Corbels in Tripoli

It's been a while since the last time we visited Tripoli. We didn't have a map and not much of an agenda, other than to find the Souk. So, for a little while we wandered through town, just looking around.

We passed this little street. It was so ornate that I had to stop for a few photos.


One Eye

In Clemenceau, there's a downhill stretch of road that I see more often from a car than on foot. The raod skirts past this building with a sharp zig zag, first to the right then the left. It's a street that forces you to slow down, proceed with caution, carefully inch your way past parked cars, construction rubble, pedestrians, cats.

And while I do all that, I have one eye on the corbels, the balustrade with its line-up of curls, the flowering whatever-it-is brightening up the balcony, and the tangle of wires going about their business.


I Run Beirut, Nike 5K

On Sunday at 7 AM, I arrived here, to participate in Nike's 5K funrun with my with my husband and kids. There were several hundred people there, and I was a little surprised to see how many people turned out so early in the day. 

The event was good--well organized and fun. Plus, I got a cool shirt. The lady in the foreground to the left is wearing one just like it.

This is the first 5K our kids have ever done, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Nike plans to make this event an anual thing, so here's to next year!


Reinforced Corbels

Sometimes, a few corbels just aren't enough.  The triangular reinforcing beams aren't pretty, but I'll overlook that small failure since they allow the pretty balcony to go right on existing.

This balcony has a really great balustrade.  I'm of that opinion because a child absolutely could not accidentally squeeze through. 


Sanayeh, Detail

Today, a detail shot of the lamp posts in Sanayeh park. I like the art deco flavor of the floral pattern.

Quite a while ago I posted a picture showing these lights (allbeit not very well) from a distance.


First Costco, now Tchibo?

Several months ago I posted about finding "Costco" in Beirut--except it wasn't a real Costco.

So, I was prepared for something similar when, the other day, I found Tchibo here in Beirut. If you've never lived in Germany you might not be familiar with Tchibo--though they're in a bunch of other countries too. They sell all kinds of kitchen, household, and clothing items--and in Germany the shops usually (always?) are combined with a cafe.

Inside the shop the products were exactly what I'd expect to see in a German Tchibo. Prices were great, and I had to try very hard to resist the urge to immediately buy leather boots and jackets, tablecloths, fun Christmas decorations, new plates and kitchen appliances, rain coats for my kids, and an array of nice shirts for me.

I think I'm going to take myself back there soon.

I've done a little google research, and Tchibo's corporate site lists no locations in Lebanon at all. So, now I'm left wondering if they're the real thing or not . . .

It's literally two blocks down the hill (toward the sea) from TSC Jnah. It's combined with a shop quite a lot like TJMaxx (Brands for Less) which had a decent selection of clothes for men, women, and kids.


Golden Corbels

I like how this picture turned out, the blue sky peeking out behind fanciful golden corbels fanned out overhead.

I like the emblem, embellishment, whatever it is, up there between corbels. And it's interesting that there are two corbels sandwiched together instead of one heavier one.


It's Electric

I like this little group of fuze boxes, I like how they're grouped. The little spaces between them are interesting to me, as is the paint peeling everywhere.

Plus, there's a little bit of poetry in the gentle sweep of all that wiring.


Happy Place

This is a happy place, isn't it?

From the cool symmetry of the balustrade to the healthy plants growing in number, the bit of recycled CD-whimsy fluttering in the fall air, and the blue shutters pushed back--it's a nice place, serene, happy.


The Thing about Doors

Open doors: figuratively associated with possibility and opportunity--tied to the future. Literally, they appear welcoming, friendly. Open doors beckon.  They imply trust and connectedness.

Closed doors: quite the oposite. Figuratively they represent rejected possibilities, options that have become unavailable--tied to the past. Literally, closed doors can appear aloof and impersonal, possibly even forbidding.  They exhude division, reinforcing distinctions of in vs. out, public vs. private.

Doors do it all.  Sometimes open, sometimes closed.  Welcoming here, forbidding there.  Allowing this but prohibiting that.  And always the possibility of change, that a closed door will one day open or an open door swing difinitively shut. 

Interesting, that doors can do so very much.


For Me, For You

Green on the inside, for me.

Brown on the outside, for you.


