I leave my house in Sanayeh, known in the neighborhood as Mohamed's house –a poor quality modernist building slowly deteriorating in a small alley stuffed with cars and always flooded from the leaking water pipes that are supposed to fill the water tanks in the backyard.
I take a left, walking down towards Spears Street walking by the "Shirt Shop", where its owner mostly sits in front of the store smoking. At the corner of the street that goes right to Sanayeh Garden the small grocery shop just opens, vegetables being stacked in front of it in boxes for display. I walk down the narrow one-way street as the sidewalks are always filled with obstacles from the surrounding constructions sites or parking cars. Reaching Spears Street and the tiny record shop on the corner, which still sells audio-cassettes of Fairuz and Om Kalthoum, I take a right and pass by Zico House, where lately a strange at least two meter high photo cardboard is set up, showing the façade of a socialist "Neubau", reminding me of some buildings in East-Berlin.
There are always traffic jams in the morning. Walking by the Future TV building, I cross Spears to take the street that connects Spears and Hamra Street. The corner of the wall of the abandoned garden, which lies behind is overgrown by a tree. I have to duck my head in order to not get scratched by its branches. Hamra Street is even more jammed. I cross the intersection and go down to Clemenceau, passing by a faculty of Haigazian University and the laundromat on the left, expecting to see the owner in front of his TV at the counter, as usual. Apart from the ruin, which stands almost completely dismantled at the right side of the street there is this amazing mansion, with its nice little garden filled with orange trees and jasmine bushes. I always wonder who lives there, the name plates on the buzzer at the garden gate being empty and apart from the security guy, who is most of the time standing there chatting with the soldiers from the checkpoint across, I have never seen anyone coming out or going in. At the next intersection I go right until I reach the Bank Med building on the corner, looking down to catch a glimpse of the sea. I cross the street and enter downtown. Walking by two giant construction sites of rising high-end luxury real estate I take a left to reach the Starco building.