Take Stock

It's my hundredth post here on Beirut Pursuit.

Just another typical city patchwork, this one in Gemmayze.



I like the iron clad windows, the balcony, the weathered facade and worn stone--I really do. But would I have thought to take a picture had there not been that dangling plant?


Brown on Brown

Art Deco door across from the American Academy of Beirut.

It was the proportions, style, angles of the door that I noticed first. The brown monochrome has grown on me. I also like the bleeding colors over the door. It reminds me of Helen Frankenthaler's soak stain paintings. And the wires going every which way, I like that too.


Fresh Stuff

Sometimes, taking a picture of something completely transforms it. Such a picture is what Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida would have called "partially true and therefore totally false."

This picture is one of those. The photo reminds me of Edward Hopper--of his painting of a sleepy main street. But the actual place, the physical street where I took the photo, the shop itself would never conjure up that comparison.


Looking up

This picture . . . there's something so optimistic about it.




Other places, dust is a thing; to be conquered, to be rid of.

In Beirut, dust is a fact of life, a constant, a color.


Cream on White

Just another lovely, typical door.


Orange and Green

The other day I was on foot in an unfamiliar part of town. I passed a house--one of the few in that part (or any part) of the city--with a little garden behind a wall that ran all around the property. A house with ornamental orange trees.

I've decided that I really like the look of orange and green.


Drop Off

Just another site where, soon enough, another high-rise will go up.

One of the things that makes me smile to myself is that in America, any unobstructed drop off would be blockaded immediately--and with something more substantial than a few potted plants(!). Warning signs would be posted. The whole area would be secured--otherwise, it's a law suit waiting to happen.

Here though, it seems a higher level of common sense (or the sense of self-preservation) is assumed. That might not be right, though. Maybe the people who dug the hole, or the people who regulate safety standards at construction sites are relying on luck--counting on bad luck and misfortune striking somewhere other than near this drop off. Or still, maybe they've made no effort to block the drop off because they know that they'll never be successfully sued if someone (even through no fault of their own) falls in.


Concrete Collage

A collage of concrete blocks--these, and most of the ones I've seen, are used to screen a place from view without completely blocking the light or air.


Quite Compelled

I felt a kind of magnetic pull drawing me to this humble spot.

It's thoroughly commonplace, the way that ancient looking stone wall gives way to an unremarkable building above it.



Behind a wall and through a doorway, I caught a glimpse of the stairwell.

And there was just enough light to share it.


Time is Etched

It takes time for a building to become what this one has.

Evidence of change over time is etched into every inch of this structure. I mean, it didn't become so amazingly unintentional overnight. There's the closed-up archway on the street level, dangling a hint of bygone days. Above it, the boarded up windows, like a clumsily enclosed balcony, maybe? I wonder why it was altered, and how many years might have passed since the owner quit repairing those darling scalloped shingles.



It reminded me of quilting, this facade that I wandered my way into the other day.

It looked like separate pieces, coordinating but not matching, assembled here sort of haphazardly. I liked how it looked.


More Concrete Blocks

I love this. Love the tree growing up out of the house(!), love the pattern made by the concrete blocks, love the colors, the curly-heart door decoration, the stripy awning and bad paint job. Love it all.


Bold Yellow and Broken

My Beirut Photoblog tends towards dull monochromes. But not today.

All thanks to the dirty back end of a yellow van.

Oh, and my camera is broken. I have an Olympus E-410, and it has refused (repeatedly) to take pictures unless the 14-42mm lense (the only one I have) is at 25mm or beyond. Pout, Sigh, and Grrr.


Covered with Vines

In an old house in Beirut that was covered with vines . . .

I'll have to go back in the summer and see the place all leafy.


Green Gate

I don't have anything insightful to say about this place. All I can say that I like it and that it's typical. Typical gate with typical pillars, typical sidewalk with typical black and yellow posts. A typical street with typical grime. Yeah. And even though I walk past this place somewhat often, the novelty has not worn off.



There's so much to like about this little spot.

Wires going every which way, sheet metal awnings, laundry hung out and shutters painted robin's egg blue. I really like the upper balcony; a perfect baroque yellow within a pointed arch.



In a city as congested as Beirut, parking lots are a beautiful, welcome havens.


Exhibit #14

We recently went to the National Museum, where they have a wonderful collection of artifacts that date back to prehistoric times.

I enjoyed being there, and thanks to Matthew, I got more out of our visit than I have before. But I confess, the shadows completely distracted me.


A Pair of Us

I'm quite sure I wouldn't like these windows so well if the shutters were all properly attached.



Prefabricated concrete blocks are a staple of Lebanese architecture--there are normal ones, of course--the ones that look like regular old bricks. But there are also the ones in this picture, the kind that make a neat pattern when you stack them up.


Open Gate

I walked past this gate the other day, just off Hamra Street, and couldn't help taking a picture.


Wooden Doors, Byblos

This photo is part of the theme day 'wood' at City Daily Photo. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants