Friday, November 27, 2015

Joshua Blowing a Shofar (Horn) in Ramat Gan

Joshua blowing a shofar (horn) overlooking Ramat Gan from a hill top park - is he blowing us a modern day warning?

Israel's central zone is slowly turning from tree dark green to concrete gray. Israel is one of the first and most distinct example of green environment policy. Israel's "green line" started out as somewhat of a public relation scheme to portray the state's tree planting effort as one proof of the idealism and strong effort in turning the land to an oasis within the desert. Pictures taken from the air showed a distinct outline of the state in green while neighboring states (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon) are left brown. The state's proponents trumpeted the success of a tree planting and agricultural production as a testament to the right to inhabit the land. But in reality the "green line" only depicted the northern third of the state. It also did not prove to Israel's detractors of any realistic "proof". Actually, the green line turned into a territoriality conundrum which over the years proved as the most politically difficult fact to resolve (see Wikipedia).

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Mr. Gaga - Documentary on Ohad Naharin's Dance Career

Last night we saw Mr. Gaga. A wonderful documentary about the career of Israeli dance and choreographer Ohad Naharin. The story starts with his early career as a dancer in Israel, then in New York. This covers two thirds of the time. The last part is on Ohad's return to Israel and his work as a choreographer and director of Israel's Batsheva Dance Company. This is a wonderful peek into an incredibly creative Israeli and a small and wonderfully unique modern dance in Israel. Highly recommended if you are interested in the modern culture of Israel.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ TLV Central Bus Station #5

Stencil like mural depicts some graffiti seen on Tel Aviv streets

Here is another mural from the Tel Aviv legal graffiti exhibit. This one in a stencil style looks like many small graffiti drawings seen on city streets. Stencil drawings are fast and easy to get on walls. They are also easy to create with simple computer programs. Some CAD machines can actually cut shapes in cardboard or thin plywood sheets. These make excellent stencils. Keep on coming, more pictures from Tel Aviv's streets and hidden "legal" graffiti life as I troll the city.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ TLV Central Bus Station #4

This mural with a funky whimsical theme reflects a realistic cartoonist style, great colors make for a beautiful picture

Here is another mural from the Tel Aviv central bus station seventh floor collection. Actually there are more than twenty great pictures hiding there. Tel Aviv is a collection of so many different "bubbles" (essentially lifestyles, small communities, private interest groups) that this type of government effort to give one group a voice is hard to miss. Artists in Israel are a struggling bunch. While some have developed a voice, style and even a body of work, many are struggling just to get their art out to the public while holding a day McJob. But sadly it is hard to predict what will happen to government efforts to promote certain art projects. In the case of "legal graffiti" at the Tel Aviv central bus station, I don't think these artists are getting the benefit of their efforts. The area where these murals are drawn is mostly just a place where bus riders on local lines rush to catch a bus. In addition, there is the element of bus riders in general. These are usually the lower class laborers, students and conscripted soldiers (on compulsory duty from age 18 to 21). Which by itself is not such a bad audience, yet many will never make it to this hidden crevice in our vast urban sprawl. (sorry for the sarcastic-negative opinion, but it probably reflects the general view of many Tel Avivians).

Monday, November 16, 2015

Arabic Writing in Technology & Commerce advertising for Arabic (highlighted) content marketing positions / November 2015

There is a preconception "given" notion of a strict division between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Truthfully, a small minority of Jews interact with Muslims on a daily basis (work, entertain, shop, conduct business). Israeli politicians and some community leaders in mixed communities (Haifa, Nazareth, Acco) may tell you differently. Yet the recent violence in the Muslim world, from the long civil wars in Syria and Iraq to the recent attacks in Paris, are continue to push Israeli Muslims (mostly Arabic speaking) to work with Israeli employers. In the technology sector we see more push to adapt Hebrew and English products and services to the Arab world. Just a few days ago I noticed the high number of positions advertised for Arab writers, editors and promoters (advertising managers mostly for social media sites) in Hebrew job sites. In the past these positions were few and far between. It's not clear to me if Arabic marketing workers are using Hebrew sites more or looking for work in Israeli companies with services targeted at the Arab sector. I am also not familiar enough with this crossover business trends to judge if Israeli companies are targeting the Arabic speaking public with more effort. In general, both Hebrew and Arabic speaking Israelis are feeling more isolated from the world these days. Maybe this is a little bit of good which can come from all the violence in the world. (this opinion is strictly personal and my own)


Monday, November 9, 2015

Private vs. Public Gardens in Israel

Beautifully tended goldfish pool in north Tel Aviv, definitely raised the question of how public money is spent /

Once in a while I pass by a garden on a side street and stop to admire the plants or gardening work. Most times it is clearly not the city's gardener's handy work. In most private buildings, gardening is done by the residents (or as most areas under buildings, unattended). Last week on a walk to the beach we stumbled into a small goldfish pool. We were not sure who tended this wonderful creation, my guess was not the city, but my companion thought differently. Enjoy...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Breaks in Rain Storms Brings Surfers Out to Play

Break between rain showers bring out surfers, the wind is steady with little gusts / black flag indicated "no swimming" usually when the beach is not attended or waves are too high /

Winter in Israel comes down to comfortable temperatures and a few rain storms. Most storms comes from the west over the Mediterranean. Storm fronts last from a few hours to a few days. The last two weeks the coast has been experiencing days with rain lasting up to an hour with a few hour breaks between. When the weather clears for a few hours, the crowds stream out to the streets. Surfers (wind, para-sail & plain old short board) hurry to catch the wind and waves. The weather is a bit cooler than in summer, but a wet suite is all that's needed to enjoy the water. Tourists coming during inclement weather wonder how Tel Avivians are so quick to enjoy these breaks. But ask any surfer what it's like to be out in winter, and you will understand.