A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

bovine shopping & artistic license

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on July 8, 2007

For the past few hours I have been working away on things domestic and things professional, and anticipate capping off this afternoon of excitement with a trip to my local ba2ala, “mini-grocery”, for some kleenex.

In an earlier stage of Arabic study I used to mistakenly refer to the ba2ala as ba2ara, “cow”. No jokes about Asian r’s and l’s, please, or about my Midwestern roots – the mistake was utterly my own, and it was a strange one. Not only is that crucial third consonant different, but ba2ala has a long second “a”, while ba2ara’s vowels are all short.

On the other hand my most frequent purchases there are milk and yogurt, so perhaps my sub-conscious mind does see “grocery” and think “moooooooo”.

In between bouts of productivity I discovered the “contrast” feature on my photo editor. This is a little slice of Bliss Street, taken last month after a strange summer rain, with the photograph’s contrast heightened by 25%.


It could have been taken today – Beirut’s streets are always quiet on Sundays, and never more so than during the summer, when the heat and the siren call of the beach empties the city of its usual traffic.


2 Responses to “bovine shopping & artistic license”

  1. Alexis said

    This is a stunning photograph. I like the contrast between the light sky and the dark street as well as the subtle irony of this street named Bliss.

  2. Thank you Alexis! Having perused your site I am very grateful to you for the compliment – I like your thoughtful approach to your art.

    What I like about the increased contrast is the way it echoed older photos of Beirut – photos from the 60s and 70s, whose color has distorted slightly over time. To me the hyper-real color and contrast are a bit magical.

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