Monday, January 28, 2008

In her eyes.

I would like it if for a day, I could see life through her eyes. Inhabit her soul, and through her eyes grasp how she perceives the world we live in, as we share days in days out; colors, landscapes, depth, dimension, scale, perspective... and me.

My wish unfortunately will remain a wish. And I can only capture and use the reflections "in her eyes" and hope that one day my blue sky will shy in their pure yet sophisticated blackness.

Mushaboom - Feist

«Le cadrage, la beauté des couleurs et l'originalité de l'image quant à la représentation d'un des jardins de Flora ont fait en sorte que «in her eyes» est la photo gagnante de cette édition 2007 du concours».

The framing, the beauty of the colors, as well as the originality of the image and the portrayal of one of Flora's gardens have all contributed to make "in her eyes" the winning photo of this 2007 edition of the competition.

This above picture was my first ever submission to a photography competition...
And guess what?
I won!
I had submitted more than one photo, and to be perfectly honest, the photograph that ended up winning the competition wasn't my favorite of the bunch. But what the hell, why am I even arguing and nagging when I actually won the thing!

Every year, Montreal organizes a showcase of experimental, "avant-garde" gardens, and ephemeral installations as part of the "International Flora Exhibition". In 2006 I had designed an installation that remained showcased for 2 years. This year's edition of Flora held a competition for the best picture in the show. "In her eyes" is not a photograph of our garden unfortunately, but it features "La Cathédrale de Bamboo" by Fabien Dreuil, Florian Fiebig, and Boris Pintado.
Lyric: Mushaboom, by Feist

Helping the kids out of their coats, But wait the babies haven't been born oh
Unpacking the bags and setting up, And planting lilacs and buttercups oh
But in the meantime we've got it hard, Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day, My dreams will match up with my pay

Old dirt road, (mushaboom, mushaboom)
knee deep snow (mushaboom, mushaboom)
Watching the fire as we grow (mushaboom, mushaboom)

I got a man to stick it out, And make a home from a rented house oh
And we'll collect the moments one by one, I guess that's how the future's done oh
How many acres, how much light, Tucked in the woods and out of sight
Talk to the neighbours and tip my cap, On a little road barely on the map

Old dirt road, (mushaboom, mushaboom)
knee deep snow, (mushaboom, mushaboom)
Watching the fire as we grow, (mushaboom, mushaboom)
o-o-o-o-old (mushaboom, mushaboom)
Old dirt road rambling rose, (mushaboom, mushaboom)
Watching the fire as we grow, (mushaboom, mushaboom)
Well I'm Sold...

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Black Coffee.

I don't usually indulge or go to "those" generic coffee places. I always feel like I am in a mall or something, and by principle, and for the sake of good urban design, I am against all malls in general, and big box department stores. As much as possible, I support the neighborhood café and/or grocer... and you should do the same whenever you can.

I was working today; I woke up in a hurry, and didn't get the chance to grab a "good" coffee at home. When I got to the office, I found out that we did not have "good" coffee anymore. (By "good" coffee, I mean fair trade).

Drinking a Coke at 9 a.m. did not seem to be such a great idea right, so what the hell, I'll go down to the corner, and grab a fast generic coffee from one of those big-chain-cafés.

- Aaaand, what would you like this morning sir?
- One large coffee please.
- What would you like in it?
- Nothing thanks. Just the coffee?
- No Milk?
- No.
- No Cream?
- No thank you.
- Would like some whipped cream on top?
- Whipped cream on my coffee? No, no thank you.
- That'll be 1.58, aaaaand just give me a minute sir.

.... (less than a minute goes by)

- Aaaaand, here you go sir.
- Thank you.
- Euh sir! This is just a black coffee... Nothing in it. (Before she hands it to me).

.... (me sighing)

- Ma'am! What did I ask you for?
- Black Coffee!
- And what is this?
- Black Coffee!
- Then give me the fucking cup Bitch!

Can't a guy get a normal cup of coffee anymore!!!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008


And just like that, and when you thought snow has melted, winter in Montreal has just begun. I took this picture while waiting for the bus. It was pretty cold, but fantastically beautiful. The landscape was serene and calm. It was the first time I actually see snow crystals; I always thought they existed only in drawings and in cartoons. They are exactly the way they draw them on greeting cards. They were stuck frozen on the glass of the bus shelter. I took out my camera and started shooting away. I didn’t have gloves, so my fingers were freezing; a painful pleasure I was ready to endure. I missed the bus I was planning to take, and rode on the next one to work. Walking in the morning when Metropolis is still silent and white is beyond compare. Sometimes, people smile in the morning have you noticed? It is so peaceful. I miss peace. Do I know peace? I never knew peace; I never met it. I wouldn't recognize it even if it falls in my lap.

I love snow, but I hate the resulting slush. You can't have one without the other. What do you do?

more crystals

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Monday, January 14, 2008

There and Back.

Him: How was Lebanon?
Me: slow. Everything runs on slow-motion.
Him: Yeah I heard.
Me: it’s ridiculous. You couldn’t get anything done if you didn’t calculate at least two to three hours of your day.
Him: A lot of traffic?
Me: A lot of everything… and mostly, of nothing.

I used to think that the malaise that overtook me, every time I came back home was related to change. I, by default, did not like anything that has to do with change, and I hated the natural fact that nothing remained as I once knew it; hence my everlasting nostalgia.

I think I was missing the point. It actually appears that no matter how long you stayed away, everything in
Beirut remains the way you left it.

This city freezes time.

It is impossible how time stands still in this country.
My world, as I know it, comes to a total and sudden halt every time I fly back home.
I flatline...
And when I wake up, it is already time to go.

I have been in
Beirut since the 21st of December. I haven’t been blogging and I haven’t been reading other blogs. I didn’t check my emails, didn’t log on facebook and didn’t send Christmas greetings.

I left
Montreal in a hurry since my preparations were left to last minute (as always), and I didn’t even have the chance to leave a word out on urban_memories that I was leaving.

Beirut looks smaller and much denser than I remembered it to be. Despite the good weather we had most of the days; Beirut seemed to be sad and gloomy.

A lot of Green has been sprouting nonchalantly here and there all over the city, which is something I really appreciated.

more details will come...

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