Lots of Lebanese (like myself) remember the days when most of the daily’s veggies and fruits were bought from a cart vendor passing by; my grandmother would lower her basket, get the merchandise (basket was reeled to the fourth floor), inspect it, then negotiate a price with the merchant below.
It seems that these street cart vendors are now a relic of the past; a few are still left scattered about the city in some neighborhoods but they are mostly shooed away by the municipality and store owners who do not want the extra competition.
Ibrahim, a true survivor, came up with a plan to sell his produce; he set up his cart inside the courtyard of an abandoned mansion, and managed to form a clientele of nearby residents or visitors; his prices are unbeatable. Last time I peeked, I got several bags of juicy oranges for 10 cents a pound. He will sell you three bunches of vibrant-looking purslane for 15 cents. Etc.
The hand-painted sign says “no borrowing” but Ibrahim does let people borrow occasionally.
Some days, you can get some really cool stuff in his shop; I will show you in a couple of days what I got.