I live in Verdun, which is where I begin my itinerary. I pass by the Bristol Hotel from which I have one memory from when I first came back from the States many years ago. I was contacted by a friend from my grad school days in Princeton to meet up for dinner there. I remember they made us pay an exorbitant price and hence have decided to not go back there again.
I walk by the Piccadilly Theater, which I remember very fondly as one of the best theaters among the many that used to be present on Hamra. You see, Hamra used to be the center of intellectual life in Beirut with coffee shops like the Modca, Horseshoe and Whimpys. Nothing hurts me more but to see how that street has been transformed into a center of superficial commercial shops and no longer retains its vibrant buzz of journalists and political analysts as well as great thinkers you would always find sitting in these places.
I also pass by the AUB campus, which in itself brings back a lot of memories, as I was a student there fifty years ago. Even though it's still a very nice campus, it appears to be losing a lot of its greenery just like the rest of the city. Something I find very sad. I still long for the old Ras-Beirut, the one I grew up with. However, I suppose it's a feeling all old people get. We always long for what we had in our youth I suppose.