Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Quo vadis? Nowhere but backwards

How fitting for me to have found those images in my recent archive. Quo Vadis, whose manager was Anna (no last name found anywhere!), an Italian woman who was both authoritarian and mama in equal proportions, symbolizes everything that irritates me about Beirut. Or at least the fallacy of Beirut. The Paris of the Orient, the heyday of days gone by which were simply a prelude to the big bang.
All those stories of glitz and glamour, of colorful patrons and nighthawks, or cliche images of champagne bubbles and that mythical Sous La Mer bar at the Phoenicia hotel where one could see people swim in the pool from the vaults behind its bar. And the stories go on and on, the myth and the legend only grows longer and more stale... We were willingly blind to the income disparity that was rocking our nation, the political regional instability using us as willing pawns. Same circumstances swirl today, don't you agree?
"Quo Vadis?" (where are you going?) - nowhere but backwards.


Unknown said...

The last name of Miss Anna is Banzato. But she doesn't open the restaurant alone. My grandfatehre opened the restaurant and my father with Anna continued to carry out it.
My father left the restaurant in 1976 and Miss Anna reopened when the war is over.

Felice Bauer said...

Dear Silvia,

thank you for sharing this information!

Is Miss Anna Banzato still living in Beirut? And what about your father and you? Are you living in Lebanon?

I am currently researching about the pre war years...and I wish I can somehow contact you.

Thank you again:)

All the best,