Every few days we head over to our neighbourhood bakery (which happens to Polish) and buy a loaf of bread. These days the walk is mostly done by scooter. Once we are inside my daughter will ask me to pick her up so she can pay. The cashiers would always claim how cute she is and ask if they can give her a cookie, upon which I will say no thanks but a piece of bread would be nice.
Then we’ll slowly find our way back, bread in hand, past the block of hustle and bustle on Bedford Avenue, to our slightly calmer street where we always stop at the pet shop to say hi to the kittens. Little by little, she’s plucking up the courage to go inside but mostly we still stand outside and watch through the windows.
This week I was planning on making a long-overdue visit to the museum on my doorstep- one of my neighbourhood’s lesser-known treasures. I walk past it every single day, but in more than two years, I’ve never been inside Le Souffleur.
Unfortunately, a midst a flurry of farewells and panicking about packing, I still haven’t made it, but if you are curious then you can take a look inside here. And the one thing I can offer you that the photographer of the article can’t is a view of the museum’s roof, taken from my own terrace, this sunny Sunday afternoon, my last in Beirut.
And here is another of Ain Mriesse’s jewels, Rana Raouda’s gallery, on the corner of the street that she shares her name with, that I also walk past every day, window shopping her works of art. But unlike the museum, I’ve actually been inside, after a spontaneous email to the artist, and I might even buy a painting, a little square of colour and light to remind me of this corner of Beirut, that will always be a little bit our home.