Running south from popular meeting point College Green to St Stephen’s Green is the city’s main commercial drag, Grafton Street. This pedestrianized street gets off to an inauspicious start with “the tart with the cart”, a gaggingly kitsch bronze, complete with wheelbarrow of cockles and mussels, of Molly Malone, who was immortalized – though it’s unlikely that she ever existed – in the popular nineteenth-century song. For those who hate crowds, Grafton Street won’t get any better; for people-watchers, however, it’s a must, noted especially for its buskers, who range from string quartets to street poets. Shoppers will be drawn here, too, in particular to the city’s flagship department store, Brown Thomas. The street’s other major landmark, Bewley’s Oriental Café, was founded by the Quaker Bewley family as a teetotal bulwark against the demon drink, and owes its beautiful mosaic facade to the mania for all things Egyptian that followed the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.
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