live @ cafe olympico, montréal.
Germany 2006 World Cup, ¼ finals
You will be seen!
You will glance!
You will become the voyeur!
Jardin Nu comme “VERT” is a garden I helped design for WAA as part of the International Flora Montreal 2006 exhibition. If you are in town and feel like experiencing something interesting and different, pass by the Flora site down at the Old Port of Montreal (Vieux Port) and you will be able to savor a multitude of concepts, ideas and avant-garde designs for all sorts of gardens (roof, backyards, city …).
These gardens, designed by top Canadian Landscape Architecture firms, will be available and displayed for the public until October 9th of 2006.
I was waiting at the bus stop a few days ago. As I was nearing the little pavilion, I noticed a guy waiting there smoking a cigarette. He needed 50cents in change to complete his fare, and was wondering if I could help him out.
I did. We chatted a little in English.
I happened to be at the same stop today with a Lebanese “acquaintance”. We were sitting on a worn up wooden bench underneath a couple of maple trees. The wind was chill; the sky dark with clouds and the leaves were trembling. Along came the same I-don’t-have-enough-change-guy, walking slowly towards us.
A stormy and windy solstice evening was being announced.
- I have my change today, he shouted with a smile.
I returned the smile and said: “I am glad you do… The bus will be here in 5 minutes. It’s always a couple of minutes late!” (As I saw he was walking towards the bus schedule).
- Ok cool.
- Are you Israeli?
- Close enough actually. We’re neighbors; I am Lebanese. I answered.
It was a normal question, but if you consider the sensitivity of the subject in our part of the world, I think everybody (especially Lebanese) would agree, understand, and condone my 2-second bedazzlement before I swallowed and was able to answer. His question was direct; too direct perhaps as he did not aim too far. Touché even!
A roll of thunder was heard.
On the bus, my “friend” asks in a very casual manner: “Why did that guy think you were Israeli?”
- I don’t know. Because of my accent?
- No you must have done something or said something to make him think that.
- What? No. Why? What would I do? Maybe it is because of my nose!
He sensed that I did not care to pursue the subject. He leaned back, and thought for a second.
- Why did you answer, “close enough”? You should have told him “not at all” or “far from that”. You have to make him understand; he has to understand.
- What are you talking about? Understand what? I just thought Geography, and answered.
- What if he had asked if you were Syrian? He asks again. What would you have said?Answer honestly.
- Close enough actually. We’re neighbors; I am Lebanese.
- No you wouldn’t!
We got to his destination. He got up angrily, glanced at me pensively, nodded a very subtle nod (Pai Mei style), and left the bus.
I was left to continue my dark journey back home baffled trying to figure what just hit me.
Was it the bus?
It is said that Oscar Niemeyer is the last of the “Modernists”. And it’s truly the case in
Together with the old, the souks, and the history this city carries, they form and interesting and somehow “grayish” comfortable blend. Niemeyer’s Rashid Karami International fair, is the culmination of the city’s homage to a proud modernist era.
You get to understand
I am a native and a resident of
After the one-child-per-family-law imposed in
Have you noticed that, again, the situation in
Chinese-Lebanese values of family and friendship are very similar. Community life, traditions and rituals converge in so many ways.
We are very much alike; each in our own ways.
Chinese are invading the world. It is their time and their era. I think it is only natural that
In many Chinese cities, the way-to-do “business” relies mainly on centralization (at least in major provinces and cities); so they may even have wanted
Oh they will do pretty well in
I hope the Tripolitarian will learn to embrace this multi-cultural change well and with ease. Economically the city will benefit tremendously (jobs, tourism, cash flow…). From an “urban” point view, there is no telling of how rich and diverse the fabric would become.
With optimism that “creative” and “honest” urban design guidelines (for the new the existing and the heritage) will be implemented, planned and well managed, the city might start to sketch itself a
sexy new skyline.
The skyline of a real modern Metropolis!
(Please plant lots of trees!)
Sadly though Mustapha, gossip will remain gossip.
* Shanghai surprise the movie, came out in 1986; exactly twenty years ago.
I am a new blogger. I seldom talk about politics. I first started urban-memories as a notepad to write my thoughts about "Memory," my favorite topic of research, reading, and discussion. This blog does not contain or allude to pornographic content. Why would they ban me? I was frustrated and convinced again, that in
For a while now, I have been debating whether I should write about the June 1st Riots in
However, the subject is anything but dormant and statements are still hailing daily, from many sides and parties. And if I am writing, I am just stating the obvious from a social point of view; from the point of view of a “concerned” citizen.
Hmmm, I feel apologetic already.
Anyway, here it goes.
"Bass Met Watan," a televised satire show, apparently stepped over the line for the second time. After being banned a couple of years back, it was once again facing serious threats after last week’s episode. I can see them going on a forced vacation for a while. Yet another time!
“Bass Met Watan” is a double-entendre in Arabic; it could mean both “when a country died,” and “the smiles of a country,” and quite frankly they could use them both now. When we can’t smile in a country, the country is as good as dead! “Police did not interfere, but security officials said soldiers were deployed along some areas of the former demarcation line between Christian and Muslim neighborhoods of south Beirut to prevent the unrest from taking a sectarian tone” – naharnet.com
“Police did not interfere, but security officials said soldiers were deployed along some areas of the former demarcation line between Christian and Muslim neighborhoods of south Beirut to prevent the unrest from taking a sectarian tone” – naharnet.com
Is War Imminent in
Now I didn't watch that week’s “Bass Met Watan” episode; the one that "insulted the symbol of the resistance and its leader" – naharnet.com, and eventually led to those riots. To put it quite frankly, I don't even like the show! I wouldn’t have watched it anyway. But that's irrelevant. Comedy shows air on television daily, joking and mocking political and religious leaders of different religious affiliations. We laugh and sometimes carry the joke with us to work the next day. Why is it that in a fortnight ONE PART of our society, belonging to a certain group, lost its sense of humor? How could they, without warning, decide that they are going to stop laughing with the rest of us! I thought we were all in this together? They can’t stop laughing at the same jokes now. They can’t be the ones deciding what is funny and what is not!
I thought that Humor and being able to laugh at our own tragedies and miseries, is what got us through and out of the war with half a sane brain. Otherwise we would have all turned into zombies. A good sense of humor has always been a Lebanese “thing”. It would be too bad if we lost it. There will be no telling on what we could lose next.
Laugh my friends. Laugh, because the way things stand, our country is damn funny, and everybody is laughing at us.
I hope that I won’t be asked to apologize after this post.
Photo source: www.naharnet.com