Between Meath Street and Pimlico, there are four small residential squares, accessed from Gray Street. Each one has a terrace of houses wrapping the perimeter and, in the middle, car parking. The houses were built by the Dublin Artisan Dwelling Company, beginning in the 1880s, and they’re interesting for the repetition and ordinariness, set apart from each other only by changes to paint colour, doors and windows.
Brabazon Square is the nicest of the four, though I’d love to live in any of them. At the centre, there are flowerbeds and planters in a row. The concrete blocks around the beds suggest a casual place to sit and chat, maybe, and they break the focus on car parking.
It’s only about five steps from Gray Street before you feel like you’re walking into a private domain, with plants by the door of each house treating the square and the path like a shared garden. That’s a nice feeling in the inner city, safer than the embattled mood brought about by gates, and even wandering in as a stranger with a camera only got a couple of nods in greeting.