Friday, November 25, 2005

1975: A Catchy Date

Dear Lebanon

A lot of people associate dates with specific events that had an impact on them personally or on society.
While 1975 might be associated with the 3rd Cod War , the release of Jaws or even Armageddon (which obviously turned out to be a false prediction), if you are Lebanese, this date means one thing: the start of the civil war.

A couple of years ago ( I don't remember exactly when), a new pub opened on the corner of the hottest spot in Mono (The heart of the Lebanese nightlife). Among all the pubs that pop-up every now and then in this area, only one managed to achieve worldwide fame based on its concept: 1975

When I first saw it, it reminded me of the dark days of war I lived hiding in the shelters protected by sandbags. I managed to avoid it every time I went out to the nearby pubs in Mono until I decided with some friends to check it out.
With the music of Feiruz in the background, I started to look around in this small two-stories pub which was transformed to a typical war shelter.
Young people were sitting on mattresses layed on the floor... as we used to do... with the exception that they were all smiling and having fun. The place was full so we decided to leave immediately... I didn't like it anyway.

Although the most famous Lebanese club on the planet has always been B018, when I came to France, people were always asking me about that shelter styled pub. I was surprised to see how many people had heard of it. As I remember, it never was an A-LIST pub... Still, it managed to achieve a worldwide fame thanks to its controversial design.

What really amazed me is that now, the worldwide press is now talking about this small pub...1975

- For a listing of events occurring in 1975, click here.
- For more information about the Lebanese Civil War, click here.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Beirut - One of the hottest spots for bars and clubs (part 1)

Dear Lebanon

Since I had nothing interesting to write about, I preferred just not to post.
While we are still waiting for Godot... I mean Mehlis, looks like everything in this country is just put on hold. As some people say, Same Shit Different Day!

Anyway, while browsing FashionWeek, a seasonal supplement to BusinessWeek, I came across the word "Beirut". It got my attention so I decided to read this article called "New Arrivals".
Here is how the author Philip Watson started:
"St Tropez? Passé. Ibiza? So over. The hottest spots for bars and clubs in Europe right now are not where you'd expect"
He then describes the nightlife in four cities: Beirut, Lisbon, Berlin and Moscow.

Although I tend to have a rather pessimistic view of Lebanon's future (I have my reasons), I am glad to see that some people are still interested in it.

In my next post, I will be talking about 1975.

Click here to read the full BusinessWeek FashionWeek article.

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