Errands in Achrafieh

Beirut

Not to gloat, but for mid-January our weather here in Beirut has been pretty special. Yes, a rainy, miserable day or two, but when that’s not happening the sun shines down from the bright blue cloudless sky and warms everything to a lovely 60-65 degrees (17-20 celsius). I was running errands today, hitting my usual spots in the neighborhood, missing some of the many characters that normally populate my route. The rolly polly gentleman who called me “Honey” from the door of his pastry shop has disappeared, as has his shop which has swiftly been replaced by a tiny green grocer. The old man who sat outside his bits and bobs repair shop watching the building across the street get torn down is largely absent these days (although he did pop out on Monday to tell me how pretty I looked with my hooded parka up around my head). His garage door pulled down against what the Lebanese seem to perceive as “cold weather.” Meanwhile, see the photo with the bag hanging near street level from a rope? Apparently someone on the top floor was awaiting a delivery – always reminds me of the dog being lifted into the apartment in the film Rear Window. The light is softer now and more beautiful than when it harshly flooded everything in the summer. Flowers still bloom. This would almost be summer back in London! Below just a few of the sights from my walk earlier today.

The bag hanging from a rope tied to the top floor balcony. I'm desperate to know what was to be placed inside it!

The bag hanging from a rope tied to the top floor balcony. I’m desperate to know what was to be placed inside it!

The store where my elderly friend sits in front of during warmer weather. Firmly closed today.

The store where my elderly friend sits in front of during warmer weather. Firmly closed today.

I love all the greenery arranged around the old buildings up here in Achrifieh.

I love all the greenery arranged around the old buildings up here in Achrifieh.

Someone knew what they were doing when they started painting all of the buildings that gorgeous golden color. Just looks at the light hitting it with the blue sky as backdrop!

Someone knew what they were doing when they started painting all of the buildings that gorgeous golden color. Just looks at the light hitting it with the blue sky as backdrop!

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