Chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain was in Beirut when the bombing started. He and his four-person crew were filming an episode of his Travel Channel show, No Reservations.
I was standing with a Sunni, a Shiite and a Christian when Hezbollah supporters started to fire automatic weapons in the air celebrating the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers. As a few supporters drove by the three people I was with all instantaneously took on a look of shame and embarrassment as if a dangerous and unstable little brother had once again brought the whole family into peril.
Bourdain has been back in the U.S. since July 14, so he missed the worst of it. But he did see, among other things, the Beirut airport being bombed – he watched it from his hotel room balcony, about a mile away.
This morning, The Washington Post put him online in a live chat channel to talk about it. You can read some excerpts here. It’s an interesting quick read – he talks about food, the people of Beirut, the Marines who evacuated them, and the fact that until a few weeks ago the city had pretty much reclaimed its status of being “the Paris of the Orient.”