stretches, and retaining a foothold in both, I'm not sure I would personally draw a categorical comparison. Dublin and London offer different pleasures, in my experience. And have different drawbacks.

Dublin, though vastly bigger than it used to be, still retains a kind of intimacy. Any denizen of the city will nearly always run into someone she knows when walking down Grafton Street, strolling around St Stephen's Green, or shopping in Moore Street and Henry Street. There is a warmth about that serendipity of human contact, particularly in this age of social media when so much of our contact is through the medium of the screen.

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