City of Mist
Walking along the narrow streets of Little Dublin, visitors smell the mouth-watering scents of a dozen different ethnic restaurants, see the colorful signs of import shops and specialty grocery stores, and hear conversations spoken in a variety of languages. Above the street, flags for parades and cultural days flutter in the breeze. At its best, there is a feeling of life and vibrancy to this neighborhood, a pride in their past and hope for tomorrow. At its worst, there is poverty, ethnic violence, and crime. Still the people of Little Dublin hold their heads high.
With all the different cultures on display visitors might wonder why exactly this neighborhood is called Little Dublin instead of literally anything else. The explanation is simple: this neighborhood was historically Irish up through the mid-20th Century. During the post-WWII boom it experienced a dramatic change in ethnic makeup when white-collar workers moved north of the river to the greener grass of Eastside. Over the last several decades there have been several waves of immigrants moving in and Little Dublin has become a mixed blend of several cultures.
Now the area is experiencing the first seismic shifts of urban renewal as young white professionals take advantage of low property values in this mainly blue-collar, close-knit ethnic neighborhood.
No place is this better seen that in the most recent transformation of the yearly Saint Fiona Day Parade, a centuries-old tradition that has evolved with the neighborhood throughout the many years.
Places of Interest:
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