A day in Beirut

July 6, 2009  • 

 

If you find yourself in Beirut, here is what you could be doing: an early morning stroll on the Corniche, followed by a break for breakfast, on a cafe overlooking the Pigeon Grotto (see pic)…then, maybe a couple hours of swimming at one of the private beaches nearby, such as the Sporting Club, which still looks the same 40 years later, charmingly run-down, but with a great saltwater pool and delicious frozen lemonades. A short stroll after your swim will get you close to the AUB campus: cross it while admiring the campus flora and treesĀ  and resident cats and make your way to Bliss st. There you will lunch at Kababji restaurant, for some of the best kebabs and mezzes in town in a clean and stylish atmosphere. Time now for a siesta or reading the paper, which can be done in Hamra at Cafe Younes.

Next, you can head to Basta, an old Beirut neighborhood filled with artisans. I have learned from a reliable source that Uma Thurman recently bought there a lovely old bracelet (her soon-to-be husband is Lebanese). To end the evening in style, I would head to the Centre-Ville (Beirut Downtown) for a stroll and a drink amongst the most stylish buildings renovated by Solidere, in one of the many cafes,such as Lina’s. And lastly, I would eat dinner on the terrace at Abdel-Wahab in Achrafieh, a fabulous traditional restaurant. And, for a nightcap and some music head to Gemmayze.


Comments

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  1. Arlette says:

    you are strolling in my neighborhood ya Joumana, where are you now visiiting…
    I was born and raised in Mouseitbeh – Mazraah… and all these areas you mentioned I used to do them , we used to walk to the Roucheh and back, sometimes I used to go to the AUB for a walk and sometimes a swim, I worked in Hamra , and I used to walk from my house to Riad El Solh… when I worked with TWA when they had the sales office in Downtown Beirut.
    you are brining back lots of memories my dear…. and now I envy you.

    • Joumana says:

      My aunt Wadad has lived in Mouseitbeh for at least 60 years. I was raised in Sanayeh, near the little park (that is now under threat of being demolished for a parking lot) and my parents live in Clemenceau. My dad takes a walk every day in the AUB campus. Arlette, Beirut has changed a lot, but still the feeling of Beirut is still there, despite all the high-rise buildings that are being erected everywhere. Wish you were here.

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