How the Hipsters are saving Cork
Did you ever wonder the what hipsters did for anyone? You can stop wondering. We take a look at recent developments in Ireland's second city and discovers that a tired and worn city centre is being rejuvenated by a gang of energetic hipsters. In fact, working in tandem with some high-profile developers, there is a good chance that this unlikely alliance might just save Cork's soul
Fancy a taste of what's going on in the second city? Get the 3pm Aircoach from Westmoreland Street in Dublin on a weekday, it will have you in Cork city centre a touch before six. From O'Connell Bridge to Patrick's Bridge. You set out from a city on the make, with all sorts of people going about their business. You arrive in a ghost town.
The first thing you'll notice is Cork's rush-hour traffic. There isn't any. There's a bit of late-night shopping, but not a lot. There aren't enough people around to make it worth your while. A foreign visitor could hop on a bus to west Cork at this point, convinced that the city will never recover from the recession. They'd be wrong.
A few well-publicised projects by pre-boom developers such as Owen O'Callaghan and John Cleary already have the cranes back up over the city. Those are the obvious signs of recovery. You'll need to get out of the bus and walk around a bit to see some more. Cork is suddenly home to a lot of people with old bikes, beards and brown shoes. The hipsters have arrived on Leeside, and not a moment too late. The developers are going to bring thousands of new young workers into town. The hipsters are going to give them places to eat and drink. This could change everything.