submitted by MDB, 34 year old female painter / art instructor | 12-15 min, on foot, 2-3 times a week
I have been walking on Armenia Street towards Marash Street (Bourj Hammoud), since not less than 25 years. The last 7-8 years I am choosing particularly the afternoons to walk on that route. I start walking from where I live, the building next to 98 weeks, Rmeil, and then I head to the left. I pass in front of Spoiler Center, then Cadrart (my cousin’s shop),    and then I notice the old metallic bridge. There I have a fear feeling and I think to myself "what if they decide to remove this antique bridge one day?"   Then I walk under it and I reach to Nour Hajine… I can already see from there Mount Lebanon. I notice the berry tree that my grand-mother planted it some 40 years ago, but I don't pay much attention to it. Then, this feeling of fear and worry comes to me again; "what if they decide to sell all the Nour Hajine houses and build skyscrapers in their place? There is a big possibility that that could happen since Save Beirut Heritage doesn't care about that part of Beirut… Aren't they part of the city's heritage?          Then I continue my way anyway. I reach the big crossroad of Corniche-el-Nahr. One has always to risk his or her life because the street lights are not always respected if the police is not there.      I am on the bridge now. River Beirut or whatever is left from it stinks most of the time. While on the bridge I look right at the one or two storey houses along the riverside. In the afternoon the sun strikes their facades    and they look so beautiful with their fresh colors… Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Pink, Magenta, dark red…

I reach the next crossroad,    And I go to the right and take the oblique narrow street that will lead me to Marash street. Taxi Jneidi on my left. I have to be escorted by a police man while taking the photos; this was the decision of the Bourj Hammoud Municipality.   While walking in the street, I look up and notice the thousands of illegal electric wires that cover the sky and I think about how dangerous this could be. I walk a little bit and I reach the beginning of the paved street with small concrete blocks. There was a plan once to make that area a pedestrian zone and a market with a cultural profile. The plan never worked. But the ethnic mood is still there.I have the feeling that in that part of the city I am far from the aggressive evolution that I experience at the other side of River Beirut. And I don't fear of losing all these small houses and narrow streets.    When I am there I buy my fruits and vegetables from Ali I visit my tailor if I have to shorten a trouser Or I renew one of my shoes in Mardo's Lovely Shoes shop   I look up to see this beautiful small house above Mardo's shopThen I visit my father at his shop I say hi to a neighbor        I buy some spices, teas or dried fruits at Café Garo.

And finally I go and rest in my father's shop again sitting there doing nothing, resting, relaxing, feeling that time stops in that part of the town. There, I don't feel what I feel when I am in Beirut, where whatever I do, whatever I accomplish, I feel that I will never reach the rapid progress of the city.