Corbels Collage #3

Here's another group of corbels. I've decided that I like it when a facade has more than one color. I like the look of it more than monochrome.

And speaking of monochrome, I have some of that coming soon; a collection of corbels from downtown where everything is squeaky clean.


Pictures Like Poetry

It's Wednesday, and this is where I want to be.

Where would you like to be?


Common Corbels

Another dip into the archives, another aray of corbels.  The scroll pattern is a popular one, seen in four of these today and one from yesterday. It's funny, but I considered leaving out redundant corbel patterns because we all know that once a thing is common it stops being special.

I included them anyway, in part because the truth about the scroll pattern is that you will see it everywhere. It's a very Beirut thing.

Lest I wear you out on corbels, I'll take a little break from this theme for a few days. There's lots more where these came from, days and days worth. But I'll wait.  I'd hate for corbels to stop being special.


Corbels From the Archive

It's been fun, sorting through my archives looking for corbels. I have a lot and today, I'm sharing the first batch.

Corbels are not the easiest thing to photograph. They're often hidden in shadow. In addition, I captured most of these images while trying to get a good shot of something else--I wasn't thinking about the corbel. I was focused on the windows probably.

Anyway, they're nice, and I have more of them coming tomorrow. I especially like the one on the top right, the corbel all on its own holding up nothing at all.

The other thing about corbels is that you'll usually see them supporting iron balustrades on balconies.  So, there'll be a lot of iron going on in these photos too.  That's kind of nice, since I've wanted to eventually get to focusing on those.


A Zigzag Dance

September is nearly over, and though the days in Beirut are now cooler, more breezy, the sun still beats down unrelentingly. It'll let up by December, I keep telling myself.

But I had to smile at this amazing shadow doing a zigzag dance on the blue curtains. It undulates, curves around, does a whiplash, and wiggles off on it's way.   It looks light and happy, and it made me feel that way too.



I know this house has residents. Not on this floor, perhaps, but certainly above and below.

But at this level, the glass is missing from all the windows and the shutters look like they might fall right off if you tried to push them open or closed. 



I live next to a lovely old ramshackle of a house. It has loads of lovely rusted up hardware and well-worn wood, falling-to-pieces stucco and crumbling brick. It's pull on me is magnetic.

No matter how close I get to it, I still wish I was closer.



I didn't know what these were called, so I googled "stone balcony supports" because that is what they are and the web is as good a place as any to start.

Google led me to wikipedia, which is the best substitute I have found for my long-absent Grove Dictionary of Architecture. There, I found an article called simply "Corbel", which I recommend if you'd like to know more about architectural application, significance and engineering realities of these features.

My primary interest lies elsewhere. I'm more interested in the creativity and craftsmanship designers of stone and concrete have thrown at these support structures. Collecting images of corbels around Beirut is  my new pet project and as such you'll be seeing lots of examples of them right here in the coming weeks. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I will.


Sunset Laundry

It was late afternoon, the sun was going down, and the light was perfect.

Perfect enough to make the banal realities of laundry, wires, and balconies glow beautifully.


One Forbidden Street

There's a whole section of west Beirut near LAU where people get very touchy about photography. For "security" of all things. Every now and then, I can't resist complaining about this attitude. Today is one such day.

Not long ago I was out, camera in hand, looking for a picture. I was walking west along Hamra street and as I approached an intersection I looked south and saw this:

Haj decorations to comemmorate a resident's completed pilgrimage. That, and a picture waiting to happen. I was delighted by the colors and light.

I took a half dozen photos and continued up the street, toward that big building with the large satelite dishes perched up top. I'd passed under about half the hanging flags before I realized where I was and put my camera away. That big building with the satelite dishes (the one in my photo!) is a photography no no. It's surrounded by guards and there are signs all around the immediate vicinity that prohibit photography.

I take these folks and their wishes very seriously. I know they do. And I know that you don't mess around with security in times like these. But I also know that my photo doesn't impact their security - not even a little. Google maps got there first and this is nothing compared to that.


Hello Out There

Hello? Is anyone there?

If anyone is reading this blog, you have my sincere thanks and you deserve a reward. Thanks for hanging in there.

I feel like I've been absent for ages and for most of the summer I was.  I was on vacation. But even after I got back to Beirut I didn't get back to blogging. There were too many distractions. Until now.

Blogging is too much fun to stay away for long. Plus, I got a really fun new lens for my camera this summer and that's been a game changer. I've had a good time figuring out what it can do. I promise, from now on I'll be here.

I'll be here to show you streets like this one that caught my eye. I love this because blonde is more fun. I love the mix of signs and I love the streetlight that's on for no reason and yes, those are tiles on that building.

It's good to be back.