Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year: let's recycle !

Happy new year from Look around you !

This year, we thought the tree should be different, so we decided to recycle !
Instead of our usual christmas tree ornaments, we collected Soda cans, cleaned up, cut up and painted to decorate our tree !

Hope you like it ! I wonder how the tree will look like next year !


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lebanese Christmas with no Arabic at Zaitunay Bay

if Zaitunay Bay wanted to add some Lebanese soul to the Christmas Market, shouldn't they have considered making a bilingual poster in Arabic as well ? 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Permanent Breakfast in Beirut

Have you heard of the Permanent Breakfast ?

The idea was born in May 1996 a group of artists around Friedemann derschmidt began to breakfast in public places.
The idea is quite simple and catching: one person invites to breakfast in an open public space . The invited persons commit themselves to invite to a public breakfast on the next possible date.
I was first introduced to the concept by Adriana Young while she was in Beirut.

So on November 12th, six friends gathered around Labneh, Zaatar Manakich, and yummy foul and Balila, on the rare surviving public in Beirut: Ramlet el Baida.

We celebrated the use of public space in the city and celebrated our Scorpio birthdays on a sunny November morning with kites and Poi !

Definitely something' I'll do again !
Organize yours soon; anyone can !
Check out the blog for inspiration :

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Video LCD screens

I've been thinking: How legal are those video LCD screens ?
Are their placements always safe ? I got that thought when, at night on the highway, my attention was more drawn to the movement in those shiny billboards then the road.
Don't get me wrong, they could be very interesting, and in traffic, they 're priceless ! But I'm just questioning the safety part.
And anyway, some of the ads are static for the moment. Guys, if you're paying twice/triple the price to put your ad on an LCD, at least put the effort in animating it. Sometimes, the smallest movement gives a great effect. Check out these cinemagraphs ! They're the way to go !

A good reason to leave your car at home

Today's Car free day in Tripoli.
It's a great initiative and hopefully we can see it organized in Beirut as well.

One (out of many!!) of the good reasons to leave your cars at home ?
We're starting to run out of spaces to park in the city! So choose to leave the stress at home for a day or two..

Monday, October 31, 2011

I love my bike ?

I love my... bike ?
( on Independence Street, Beirut)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stop illegal hunting in Lebanon

Up until last week, i thought bird hunting was illegal in Lebanon and the selling of guns is done only under the table. Until I came across those billboards (in mass quantity!! ) on the highway, next to Jounieh !

Hunting was banned in the mid-1990's but never regulated properly, what is illegal was still legal.

And we're going in the wrong direction, and those billboards prove it ! Those shops are doing nothing except encourage this national "sport" all year long (not just in october where it's supposedly "ok" to hunt), and are so far from actually educating people how irresponsible killing of those birds changes the ecosystem or how some endangered species shouldn't be touched.

People hunt birds in the whole world, but in Lebanon there is no awareness and no control on the subject. Anyone can go buy rifles from those shops with no license. (they''re even proposing for you to try it before buying it !!! Catastrophic !).How can we change that ?

Here are a few links on the subject

PS: An action against Mike Sport anyone ?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cadavre Exquis I

This is a first in a series of exquisite corpse games from the streets.
This one was collected from a walk from Gouraud Street (Gemmayzé) to Charles Malek Avenue (Sofil).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beirut Cement Gardens

I was walking in downtown Beirut the other day, and I noticed the building site next to Virgin megastore: Beirut Gardens.
My face only lit up for half a second before i looked again and saw the large photographs of gym equipment and quickly realized that it was yet another luxurious residential complex in the city.

In the next two days, I started looking around and noted a trend: Noor Gardens in downtown as well , Eva gardens in Sofil area, Woodhill residence and Hamra gardens; all of them luxurious residential complexes.

The copywriters for these projects specifically chose names that revolve around greenery and gardens because they know that they are addressing a society deprived from public green spaces. They're using the lack of the urban green as a selling point to attract possibles investors and buyers to be wowed by the concept.

What horrifies me the most isn't just the way these towers are popping up like mushrooms with no control or urban planning (that's without even mentioning the number of beautiful old buildings getting erased on the way), but it's mostly the ironic way the've been tagged with green names. A portion of these spaces should be allocated to parks instead of being buildings. Well, at least they got the names right.

Beirut, Hamra and Eva Gardens, how about some real gardens ?
Woodhills residence, how about some real hills ?

On the Ministry of Environment website, their monthly poll question is: [Are you for the increase of forest spaces in Lebanon? yes. no. I don't know]

Well, i really don't know anymore. Usually, it would be ridiculous to even ask that question, but seeing how things are evolving in Beirut, maybe the ministry truly wants to know the answer ! It seems that not everybody understands the must to have green spaces in a city. It affects stress level and mental health and is a great way to relax in town in a public space ! Public green spaces are a right for us as citizens, not a privilege !
There should be a law that protects certain spaces, allocating them for public good.

If all spaces are being sold for more profit making buildings and complexes, where will we end up ?
I ask you now, where is our public space in Beirut today ?

So I'm inviting you now to join me on Saturday June 4th 2011, the weekend of World Environment Day, for a public street intervention: Green the Grey. We need public green spaces in Beirut.

We are going to take over Sassine Square at 4:30pm and make it our public green space for the day, to protest the lack of green and public spaces in Beirut. We will bring real grass, and other typical features of a park.
So come and enjoy the afternoon in our pop-up park, to voice that public green spaces are our right !

More details here. Hope to see you there !

No parking here Range !

aha ! These two cannot exist together !

The bulky metal structures on the sidewalks scream: do-not-park-here.
Yet, these Range Rovers didn't seem to understand what they were, and totally disregarded them on Tabaris Square this afternoon by parking there. Perhaps authorities should seek alternative additional signage and write : NO PARKING on them just like this person who wrote on the One way street sign ?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Save me a seat !

This "save-a-parking-spot" is a common phenomenon in very crowded Beiruti areas, where parking spots have become rare and precious. People save each spots by placing whatever they have in front of their shops: chairs, cardboard boxes, etc... But today was too funny not to document: three spots saved in a row, on Chouf street.

Sometimes it lasts 5mn, sometimes more than half an hour.. Until the shop owner arrives and parks right in front of his shop. Red stool saves a parking spot for the red car.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Anger brings redundancy: A funny Beiruti street intervention

I would really like to know who wrote this !
This sign on Sassine square in Beirut, has Arabic written on it: "one way street".
This person hilariously thought that people must be more familiar with words than with road signs, or he might be simply expressing his anger by redundantly underlining the obvious to make people respect it more !