Who needs weed when you can do a sardi on “one shoes” for 50$
Taken by Lori
Who needs weed when you can do a sardi on “one shoes” for 50$
Taken by Lori
So today, I decided to visit the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, only to find out it was occupied by thousands of very loud and fidgety children. So, I made a quick tour and got out of there as fast as possible to avoid the demonic shrieks of 8 year old monsters.
Then, I opened the supposedly reliable Google Maps and got directions to get to the Griffith Observatory. After getting to the end of one bus line and looking for the Observatory shuttle, I discover that the shuttle only functions on weekends. But, having come all the way, I decided to walk up the mountain routier-style (in birks). Two hours later, and it was worth it. Just look at the shots I took of LA! I just wish I could go again at night… That would truly be something to photograph.
The walking trail is fun, and there are several ones leading to and from the Observatory into the surrounding mountains, for the best possible view of everything in and around LA. The steep climb led into the wide courtyard on top of the mountain, where statues for giants of science such as Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo and Newton towered over the miniature solar system and sundial that decorated the ground. If you’ve watched Rebel Without a Cause, it’s supposed to be really cool. For me, I don’t really remember 1955, so the closest thing I remembered was NCIS Los Angeles where they take down the bad guy on one of the observation decks.
After meditating (ie napping) in the sun and cool breeze, I made sure to get the best possible self-shots with my dying batteries. Then, the dreaded realization I had to walk back for another two hours dawned at me, and I was depressed. UNTIL, a really nice Korean woman started asking me where I’m from and about Lebanon and Jordan. I enjoyed boasting about Beirut of course, and the conversation went on. Soon enough, she told me she was a Jehova’s Witness, and I started to play along. Some of you might know one of my hobbies is destroying Jehova’s Witnesses argument with science and reason. One thing led to another, and she ended up offering me a ride, which I graciously accepted.
After giving me a DVD and 3-4 booklets, I engaged with her in theological debates till we got to my stop. I of course wasn’t really buying anything, and depended on my Christian Education classes back at school for material to bring up with her, like the Trinity and Hell and stuff. I felt sorta bad for using them, but then again, she helped me discover something new. I’m used to Jehova’s Witnesses trying to trump science with fantastical stuff. I’m used to people scoffing and getting angry at the mention of them, as if they were some plague. But, today I discovered they’re really nice people, and even though I believe they’re indoctrinated and severely misled, they helped me in my time of need, which is a LOT more than I can say for some Christian youth groups back in Lebanon, which lure socially vulnerable individuals with over-friendliness and harassment, and end up ganging up together to win Facebook competitions and rally papers while “speaking tongues and foreseeing the future” instead of doing any actual good for society.
All in all, the Griffith Observatory is a MUST. And walk through Griffith Park on your way up. You’ll get ever-better views of LA, see tons of birds and squirrels and feel really good about yourself when you get to the top. DON’T miss the planetarium too! Amazing show… I just had to share the randomness/awesomeness of my day, and hope you will someday find it useful if you visit LA! =D
The day we all dreaded is coming… The massive Citymall parking will no longer be oh-so-conveniently free anymore. I’m sure you’ve all seen the parking meters and booths already, I just asked around and found out it’ll be effective in the “fourth month” of this year, meaning April for those of you who weren’t paying attention that day in kindergarten =P
I think it’s a huge downer, since it’s not located in ultra-high-end-prime real estate like ABC Ashrafieh for example. Look at ABC Dbayeh, still free! Let’s hope their prices are cheap and at a flat rate, not hourly one.
If you didn’t know, I was one of the many Stoli Vodka Originals who won a trip to LA to party at the Playboy Mansion, for the 2012 Kandy Masquerade. It was only a few hours ago, and I’m already writing the review and publishing almost 70 photographs (mostly of me with insanely gorgeous playmates and models). So, here’s how it went down:
The attire for guys is very formal, with suits and ties and bow ties of all shapes, sizes and styles. The girls’ attire was much more interesting, with lingerie and carnaval-like wardrobes which they themselves designed and made, with a few designer items as well. Some girls were not dressed at all, and were instead body painted, one of the hallmarks of the Kandy Masquerade eye candy!
The venue was divided into several parts. The main area was a massive tent where the dancefloor, tables, lounges and DJs and performers were located. On that note, the lienup included two artists I adore: Dirty South and Jes!
