Naas, the commuter town of dreams.
A town that doesn't stand still, despite its rich cultural history. A pre-Celtic Tiger Manhattan – stretching from Penis Point all the way down to the swans who own the hospital, Naas is best known for being a nice place to shop, as well as a great spot to get absolutely wankered.
Along with its impressive quantity of both kinds of ponies, here are 25 things Naas has that Dublin is completely missing out on.
1. The Big Ball
Locally, this nine-metre tarmacadam-surfaced beauty is referred to as the 'big ball' but members of the jealous Dublin community have been heard to refer to it as the "Bolgonese" (Ball of Naas). Charming.
It is both a defining monument of modern culture, as well as a constant cause of consternation, in so that your car is going to be the car it ultimately flattens one day, when the wind changes and it crushes everything in its path.
2. Time: Bar & Venue
Recognised at one time as the biggest and best nightclub in Ireland, Time is the spot most Naas heads bought their first jaegerbomb.
Between sneaking in via The Osprey carpark, the '80s and '90s bar, seeing icons like S Club 2/Fat Man Scoop perform live and that corner of the nightclub that everyone swore down was theirs – The Venue had it all.
3. Healthy competition with a neighbouring town
Along with rival rugby clubs, arguments about the best place to shop or a perpetual stream of fighting young lads, Naas and neighbouring town Newbridge have experienced it all.
You Dubs think you know rivalry? How about covering the town next door's entrance sign with one reading 'Shelbyville.'
4. Domination in every kind of sport
Naas boasts an array of unreal sports teams, from GAA to hockey to golf to tennis to athletics. But, at the moment it’s Naas’ RFC, fondly known to to locals as Cobra Cove, which has come out on top.
Currently the highest Kildare team in the AIL and one of the largest memberships for a senior club in Leinster, Naas Rugby has held the likes of Fionn Carr, Johne Murphy and Lovin Dublin's own Jamie Heaslip in their ranks.
5. Storm Cinema
Recently rebranded as Odeon, but it'll always be Storm, this place was once a hub for all things pre-teen.
A fine car park for your first smoke, tip-top slushies to mask the scent of your cider breath, and six huge screens for shifting, Storm cinema really had it all.
6. The warehouse across from Storm Cinema that had illegal raves once upon a time
Says it all really.
7. A McDonald's for the conventional AND for the hungover of you
Naas already boasts an age-old McDonalds tucked away nicely on the main street, but just this month a McDrive-Thru has opened – answering the prayers of hungover Naas people far and wide.
So, to recap, there's one for the socialisers, and one for the people who couldn't possibly get out of the car. You wouldn't get range like that in Dublin.
8. A bangin' National Anthem
Highlighting all Naas has to offer, and aptly entitled 'Naas, The Place'.
9. Punchestown Festival
Known throughout Ireland as the windiest place on Earth, Punchestown racecourse is home to the fantastic horse-racing festival every year, where everybody wins, loses and spends all of the money. A great place to people-watch during The Boom years.
The eclectic Punchestown racecourse is also home to…
Everyone’s first festival.
For a number of wildly successful years, and a number of not-so-successful ones, 80,000 people embarked on the streets of Naas, eager for the taste of cans. The red campsite became the natural habitat of the locals, and beer-bongs as far as the eye could see.
11. Enough horses to make anyone a gambler
Kildare itself is known itself as the county of flat-land and flatter accents, and the county town is no exception. Along with Punchestown, Naas has its very own racecourse, surrounded by an unholy number of stud farms*.
*And the expected number of mental horsey people to match. You win some...
12. Mondello Park
Think Disney Land for the boy racer in your life – and your chance to be the coolest you’ll ever be, for a very reasonable price.
13. An unbelievable restaurant scene
Naas has over 40 restaurants for your foodie friends to choose from. Top of the pack are fine French dining spot Vie de Chateux, and Las Radas Wine & Tapas Bar – which the late great Paulo Tullio said to have the best Patatas Bravas in Ireland.
Basically it would be a great town to go on a date in, if the absolute piss wasn't ripped out of you at every turn.
The clubhouse of the who's who of the county town. Rumour has it that you have to have worked there for at least six weeks to gain your Naas passport. This Naas institution is known for its strict bouncers, vodka boats and DEATHLY staircase.
Also know as Club G, G Spot, Capital G and G-races.
15. A gas Facebook page
To inform the hooligans of Naas what the other hooligans are at, and to bring up important, topical discussions.
Like which pub really has the best looking young ones.
16. A serious Facebook page
For the more sensible of the population to show how truly fucking sound they really are.
17. An array of musical legends
Andrew Strong of The Commitments, Eurovision Song Contest winner/Norwegian traitor Fionnuala Sherry and the family of Chris De Burgh – not to mention a hunbelievable musical scene in itself, the collective people of Naas could certainly pack a punch at any karaoke bar.
18. Patsy Bud Kelly R.I.P
The Bukowski of Kildare, a celebrator of the down-and-out lifestyle and a really fucking sound bloke, PK is a Naas legend who sadly passed away quite recently.
19. The Court
Famous for its outrageous prices, humungous smoking-area and glass-filled dancefloor, The Court is somehow a firm favourite with locals who have outgrown The Venue. Known in recent years to host the Leinster team’s Christmas party – and, subsequently, attract a whole army of gagging cougars following suit.
PS On entrance, you will meet everyone you've ever known.
PPS This is the spot where Alex from Made In Chelsea met his current girlfriend Nicola! The more you know..
20. The Ivy
The local watering hole for the youth of Naas and out-of-towners alike in the early noughties. Strolling in via the carpark, after a brief stint in The Dip (the motherfuckin' D.I.P.), was both necessary and encouraged.
Warning: Heels discouraged due to the sheer number of empty naggin bottles on the bathroom floor.
21. A Tesco colossal enough to get lost in
Simply known as 'Big Tesco' – this is every Naas (and non-Naas) person’s one-stop festival shop. Locals change the screensaver on the iPads to an ugly picture of their mates when they're mad at them. Brilliant craic.
22. The best bit of the Grand Canal
Sure, Dublin has the Grand Canal. But it doesn't have this bit of the Grand Canal.
Some of the best-loved amenities are the dreamy picturesque walk-or-run routes along the canal, for the people of Naas to tone their pert rears, the pack of rides.
Also, Ronnie Wood owns a gaf along here. No big deal.
23. It is a town for kings, literally
Nás na Ríogh is translated to mean ‘The Place of the Assembly of The Kings’, and to this day holds up those same high standards.
For example, if you mention Fletcher's pub to anyone in Naas, you'll hear about the time aforementioned Mr Wood brought none other than Mick Jagger in, attempted to start up a session, and was shown the door by Tom Fletcher himself.
Rock. And. Roll.
24. The Park, Monread
A hub of teen activity, both legal and not so much. A perfect people-watching spot to capture the true essence of Naas, and the girl on the roller blades who is always fucking there.
25. And finally, the Abra of your dreams
An onlooker would assume this is just any old Abrakebabra, but it's so much more than that. Naas drunkards are attracted like a moth to a flame to this haunt: think Zaytoon on speed.
The people's McDonald's.