An Evening in Beirut's Gemmayzeh District
Several people steered us to the Gemmayzeh district one night. We exited our taxi on the main street, Rue Gouraud, which is lined with bars, clubs, restaurants and people. Lots of people. The evening's festivities began at Dragonfly. After patting ourselves on our backs for having made excellent cocktail selections, we sat back and listened to the music. Notice I didn't write "enjoyed" the music. The playlist was 80s and 90s American pop. Over in the corner we saw the DJ. He was wearing sunglasses and had a white beard and white hair spilling out from under a baseball cap. We couldn't decide if he was Santa or Father Time. Before I could make a few song requests, it was time to meet up with a friend at another club. At one point while my friends were dancing, one said to the other who lives in Beirut, "It seems like you Lebanese have a healthy dose of, well, paranoia". Her response, without skipping a beat, was, "Well, you never know when the next rocket is going to hit the building you are in". As difficult as it was to wrap our brains around this comment, it made perfect sense as we witnessed the joie de vivre up and down Rue Gouraud. Sometime after 2am it was time to call it a night. We noticed our voices were hoarse which, most likely, was from screaming "We're in freaking Beirut!" to each other over the music all night.