Monday, August 18, 2008
Street dancing on Dizengoff: the Israeli rap generation
It seems like Tel Aviv is having a low level cultural war. Not one that you hear about in the newspapers or TV. The bar culture is being attacked by residents through city hall. No need for alarm, Tel Aviv is not going to be a dry city any time soon*. But there are rumors and and article here and there that "the city" is out to close bars in residential areas. Essentially they enforce a few noise and public smoking laws harshly. I heard of the noise issue from bar owners and bartenders. I also heard of the no-smoking "police" lurking around bars and the staff running around putting out cigarettes (fine of 1,000 shekel for patron, 5,000 for the establishment). If you are a bar kind of person you probably think this is unfair. Why have bars, give them permission to operate, have people come and find a place to socialize and create a community just to close it down for some noise and smoke excuse? If you own or just bought an expensive apartment in a good location you take the opposite side: why doesn't the city keep the city organized? Why can't we have quiet nights and smoke free places? Why do we have to live next to a virtual sex hotel where the young of the city come to enjoy anonymous sex** and a few good drinks? Well, there you have the issue at hand. As Tel Aviv becomes more cosmopolitan it attracts the kind of people who not only want but actually demand the bar scene. The "alcohol culture" which comes with other British and American imports (business, culture, people) is steadily making it's way into the Tel Aviv night life. The "kids" which you see in the bars are not going to be satisfied by Israeli folk dancing and telling stories around the campfire on the beach. That was fine for their grandparents. But if you are going to ask them to do high-tech software, banking, and advertising on international scale, with Europeans and Americans, they want to go to pubs and bars just like in London or LA. This is what in some cultures get banned. The Muslims and Christian fundamentalists mostly in Asia (that includes the Arab countries on the middle east) live in fear of corrupting their young ones. But the cost is freedom to society. Well, let the story continue, we will keep the story going as we see what is going on here. Please post a comment or send an e-Mail if you have any news on the matter - T H A N K S !
* a dry city or county in American slang is a location free of alcohol, both sale and consumption (in public places).
** there is an image of free sex in bar bathrooms has taken hold in Tel Aviv. Apparently this was a popular form of entertainment for the 20 something. From what you see today it's only in very few bars and very few people.