Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Some Beirut

A few random photos: Roman columns downtown; snow and palm trees on Bliss Street; new mosque and bombed out mall; bombed out church; orange tree ready to eat; generators for when the electricity is out.

I suppose I should write something about why I took each of these photos, but that's just it - I don't know why. I only know that they caught my eye for being so typically Beirut, the kind of life crammed into a situation type of thing that you don't get in too many places on this planet. I mean, sure, there are Roman columns all over the place in so many different countries. But these columns, well, they were discovered after the Beirutis bombed whatever was on top of them out of existence, and they stand next to a T.G.I.Fridays in a downtown rebuilt from the ground up after it was leveled during a 15 year war.

And these snow-covered mountains? They're located about an hour away from palm trees. Lebanon is one of the few places on Earth where you can ski in full view of the sea and go to the beach on the same day.

Bliss Street is named after Daniel Bliss, the founder of the American University of Beirut, which is, obviously, located on Bliss Street, which is where I was standing when I took this picture. Funny, but in July, you couldn't see the mountains from this street through all the haze, so when I was on this street, looking at the snow, I didn't realize where I was.

And where else are you going to find the remains of a shopping center, crying for a bulldozer, near a shiny newish mosque where an assassinated prime minister who rebuilt a city lays in rest?

(Maybe it's not a shopping center - someone told me it was, and there is a parking lot beneath it that you can no longer get to. It's a strange shape, anyway.)

A bombed out church, next to a highway, that I walk by every day on my way to the office. This corpse of a church is located across from the corpse of a shopping mall down the street from the newish mosque.

I wonder why it hasn't been rebuilt when so many other churches have been. It has trees growing in it. Someone hung a banner on it advertising some Christmas charity, so it isn't totally ignored. Perhaps they just decided to build a brand new church somewhere.

Perhaps the war made them give up God.

Some people have maple trees in their yards. Some have oak trees. Some have elms, hickories, and pines. In Lebanon, lucky people get to have orange trees. How tough it is to walk by and not pick one!

I love this building, too. They have such great architecture, Italian style. Still need some paint, though, and the buildings are covered with the sludge of pollution. (There's something to be said for government regulation of emissions.)

And lastly, the generators, ahh, the generators, the only way you get to have electricity 24 hours a day. Odd for a city that seems so cosmopolitan.

1 comment:

  1. ok, cool... i just made many new emo backgrounds 2 my blog