The interior was divided into sections, with the hottest booths and tables being Stoli’s, where we (and heff!) were seated. The outdoor area was around the famous pool and waterfall, where gourmet food and a bar made of solid ice kept everyone’s hands busy with drinks or finger-food. On the far side of the pool, a rush of photos of you was taken over a 6-second period, which would be printed out and binded together, so when you flip through them, you see yourself animated! Which was a wicked awesome souvenir!
The illusion that the party is full of inappropriate behavior is completely inaccurate. In fact, the party-goers are the creme de la creme of clubbers from across the world, with the everyone being very friendly and meeting almost everyone there. In other words, it’s not every person on a table, it’s every person walking around all over the place meeting and chatting up everyone present. You meet a lot of interesting people too, which is normal considering you need to apply for a ticket and be handpicked by the organizers.
I met Heff on his way to his booth, but the security guard 3 times my size didn’t let me take a photo. I managed to tell him it was “an honor meeting him” and that “I wasn’t sure you’d be attending”, to which he replied “I wouldn’t miss one of my parties”… That’s one awesome octogenarian! I also saw Kimberly Philips, Playboy’s Miss September 2009, whom I spent most of the party with. She’s truly an amazing person, funny, witty and extremely nice (and absolutely gorgeous of course!). I have my good friend Jessica Faisal to thank for introducing me to the Kim! Tiffany, another Playboy bunny, was really nice too. But, perhaps the most interesting person I met that night was Olivia, who was as big a deadmau5 fan as myself, and went crazy when “Remember” was played! Oh! And the cutest thing that happened last night was the souvenir booth, where in those 6 seconds, a guy decided to propose to his date, forever immortalizing that moment in a paper flipbook from the Kandy Masquerade at the Playboy Mansion… That must be a first!
All in all, it was arguably the best party I’ve ever attended. The venue: legendary. The drinks: Stoli. The food: food for angels. The music: perfect. The girls: absolutely gorgeous. The guests: handpicked from across the globe. I feel lucky to have attended such a party and made so many new friends. From now on, I’ll probably change my Twitter bio and add to it “partied at the Playboy Mansion =P”. And, for those of you secretly wondering to themselves if I did anything naughty or got lucky, I didn’t. I have my beloved Lori waiting for me back home, and there aren’t enough Playboy bunnies in the world to change that.
I’d like to of course thank Stoli, and especially Stoli Leb for flying us all the way to LA, putting us in limos and suites and letting us be part of the legendary, third annual Kandy Masquerade with VIP status… Sandy, Rolland and George, I love you guys! =D <3 BFFs after this awesome trip :’)
I absolutely loved, loved, loved this movie. The second I knew someone made a silent, black-and-white movie, I knew I was gonna go watch it. I always wonder how it would’ve been to watch the 4:3, black and white picture with nothing but a soundtrack. I though it would’ve been awkward, full of over-acting and annoying melodies. I was definitely wrong, at least when it comes to The Artist. The movie is hilarious, heart-breaking and immensely cute all at the same time.
It’s about George Valentin, a silent movie super-star, and Peppy Miller, a younger actress who would eventually become a star in “talkies” (talking movies). Silent movies become extinct, and Valentin finds himself out of favor, and soon enough broke. Peppy’s fame on the other hand, skyrockets. Their romance persists though, and their paths keep on intersecting.
The supporting actors were regulars we love and admire, in roles that will make you go “asshole” to an actor you usually associate with cuddliness and kindness or “awwwwwww” and almost shed a tear to an actor you’re used to as the mean guy. Above all, Valentin’s dog is my absolute favorite in the movie. I’d do anything to hug that tiny bundle of awesomeness which I felt played the biggest role in invoking laughter, intensity, sadness, compassion, fear and so much more in a movie where only a handful of words are uttered, at the very very end (spoiled it =P).
All in all, the silent movie experience was very enjoyable. You have to respect the actors and musicians, who let you follow the storyline with only an occasional phrase or two flashed on the screen. Go watch it, ASAP. It’s only playing in Sofil Center in Ashrafieh, which I think is pretty adequate, given its old-theater feel with the big comfy chairs and the smooth-edged silver screen.
As some of you may already know, I was one of the winners of a competition run by Stoli Vodka last fall. I won a trip to Los Angeles, and access to one of the world’s most awesome parties at the Playboy Mansion (the real one). I have chosen to extend my stay a few extra days in the US to see the sights, visit friends and family, and experience the US first-hand. So, for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be blogging and tweeting from the US, letting you know what the nightlife is like, the people I meet and the places I go. I’m also planning on trying out the best travel apps on Android and iOS, among many other things.
