I could be wrong about this. Being wrong isn't that uncommon for me, but I think these odd things on the roof--these strange metal capped things are mufflers to stifle the sound of gas-powered generators that kick in when municipal power fails.
Everybody's looking for something. Mary Ann is looking for the real Beirut, whatever that means. These are the photos she takes along the way.
You can browse around the archives here or check out her other blogs. There's one from a few years ago, back when she blogged about art. And then there's another from '09 when she lived in St. Louis (USA).