On the Corniche, different times bring about different functions, users and activities. Our strategy of observation for the Corniche was to study it transversally so as to include and experience every layer along the coastal promenade. We stationed ourselves at the stoplight near AUB's New Women’s dorms, each group member on one of the five "lanes": the large sidewalk by the sea, the sidewalk on the opposite side, both car lanes and the island separating them.
Every 72 seconds, one of the lights turns red for 10 seconds. Only for this short amount of time may one cross through the five lanes without any interruption. Every time this occurred throughout the 24 hours, each member of the group stood in the midpoint of his lane and took a photo. Alongside taking pictures, we noted down all the interactions between us and the people on the Corniche.
The first lane of the Corniche is constantly moving, day and night. It views the sea from one side, and observes the rest of the Corniche from the other. “Bet sawrineh demoiselle?” (Would you take a photo of me Miss?), is a common thing you hear when you grab your camera to take a snapshot of this lane. It gets more exciting at night with comments like “fina nbi3on?” (Can we sell them?), but drifts back to innocent chats at dawn with joggers and comments like “What are you doing? Take a photo of us, and you’ll be successful.”
The second, third and fourth lanes belong to cars, not pedestrians. Drivers honk when you stand in the middle of the road, even if the light is red. We heard rude comments like “Artina satleh aw tar2ina jadbeh? (Are you stupid or are you out of your mind?).
The fifth lane is a pedestrian one that is often “dead” relative to the rest of the Corniche. At night, although darker than the first lane, we felt it was somehow more comfortable.
Corniche at once : The five lanes 24 hour life span