Category Archives: Lifestyle

Rikky’z entrance fee doubled in 2 years

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As I posted earlier today, I was at Rikky’s yesterday and it was a lot of fun, but I just realized that the entrance fee went from 30$ in 2010 to 60$ this summer!

The place is still the same, the atmosphere is great and I had a lot of fun, but I think 60$ is a bit too much specially that the buffet is small and food is average. I mean I had to wait at least 20-30 minutes at the grill to get a small piece of steak and an undercooked chicken breast.

Maybe it’s better if they charge us the 60$ and let waiters bring us drinks and food. Nevertheless, I still think it’s a great place to spend your Sunday at and would probably go one more time before it closes down mid-October.

Beirut is more than boobs and Botox

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David J Constable, author of “Boobs, Botox and the Babes of Beirut

BeirutBeats wrote a nice response to David Constable and his cheap article on Lebanon and its women. Read it all [Here].

So summer is here again and with it comes the annual influx of derogatory, poorly researched articles by western ‘journalists’ doing their best to pick out the worst parts of Beirut culture after a quick holiday visiting a couple of nightclubs.

Last year CNN made a brave expedition through the jungle of Beirut’s rooftop bars, encouraging the world to think that the city was populated entirely by sparkling idiots who couldn’t care about tomorrow as long as the champagne was flowing and the iPhone still had enough battery to film the dead look in everyone’s eyes.

This year the Huffington Post have gone one step further, with a piece by David J Constable claiming that

‘Beirut has now overtaken both LA and Miami as the plastic surgery capital of the world.’ [Full Response]

Thanks Rita

Boobs, Botox and the Babes of Beirut

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I think this article is offensive, over-generalizing and pointless. [Article]

For a largely Arab country it’s a bizarre thing that in Lebanon (Beirut specifically), women care more about their appearance than men. Males lead a rather sullied existence, priming their closely cut mini-beards and, from my own observations, eating rather a lot. The formula in Lebanon’s capital for women is fashion-forward, from their choice of cloth to the decisions they make surgically. [Link]

Via Rita

The Junkyard

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I went to check out yesterday this Junkyard/Pop-up restaurant my friend told me about. I was told it’s on Mar Mikhail’s street some 100 meters after Chez Sophie’s restaurant to the right but I could not find it at first. I called him to ask for more directions and as it appears, I had passed right next to it twice and didn’t notice the place.

Parking lot that gets you to the Junkyard

Looking at the second picture, you would never think there’s a hangout place behind those small trees and around those old buildings but the truth is this open air restaurant/bar is the coolest thing I’ve seen yet in Lebanon. It has no name, a unique design with tables/chairs/bars/toilets made out of junks down to the smallest detail, a container as a kitchen and chill-out music.

Path to the Toilets

Added to that, the place is surrounded by old residential buildings with some balconies directly overlooking it. I noticed many were sitting on their balconies drinking coffee or smoking arguile not bothered one single bit by this sort of pop-up restaurant and pub. It felt like it brought life to the whole neighborhood.


The kitchen is run by Thomas Reger, the executive chef at Le Sushi Bar and The Jasmine Room. To add to the place’s originality, there’s no set menu but daily dishes picked up by the chef. I had 3 appetizers, couscous with tomato, fresh tuna with peppers, Halloum with watermelon and all were good and refreshing dishes.

The Bar

The man behind all that is Mario Haddad, who’s always investing in new and innovative ideas in Lebanon, seeking more self-satisfaction rather than just profits. You can read more about him in this article by LorientLeJour [Link].

Now the sad part is that the Junkyard will only open for 2-3 months and then close down before winter as it is not a viable nor sustainable project on the long-run. Nevertheless, if the idea were to work, I am sure the concept could be implemented in various locations on a yearly basis. After the Junkyard is closed, a group of restaurants also managed by Mario will be set up on site as of next year, offering a unique experience to the Lebanese. I will unveil more details about them in future posts.