Silk Museum

Up until the 1950s, silk production was an important industry in Lebanon. But then there were wars, the invention of nylon, and China's development of year-round silk production. This combination had a devistating impact on silk production in Lebanon. These days, all that remains of the industry is the Silk Museum, just outside Beirut.

I had visited the museum once in 2005 but that was a very long time ago and I wasn't sure how to get there. Google led me to the museum's webside (linked above) which has a map, their opening hours, and a lot of information about the history of silk production in Lebanon. It's a good, useful website.

Our visit was very pleasant. The museum provides tours free of charge and without a previous appointment. It includes a brief video presentation. The museum is filled with hands-displays, including real, living silk worms and moths, plus all the tools needed to unravel the silkworm cocoon, gather the threads, and weave them into textiles.

A seperate section of the museum features rotating exhibitions of silks from many different culture and artistic traditions. In the past I saw a beautiful collection of chinese embroidery including robes and collars and shoes that were inspriational and unforgettable. On this visit the museum had an exhibition of amazing silk carpets, the private collection of the Maktabi family.

The museum is closed during the winter. When they reopen in the spring there will be a new temporary exhibit and I'm looking forward to returning to see what's next.

The best time to visit the museum is in May, because that is when silkworms are most active. We'll be going back for sure.


Purple Blades

People come and go, cars pass and horns honk. I'm out with my daughter having a snack, looking around at the world going by.

Overhead, purple blades poke through the bars and into the sunlight.


Beneath the Surface

It's amazing what you'll find

when you look beneath the surface.


Rainbow Electric Cascade

It would have taken magic of one kind or another to get that crazy cascade or electic wires out of my picture. I was, after all, interested in the balcony. I mean, look at that balustrade; iron swirling in a generous arc the likes of which I had never seen anywhere else. If I'd been able to make the wires vanish (and gauze and those wooden masts) I'd have done it.

I'd still love to have that picture, the one without the cascade of rainbow colored cabeling. But this is the one I have, and I'm inclined to accept that as it is.


Really Little Balcony

This is one of my older photos, one that turned up while I was looking for varieties of Beirut corbels.

In the foreground you can see a really little balcony outfitted with bars holding lines to hang the laundry out.

This house is among the oldest on the street where it stands. It's still inhabited, happily. In the background you can see an abandoned apartment building that would be crazy amazing if it were refurbished.


A Good Balcony

Balconies are such a delight, and for so many reasons.

They look wonderful on a facade, usually adding depth and variety at the very least. You might also get a cool pattern in the balustrade or the corbels and that's even better.

Plus, urban residents tend to enjoy balconies--I've lived without one in the past and I really hope I'll never have to do that again. So when I see a balcony I feel happy for the people who live there and assume their quality of life is a little better for it.

Finally, balconies make sense in climates where you'd like to be out-of-doors for a good part of the year. That alone is a very happy thought.

This is a good balcony. It looks peaceful. The white and black combination is pleasant and I like this iron balustrade, the little curls and near symmetry of it. The corbels are boring, but they're getting the job done.


Blue Musing

I'm usually a big fan of peeling paint.

And this is just an ordinary day.


Curling Shutter Stays

I think they look happy.


Downtown Corbels, Monochrome

This is Downtown, where most every building is creamy, brownish, beige. It's all startlingly clean, which I think make the monochromatic stone stand out even more.

Downtown isn't Beirut's most colorful neighborhood. But, if you want is to look around at a wide variety of carved stone facades, this is the place to find them.

At first, all that creamy, brownish, beige might fool you into thinking that the carved shapes are all the same too. They aren't. Once you get used to the color you look beyond it and you see the forms, an amazing variety of shapes and surprising details that were always there waiting for you to notice them.

This collage emphasizes the corbels, which illustrate Downtown's variety of stonework quite well I think.


Mystery in the Dark

Welcome to October, one and all. Around my house, we're already planning for Halloween. There will be costumes and parties and new recipes and fun. Halloween is the perfect time for the spooky, scary, strange and mysterious.

So it's fitting that the month begins with City Daily Photo's theme day: Mystery Object. Theme day is an international thing. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Over the past two years I've posted quite a few mystery items.
Check out
and this
and this.

Darkness is mystery's best friend.

And then the sun comes out and you see clearly.

Happy October!