Friday, August 22, 2014
|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.
If you find a quiet suburb or a neighborhood in the outskirts of the city, you may be able to escape these problems. But all the fun and excitement of the city is at the center. Yet for every problem in the city there is a solution or a bright entrepreneur waiting to sell you one. If you can't find parking, don't drive, get a taxi. The Get Taxi mobile app and its use by taxi drivers has spread quickly here. Now getting a taxi almost any time of day means no longer calling a taxi stand or standing by a noisy intersection. If you need a bus at the wee hours of the morning, there are a few "owl lines" running until early morning hours. Construction annoyances are unavoidable, so that one will force you to cross the street and pass by a construction site. Crowding is not an issue if you know where and when to avoid certain parts of the city. But than again, isn't the city buzz what people are looking for?