Thursday, February 23, 2017
|Red Band, a rock puppet act, at Sarona Market Tuesday night show / © 2017 D-A Vider|
It may seem a bit strange: a high end boutique shops and cafes, at the edge of Tel Aviv, with half a dozen hot chefs's promotion, struggling to survive? The newest dining and shopping center in Tel Aviv is not getting the foot traffic, it is situated at the edge of Tel Aviv's commercial center. It competes with and established shopping at Azrieli. The shops and restaurants are at the high end of the shopping scale. These are the challenges facing a new shopping center. The opportunity to build and establish an up market shopping center in a great open location in Tel Aviv is also interesting.Read More...
Sunday, February 12, 2017
|Winter (January) sunset on the Tel Aviv promonade (walk along the Medeterennian) - © 2017 D-A Vider|
When coming to Tel Aviv on a business or family visit, take an extra day to experience something special. Israel is one of the most misunderstood place on earth. I remember an American Ivy League professor visiting Tel Aviv. She was so afraid to leave the hotel for security reasons. Told of horrific violent acts by Israeli Defense Forces soldiers (IDF) and the Apartheid treatment of Israeli Arabs, she chose to avoid street life and stay in her hotel. A friend asked me to simply take her on a walk along the beach so she can see the city. After an hour of seeing bathers, from bikinis to burkas, she wondered what the city really felt like. In two hours her preconceived notion of the horrific stories told in the US diapered (some was obviously mass media impressions). A friend (Sam the man, from previous blog posts) just reminded me of a very similar story. One of his old friends came to see why Sam was living here after having a perfectly great upper-middle class life in Ohio. My advice? If you are in Tel Aviv and can add a day to your trip, see the city for yourself. If you have seen Jerusalem or came for business outside the city, don't let this opportunity pass you by.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
|A 250 shekel fine imposed on bicycle riding on Tel Aviv sidewalks - Ibn Gvirol at Arlozorov, April 2016|
Police in Tel Aviv now stop and fine electric bicycle riders on city sidewalks. On a few main streets, I have seen police officers stop riders. This seems to be happening on large streets with narrow sidewalks (Derech Ha'shalom into Tel Aviv, Ibn Gvirol Street). On streets in Givatay'im in early afternoon when high school children ride in packs through commercial streets (Katzenelson and Waitzman Streets). Besides terrorizing pedestrians on busy commercial streets, an accident can cause real trauma. Up to now accidents caused a few bruzed muscles and broken bones. But as more bikers ride on sidewalks, the inevitable serious accident it just a matter of when not if.
The electric bicycle trend has taken Tel Aviv by storm. At first electric bicycles were a curiosity, maybe another alternative transportation mode in a city with chronic parking shortage and commute time grid lock are an annoyance for years. But the electrified models came at a time where government efforts to introduce more bicycling seemed like a good idea. Tel Aviv introduced a bicycling rental by the hour program. Copying London's program, a resident can sign up for a yearly pass and pay 280 shekels (see city bicycling rental page, HE). The Tel-O-Fun program is adding a few biking enthusiasts to Tel Aviv streets, but seems more of a publicity effort than a real transportation solution. There is talk about adding bicycle lanes, but besides bicycle traffic lights along the beach path, to me this seems like a long term political babble. So if you come to Tel Aviv, and see "everyone" biking on sidewalks. Look for the marked bike paths. Or give the police a story how in London and Amsterdam bikes and pedestrians have equal rights. It could get you off a 250 shekel fine (about US$ 62.50). Otherwise just ride the streets and as they say "be careful out there!"Read More...
Monday, January 11, 2016
|Cafes along Tel Aviv's commercial strips are up and running, but residents are still cautious. Echos of last week's attack.|
Last week's events still feel fresh here. But Tel Avivians are not ready to hide from the left over suspensions. As more details about the attacker stream through the media, residents are slowly getting back to normal routines. Tel Aviv's cafes stand out as one of the city's ever present "vibrancy indicator" are starting to show life. Residents have stayed away from sitting in the open for a few days. I have not seen the cafes this quiet for years. Even during the last war in Gaza the city was still buzzing at a normal beat. The term "bubble" is an old one, given to the city as a moniker for essentially living in a "different place" than the rest of the country. Tel Aviv's residents are well aware of the situation in Israel. They are also sensitive to the issues all around, especially the difficulty in securing the country. While Israel may seem like an isolated island among the surrounding Arab states, the reality is different. Israel's borders are not hermetically sealed. Also the isolation between Jews and Palestinians is mostly cultural. There are still enough interactions between Jews (even in Tel Aviv) and Palestinians and Arab Israelis. Actually, that last incident is a good example. The killer was a resident of a small Arab village and in the past worked in one of Tel Aviv's small outdoor mall / commercial center. Interviews with people who knew him in the past filled the news programs in the days after the attack.Read More...
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
|Memorial candles and photo of terror victim on Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv, January 5th, 2016|
I don't like writing or even discussing the painful events in Israel. There are Israelis which literally flaunt deaths and terrorism. As if it's a justification for something we are doing. But if you have gone through a painful event, or even been close enough to one, you change somehow. Israelis who lost children, parents, brothers or even cousins, tend not to flaunt the death of their dear ones. Deaths are public events just when they first happen. Yet quickly they become private affairs. No mother, brother or husband can share or bring into their life an outsider. No matter how close or how relevant their situation. Few endure the pain and make new relationships based on their loss. For the most part, once you lost a loved one, you want quiet after the first shock has faded. Three days after the deaths, the street slowly starts coming to life. A French couple, looks like tourists, hanged a small sign in solidarity to Tel Aviv residents. Seems appropriate in light of the events in Paris a few weeks ago.Read More...
Thursday, October 22, 2015
|Urban graffiti mural inside the Wok Republic restaurant on Ben Yehuda | Copyright © 2015 DAVider|
If you read the last few posts, we covered a few graffiti drawings in Tel Aviv. From the last story about the Wok Republic, here is a mural on the wall inside the restaurant. Gritty urban lifestyle has not taken a hold in Tel Aviv. There are many theories, mine is simply based on the wide range of people and lifestyles you can find in Israel's central area. Tel Aviv is a home of countless lifestyles. The gritty urban flavor, mostly imported from rundown cities around the world (US and Europe in particular) is not an attractive mainstream hit. But Tel Avivians still like to imitate the world's style. In general, there are not many Tel Aviv businesses decorated with graffiti like murals. This one is a nice one.Read More...
Monday, August 24, 2015
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.