The Kit Kat Club
Project info

Google Announces New/Old Name for its Operating System

Every city has its seamy side. More so, perhaps, ancient Mediterranean ports long accustomed to serving a variety of visitors — from circulating sailors, to Saudi sheiks, to sun-seekers, to sidewalk speculators.

When Google announced “KitKat” as the name for the latest version of its Android operating system, I thought both of the Nestlé candy bar and of a formerly well-known Beirut strip joint. That bustling city has always attracted a large supply of entertainers — featuring European blondes — to work at every level, from the posh Casino du Liban, on down.

The Kit Kat Club was on the waterfront not far from where I lived from 1964 to 1966. I photographed dancers there, and later in their apartments, as part of a wider magazine story — “Women of Beirut” — a multi-leveled portrait of this tribal/sophisticated city which I never got around to finishing.

The bottom image. below, shows a larger, seamier section of town which appeared to feature brunettes.

A year later came the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, followed by Lebanon’s long, brutal internal conflicts — but by then I was gone.

Fast forwarding 47 years, on November 6, 2013 I was heartened to note this passage by Walter Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal: “While the primary goal of KitKat was to run in a much smaller amount of memory, it has a few notable new features. The phone app now places recent and frequent callers first in its favorite call list and de-emphasizes the full list of contacts…”

photographs © William Carter 1966