Wednesday, May 20, 2015

City of Dimona (& Arad) on Strike: It's NOT ALL IN Tel Aviv

Protesters over layoffs at Israel Chemicals, sign: Idan Ofer destroys Israel's Industry: Calcalist, Arad Israel, 17-Apr-2015

In their enthusiasm for life, growth and certainly search for a better economic opportunity, Tel Avivians sometimes ignore the rest of Israel. We call this phenomena "the Tel Aviv bubble" - as if we are living in our own independent bubble. This essentially sarcastic (and humiliating) barb is not new. For years, the "periphery" of the state has been complaining of neglect. But this time it's directed at mostly non-government employers.
Read More...


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tel Aviv is Open for Dining 24/7

by Sam-d-Man (Tel Aviv enthusiast from the US) - Tel Aiv, Israel


The night creeps up. Long meetings, a late date, fell asleep early. It's 2:00 AM and where can I get some good food? In most places this is a problem. But not in the hottest 24/7 city: Tel Aviv (Israel). You may dine on breakfast as you like it, with eggs, bacon, salad, cheese and coffee. [there are a few places like The Benedict which offer a "standard Israeli" breakfast all day]. If a burger is your late night favorite there are many all night restaurants that serve burgers as you like them 24/7. These restaurants are all full service, with a wide variety of dishes on the menu. 
There are also plenty of late night bars/pubs, cafes and convenience stores open all night. They offer a more limited menu. Some all night eateries offer a specialty like baked goods (Abulafia on Ibn-Gvirol) or burgers. You will see people late at night there as well. 
Read More...


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Big and Small Heroes in Israel: Arik Einstein & Rav Ovadia Yosef



Arik Einstein (not related to the famous German physicist Albert) and Ovadia Yosef were honored with large funerals. Einstein fans also held a memorial concert in Tel Aviv's Yehoshua park (also referred to as park Ha'yarkon). Both recent local heroes are very much honored and respected but not in a classical or historical sense that David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Rabin or even Theodor Herzl were honored. Yet Israelis are still creating new heroes with real admiration. In an age where most other societies seem to be looking for direction from leaders, Israelis simply keep on admiring. But is this leadership and admiration real? Do leaders today still inspire and guide in a way leaders in the past? Ones who lead to freedom, justice, change and most of all national self confidence? Well, it turns out, even in Israel, after achieving great deal of self identity and freedom, with people who were unable to feel and practice in freedom for centuries, there are still desires for more equality. There are desires to develop culture and independent thinking, especially now since Israelis have founded a state and government and embryonic culture.
Read More...


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christian Pilgrims: Israel's "secret" tourists

Detail of Tiberius church painting
When the rockets fall and the buses blow up with tourists (S. Korean tourists, Sinai, February 2014, Al-Jazeera), there are still people who come to Israel. Called by a higher voice, believing in a purpose, something as fundamental as the terrorists believe in freedom or nationality. Christian pilgrims still come to Israel regardless of state security warnings and daily media buzz. From their perspective, especially the inside sources of the church and tourism, Israel is no more dangerous than any other place. Are church voices mistaken in their assessment of the dangers? Why would priests put their followers at harm's way? Do Christians still possess that fundamental spirit, which called for each believer to be a "soldier" and a believer? Or is there something beyond the media hype and political sniping (from the media, states, international organizations, political and military personalities)? Actually, with a little bi of reading, you notice a difference in opinion and belief in Christians' view of Israel and the conflict. Many Christians, both lay independents and organized organizations, believe in total support of Israel. Some support Israel due to the Jewish state religion. Some due to the liberal and overall support of the state of Christians living in Israel. Beyond this, there is a different view of political and military issues in religious organizations and religious leaders. Unlike secular views, there is a long term perspective and a sense of belief in slow change. There is also belief in the right resolution long term. Whatever was meant to have happened will happen. More on the impact of religious tourism on Israel, not simply economically, in future blog posts.      
Read More...