In order to get to the Junkyard, go to Mar Mikhail’s street (As if you are heading to Burj Hammoud), turn right 100 meters after Chez Sophie restaurant right before the gas station (facing the bus cemetery), and then right again 20 meters into the corner.

Lebanese at the Tate Modern Museum

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I was in London last week when I decided to pass by the very popular Tate Modern Museum of Art. I’m not a big fan of museums but I went there hoping to see if the installation for the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was still on display. The original installation was removed but they had a smaller version in one of the rooms upstairs which was still cool to see. After leaving that room and I was wondering around slightly bored when suddenly I spotted a black plastic watch with a picture of General Aoun on display. I froze and was like WTF? And then I looked at the tag underneath it and read Omar Boustany which is a friend of mine and I just cracked up. If you knew my friend you would understand why it was funny to see his name under this object but I was still bewildered to what my friend and this General Aoun watch were doing at Tate.

Turns out I walked into a room where Lebanese artist Lamia Joreige was exhibiting her work on the Lebanese war and “how memory and trauma can be embodied in personal objects”. Walking around the exhibit I saw various objects ranging from obvious war related ones like radios, flash lights and empty plastic gallons to more personal items like a book or a key. It was pretty interesting to check out.

I left the room and continued walking around the gallery when I spotted some interesting black and white photos on the room. The one that grabbed my attention specifically was of “abou 3adal”. So I checked the description on the wall and it turned out to be a room full of photos by a Lebanese photographer called Hashem el Madani. Hashem was a studio portrait photographer who began working in Saida back in 1948. The photos were chosen and taken from his studio by Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari. There were some really great shots which you could check out on the Tate website [Here]

Two rooms full of Lebanese work at the Tate. That’s a pretty cool accomplishment.

Beirut #1 Party Town in the world

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That’s some great news but a bit hard to believe to be honest. I wish they could provide more information as to what criteria are being considered when ranking those towns?

According to this list, Beirut is ahead of Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro, Ibiza, Budapest and many others.

But in spite of its history of violence, Beirut puts great stock in having a good time. And there’s no shortage of trussed-up beautiful locals keen to be seen in Beirut’s bars and clubs.

Don’t even think about going out in Beirut before 10pm – and even then, it had better be for dinner. Dancefloors are dead until around 1am.

While there are a raft of upmarket clubs around town – such as Sky Bar, the ultra-glam venue affording a panoramic view of the Mediterranean coastline and boasting a filthy rich clientele of local celebs – we prefer the quirkier nightspots. [TNT]

Outdoor Activities in Antelias

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Under the patronage of the minister of public work, and in the presence of Miss Lebanon 2011 Yara El Khoury, Antelias municipality officials launched their first annual outdoor activities for children including:

1- 3k run on a busy highway from Jal el Dib bridge till Antelias bridge. Competitors are allowed to jump between cars to gain positions and can run against the traffic as well.

2- Crossing under the Antelias bridge competition organized for the first time in Lebanon. LBCI will be covering the event to recruit talented competitors for future “Cheyef 7alak” ads.

3- Dirt Biking from Admideast until Saniour Restaurant. Road has been demolished and destroyed for weeks now, preparing for the competition. Restaurants and pubs open there and enduring huge losses were encouraged to serve free food and arguile to the viewers and participants.

The opening event was a 10k bicycle race for children under 12 from Antelias municipality back and forth passing by the Antelias bridge (See Picture of winner above).

Dyson at BHV

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I noticed BHV now carries the Dyson brand of vacuum cleaners. I’m starting to like BHV a lot more than before and it mostly has to do with their house ware section. They now carry a lot of my favorite brands including the likes of Kitchen Aid mixers, OXO kitchen tools, Bodum glassware and now Dyson. The prices of the vacuums are slightly more expensive than they cost on Amazon which is not bad. Word of advice, if you’re interested in one make your research on the different models online first since the two sales people I spoke to knew less about the brand and vacuum models than I did. They also carry the cool Dyson fans although I always found those a bit over priced.