Anthony Bourdain in Beirut*

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  07.19.06 | 7:27 AM ET

imageAs we mentioned the other day, Anthony Bourdain and the crew of his Travel Channel show No Reservations were caught in Beirut when the violence between Hezbollah and Israel began. He told the New York Post, among other things, that he just wanted to have a drink at the bar. “The mojitos here are great,” he said. His comments rubbed some people the wrong way and inspired a lot of posts at the eGullet and No Reservations message boards. In response, Bourdain has apparently posted his further thoughts on the situation. He writes at eGullet: “I’m very aware of how flip my response to the Post was (made last Wednesday, very early in the crisis)as I sought to reassure family and friends that we were safe and okayand in good cheer. . It was—at the time—very representative of the (outward) attitude of Beirutis themselves, who pride themselves on their resilience and their determination to ‘keep the party going.’”

He continues later:

It is indeed heartbreaking and horrifying what has happened to this lovely country—to spanking new, lovingly restored,resurgent Beirut in particular, in only a few days of sustained and seemingly senseless destruction. A few days ago, this was a place where people were bursting with pride for the relative tolerance, progressive attitudes, and lack of conflict between groups. I was standing with a group: a Sunni, a Christian, and a Shiite—by the Hariri memorial when the gunfire started and the Hezbollah people appeared driving through city center and honking their horns in “celebration” for the capture/kidnappings. The look of dismay and embarrasment on all three faces…and the grim look of resignation as they all—instantly—recognized what would inevitably come next…it’s something I will never forget.

It’s a gripping post, and it can be found in its entirety at the eGullet forum. Scroll down to the bottom. It’s the last post.

* July 20 update: Anthony Bourdain Evacuated from Beirut

Related on World Hum:
* The Heartbreaking and Surreal Times of ‘Anthony Bourdain in Beirut’