BBC published an article last night called “Beirut struggles to survive peace” which talks about how Beirut is losing its charm and soul. I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking downtown Beirut is crap. I hate it and would rather spend my time wondering around Burj Hammoud or Achrafieh discovering hidden treasures then spend a minute walking in downtown Beirut. [Link]
I was just about to post this article.
I totally agree with it.
Downtown Beirut, sa7et il borj, wasat al madina, centre ville (I don’t know what to call it anymore but definitely NOT Solidere) is a cold, soul-less city that truly lost it’s charm, and has turned into an artificial town similar to Toon Town.
DownTown is for tourists and Arabs, but i would definitly not want to spend time in Little India (Burj Hammoud). Achrafieh, Jounieh, Jbeil, Batroun are great places to go instead of Beirut.
little india? thats dora not burj hammoud, walk in a few meters further, don’t worry its safe.
I have to agree with you on this one Mark..I work in downtown..so, I’m in this area often..It’s true that it’s completely devoid of any personality, charm, or disgusting characteristic whatsoever. For all anyone knows, Beirut’s downtown could be anywhere else in the world.
I admire Hariri’s restoration plan for downtown Beirut, but I also think that it could have been developed in a way that would allow all Lebanese to celebrate the resilience of Lebanon itself..not a soul-less strip of cheesy stores and over priced apartments and restaurants..
What a shame..
I meant to write “Distinguishing” not “Disgusting”..my bad.
our beirut office is around 20 meters away from the fluorescent orange sculpture (here is a pic i took 2 weeks back http://twitpic.com/1hpr59 ). I think that area is the most active and interesting area of downtown. Everything else around that zone is just dead. Also whats up with all those cell phone accessory shops right after nahar building? They’re fugly.
This is the municipality’s building Mark and yeah they are really ugly and expensive for nothing. There’s a new place called Blackberry now. How creative!
It’s the entrance of Burj Hammoud and its overcrowded and not that neat. I never liked it there, though i remember going there with a friend to a small snack called J.Makhlouf ( not the big one). His place was like really tiny but very good.
I agree with Mark on Burj Hammoud… I love the alley ways… no where near Dora… the nice areas are past the Borj Hammoud main square (the bedo square). Just walk up there through the tiny alleyways, past Arax street. The people are so very colorful. Jbeil and Batroun unfortunately have been losing on their magical touch since they are too focused on tourism. Even the old streets of Jbeil have turned into a typical “made in china” tourist shops. I do like the coffee shops and pubs that have opened there and yes I am glad that it’s a place that the average Lebanese may enjoy, but it does annoy me to see some of the spots turn into commercialized areas imitating international franchises and losing the homey and cozy feeling of what true Lebanon is all about.
One street that truly bothers me in Hamra street as well. As busy and as colorful as it is, all these Deek w whatever places just irritate me plus the Starbucks and Zara spots at every corner!
good thiing i sent you guys this article:):)
one thing to say, lebanon is no longer for the average person, it is for the rich saudis and cies and it is really sad
in my opinion, solidere destroyed beirut…
downtown beirut is cute…but its not personable. it doesnt represent daily Lebanese life. the one place i liked in downtown was the ruins in the empty parking lot…but i think those are gone…or will be going soon??