Showing posts from July, 2018

Mission: Impossible - Fallout is the Movie of the Summer

I very rarely dabble in film reviews. Frankly, going to the movies is strictly a recreational activity for me. I disconnect from reality, immersing myself in an alternate reality, and simply enjoy. No need to pick apart the story line, or attempt to articulate the movie’s objectives and worthy execution thereof. It’s either intensely riveting and thus a hit, or a total waste of time and thus a sunk cost. Mission: Impossible - Fallout is definitely the former. And though I was going to abide by my mantra and refrain from analyzing, I will permit myself just a few paragraphs. First, who can believe the Mission Impossible franchise is over two decades old? I certainly cannot, and unlike many a movie sequel, MI6 isn't plagued with monotony, far-fetched fantasy, or repetitiveness. It delivers a strong dose of action, adventure, and even emotion in the two and half hours of running time. Tom Cruise is phenomenal and just as charming as he was 22 years ago. You'd never im

Your Next Date Night: Kami in Blue at Byblos Sud

Last Friday night, we voyaged to a serene, tucked-away beach community somewhere along the French Rivera. Or so it seemed. Heading north toward Byblos, we pulled off the highway just before the main exit and looped beneath to the seaside to find ourselves outside a grand gated community called Byblos Sud. A golf cart whisked us past blocks and blocks of dim facades evocative of a sleeping beach resort. Images of the beautiful Costa Navarino in Messinia, Greece , flashed through my mind as the cart stopped abruptly at a set of stairs. We ambled out and started to descend the cliff one step at a time. I couldn’t help but stop and stare at the view of a beautiful, black sea below. If only we’d arrived in time for sunset, I thought regretfully. The view as you descend from cliff to sea At the foot of the stairs, we were ushered in to the brand new Japanese dining outlet Kami in Blue. A microcosm of the original, decade-strong establishment Kami steeped in Byblos, this be

Hungry for Vegan Goodness in Beirut? Look No Further.

Dining in Lebanon often feels like the scene right out of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where Aunt Voula is stunned speechless to learn Toula’s fiancé is vegetarian. “What do you mean you don’t eat no meat?” she demands, brows arched. Seconds later, her face breaks into a wide grin as she resolves, “That’s ok. I make lamb.” Our Mediterranean cuisine is a marvelous cornucopia of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices. But at the same time, you can’t sit down to a Lebanese mezza without encountering at least three types of meat. Fast food revolves around shawarma – meat shaved off of a skewer – as well as lamb kabobs and chicken taouk wraps. Vegetarian, and its more extreme cousin vegan, is an austere regimen strictly reserved for the Lenten season. Understandably, it’s a challenge finding healthy, nourishing vegan food at grocery stores across Beirut. I’m not talking about produce, beans, legumes, and seeds, though admittedly those do constitute a vegan lifestyle. We live in

Six Reasons Summer in Lebanon Can Be God-Awful

“Summertime is always the best of what might be,” wrote Charles Bowden, American author and journalist. F. Scott Fitzgerald postulated that life begins “over again with the summer.” And William Shakespeare, in one of his sonnets, attempted to compare woman’s beauty to “a summer’s day.” Clearly, they’d never experienced summer in Lebanon. Sure, it’s the season of reunions, as relatives and friends pour in from overseas. The air is laced with love, weddings dotting every hour of every day and every week. And nature’s finest fruit – watermelon, cherries, and peaches – offer themselves liberally unto us. But that’s where the fun and frolic end. Here are six reasons why I can’t stand summers around these Mediterranean parts. The family pool at one of Byblos' famous beach resorts The heat . It gets ridiculously hot in Lebanon, from the seashore to the mountainside, in city dwellings to remote village abodes. For more than four months, the air is thick with humidity

Massive July 4th Sale at Wesley’s Wholesale

What does it mean to be an American? What are some of the ideals cherished by the so-called Land of Opportunity? Let’s rewind a bit, 242 years to be exact. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was ratified by the forefathers of the United States of America, proclaiming that “all men are created equal” and that they are endowed with inalienable rights among which are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” These premises form the basis of the American dream, the profound belief that everyone has the opportunity to prosper and succeed, regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. Every year on July 4 th , Americans celebrate Independence Day and more importantly a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This year will be no exception (even if POTUS’ questionable policies are in blatant contempt of the American dream. The system will eventually correct itself, right?!) In happy tribute to America’s most reverenced holiday, Wesley’s