Friday, October 17, 2014

Tel Aviv Named 2nd Sexiest City on Earth

Poster on trendy shop in Dizengof Center (cir. 2009)
 From Space News site: http://www.jspacenews.com/tel-aviv-named-2nd-sexiest-city-earth/ -- the article says:

Tel Aviv is the second sexiest city on Earth, at least according to a new ranking released earlier this month.
Gan Hahashmal, an area of the White City, was given the spot on Thrillist’s Top Ten Sexiest Neighborhoods on Earth. Tel Aviv fell behind only Rio De Janiero’s Ipanema neighborhood, which took first in the ranking.
“Israel’s renowned for its gorgeous citizenry, having produced the wonders that are Bar Refaeli and Gal Gadot, but Tel Aviv in particular serves as a crossroads of international and domestic hotties,” writes Thrillist.
“Add in the fact that the city’s population is overwhelmingly single, and you’ll start to see how a hip neighborhood like Gan Hahashmal — with its public garden, late-Ottoman-era houses, and cutting-edge boutiques — can be a hotbed of sexy people doing sexy things.”
Tel Aviv also beat out New York’s SoHo, Milan’s Quadrilatero della Moda, and Montreal’s Le Plateau-Mont Royal, which ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Other areas to make the top ten list include neighborhoods in Sydney, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Paris and Tokyo.
It’s been a good month for Tel Aviv. On October 9, a local bar, Tel Aviv’s Imperial Craft, was likewise named the best bar in the Middle East and Africa.
Read More...


Friday, August 22, 2014

Non-Existant Parking, Construction & Crowded: Tel Aviv Annoyances

Construction cranes are ever present in the Tel Aviv skyline | © Ami Vider 2014 
You have probably have seen magazine articles and blog posts rating the best places to live. There is always one about where people want to go (usually most expensive). Then there is one about the hidden gems where nobody goes but it's the best place for some reason. Usually the hidden gems are quiet and cheap and very remote. They are sometimes beautiful and relaxing. Tel Aviv does not make that list. In Israel Tel Aviv is the most expensive area and property growing at a steady pace. You can say it has been the place to go for 120 years now. It is not really a hidden gem, except for the people who have not been or simply don't believe how good a place it is. But, with all that demand and popularity, there are problems. Parking at Tel Aviv's streets is horrible and getting worst. City hall tried to encourage biking with a bike for rent program. The effort is wonderful, but still lots to be done. Construction is ever present in almost every part of town. It is also a bit of an annoyance when walking the streets. And finally, it's the crowds which suddenly materialize. Not to be compared with New York or Tokyo, which Tel Avivians compare. Yet at rush hours, streets, sidewalks, shops and cafes are brimming with people. Add to this a bit of aggressiveness (Israelis are not known for their manners) and you got an annoying situation. 
Read More...


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tel Aviv for Tourists? Not Just for Business

Renovated Ibn Gvirol street in Tel Aviv, landscaping and new sidewalks give a new life to street
It seems like Jerusalem is the tourist destination for Jews. Nazareth, Tiberius and Jerusalem for Christians. The rest of Israel is a playground for project Birthright tourists. But Tel Aviv is for the business travelers and "not exactly sure why I came to Israel for vacation" tourists. If you are not sure what Tel Aviv has to offer tourists, take a second look. Israel is a modern, democratic and somewhat fashionable state. With Tel Aviv as the economic and cultural center. The city itself is surrounded with towns and suburbs comprising the main population center in the state. This makes staying in Tel Aviv a fun and smart way to come see Israel for yourself. Overhearing two students in a Boston book store, looking at travel books, one says to the other about Israel: "people don't go there any more". Reflecting the popularity of Israel with college and first time American travelers in the 1960s to 1980s. Then, Israel was a place for young adventure seekers to volunteer in a kibutz or lay on the beach in Eilat. Fast forward 30 years and today Israel is a destination for Christian pilgrims and Jewish tourists. About half of the travelers to Israel come for religious reasons. Some tourists still come for the warm weather, especially to Eilat in the winter. But there is still a small percentage of tourists who come to Tel Aviv. Besides seeing a modern and open city, there are more cultural events here than in most small American cities. Tel Aviv has it's own style, reflecting the warm climate and liberal open lifestyle. For shoppers, this is not Paris or New York, yet there are many world class shops and boutiques of every kind. Malls and small shopping clusters are dotted through the metropolitan area. Night life is also an attraction with vibrant club scene and restaurants / bars open to the wee hours. Last but not least are the beaches. Tel Aviv has been the city who's back is to the sea. But for tourists, organized, clean and close to everything beaches are a nice surprise. So come to Tel Aviv, stay for the lifestyle and enjoy everything else this city has to offer. 

Read More...