The Cobblestone project is to publish a photographic book on the Cobblestone, one of the most iconic Traditional Irish Music pubs in Dublin.
When the New York Times released its list of “the top 46 places to go in 2013”, the image chosen to represent Ireland (which was down as the 40th) was not an image of the Cliffs of Moher, or the Giant’s Causeway, or any of the most celebrated and advertised pubs in Temple Bar. It was a picture, taken from the outside, of a small pub in Smithfield Square, a place which actually does nothing explicitly aimed at attracting foreign tourists: The Cobblestone. This might give the measure of how much this place truly deserves a photographic book, which captures the atmosphere and the people who make this place so special. In an era of standardisation and franchises, this corner of Smithfield Square is unique in the world.
It is much more than a pub, it is a real jewel, where locals, Irish, foreigners and tourists meet every day to celebrate a common passion for Irish Traditional Music. It is one of the most iconic pubs in Dublin, which you rarely find in touristic leaflets or airline magazines, but yet it’s becoming more and more a destination for whoever is looking for a taste of the genuine Irish craic and music (and, according to the online reviews, a mighty pint of Guinness). The sessions in the front bar are absolutely spontaneous: no stage, no microphone, no bands: just musicians gathering and playing together for the love of the music and the company. There are also music and dancing classes in the back room, as well as a monthly ceili dance.
The Cobblestone is also a symbol of a changing Smithfield – once one of the poorest and most run-down area of Dublin City Centre – a place where regeneration has been achieved through an old tradition brought back to the present generation.
The idea is to combine the photographs with some interventions from the owner (a musician himself), the regulars and the musicians, so it will be a mixture of images and text. It will capture the unique atmosphere of this place, which – despite being well off the usual touristic beaten track – is becoming more and more well known, among both Irish and foreigners, as the most “true” and “pure” place to see and experience in Dublin.