First off, sorry for the break in posting – my laptop died!! So until a new one arrives, I’ll be spending long afternoons at internet cafes around Beirut adding old and new entries. I’m actually at a cafe right now, and my alotted time is about to expire, but quickly, before I go, just wanted to throw out this fantastic bit of news I just heard: In January of this year, the New York Times listed Beirut as the #1 place to go in 2009. Yeah Beirut!!!
Authors Seth Sherwood and Gisela Willams write:
“With a recent (though perhaps tenuous) detente keeping the violence in check, the capital of Lebanon is poised to reclaim its title as the Paris of the Middle East. Two hotels scheduled to open later this year are raising the luzury quotient – the Four Seasons Hotel Beirut and Le Gray, the latter from the people behind One Aldwych in London – and a clutch of high-profile restaurants are transforming the city’s culinary scene. Traditional Lebanese cooking finds its apotheosis at the cozy Al-Ajami restaurant, while the glitterati settles into Hussein Hadid’s Kitchen, run by a nephew of the architect, Zaha Hadid. But nothing symbolizes the city’s gastro-political awakening like Souk el-Tayeb, Beirut’s first farmers’ market. The market, founded in 2004, reconciles Lebanon’s warring factions through thier common love of their country’s food.”
I love that the majority of the aritcle is about Lebanese food. Yessssss!
Check out the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/01/11/travel/20090111_DESTINATIONS.html