BUT, don’t worry, the Fashal and Leaks will keep coming even though I’m abroad! I’ll be available on FB, Twitter, email and whatsapp, so if you have something you think warrants looking into, please feel free to share! Remember there’s a 10-hour difference, so I might not be as prompt to reply as when I’m in Beirut.
Also, for all the tweeps out there, I’ll be using the hashtag #GinoUSATour for all the photos on-the-go. You in the US? Lemme know, maybe we can have coffee somewhere together! Need something from the US? Lemme know too, I might have some space in my luggage. Can you recommend any places/cities/events/concerts you think I should visit?
So, I’ll see you guys really soon!
The rough translation of the ad is:
The General Security thought this billboard was too “strong”. They watered it down to the versions you see on the streets this week. Pathetic. I’m glad we don’t have to abide by their absurd censorship laws. If you haven’t read my stance on this issue, please do so here now (if you’re a radical religious zealot or just below average IQ, you might find it offensive)
The protest scheduled for February 18 is set to happen in Samir Kassir square, because we couldn’t get approval to do it in Place de L’etoile (how convenient).
The “Coalition for the Protection of Women,” is a group of Lebanese citizens who refuse the perpetuation of the violence against women under the protection of existing antiquated laws. They stand by the women of their country, who have been raped, beaten and those who have decided that oppression and discrimination under the guise of law is no longer acceptable.
As such, they are calling on the parliamentary subcommittee chaired by MP Samir El-Gisr to halt its subversive activity related to amending a draft law to protect women from conjugal violence originally proposed by the Kafa Association in 2007. The committee has come under significant political pressure from special interest groups who seek to amend the law to ensure that it is ineffective and inapplicable. These amendments have rid the original text of its specificity by expanding it to the rights of children, elderly, men thus maintaining the imbalance of the Lebanese legal code vis-à-vis women.
In light of this grave danger to the rights of at least half of the Lebanese population, and based on their commitment to justice, human rights as well as need to modernize the penal laws, they have decided to organize a sit-in on Saturday, February 18th 2012, from 11am until 2pm, at the Samir Kassir Square. The goal of the demonstration is to pressure the parliamentary committee to stop undermining the original draft law that provides women with sufficient legal and enforceable protection when faced with conjugal violence.
It’s not enough that Lebanese women cannot pass the nationality to their children, but now they are getting their most basic civil rights violated. And you know what else is funny? The Lebanese government rejected the below advertisement (to go public on billboards) because it contains the word “rape”! It seems that we don’t have the right to protest against rape in this country! SHAME! Shame on these politicians who only care about their pockets. What would it take them to reconsider their shameless amendments? What if their sisters or wives or mothers or daughters got raped? Would they stand up then?
(Press release and some elements borrowed from Mohammad Hijazi. Thanks! =D)
Help me form my own opinion. You guys have always been a source of inspiration and guidance on tough matters, and this is definitely one of those moments.
So, I guess this is one of the few local industries which the majority of Lebanese people (or at least readers of this blog) encourage generously.
For those of you who frequent Hamra, more specifically the “alley” where Dany’s, Big Shot, Jackie’O and other pubs are located in, you will have noticed a huge banner that reads “Opening February 30″. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that what’s going to open there is just as mind-boggling as the banner, which refers to the venue name, not a date (obviously!).
With Faces and Big Shot under the belt of the guys behind this new pub, the main plan behind “February 30″ is to make every pub-goer go “WTF?!” Every single custom-made piece of furniture and decoration is absurd and bizarre. From welcome mats and stairs on the ceiling, to a Sukleen can remodeled to become a sofa and half a Harley motorcycles for a bar stool, the pub is shaping up to redefine what weird is, even for the often eccentric Hamra. The fine attention to detail is impressive, with every single detail considered and mutated to look like something straight out of a very interesting person’s imagination. In fact, I think the biggest motivation for me to visit will be to look at the finished February 30 and try to find all the peculiarities its makers have conjured up.
That’s all the information I could get hold of concerning the place and concept. BUT, I managed to get my hands on a photo of the interior’s plans (which is not blurry like photos on Facebook =D), which I’m sharing with you below. So, February 29 is February 30′s opening!
I blog about my unusual life and happenings. I'm Lebanese with a nomadic lifestyle. I hope to eventually settle down somewhere and become a neuromarketer