Saturday, February 27, 2016

The White City

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM: Israel - Tel Aviv - Day 3

Had a nice walk last night to the Super Yuda supermarket for some salad mixings for dinner. Fortunately for us, this neighborhood pretty much stays open on the Sabbath. The traffic was quiet, though, and that made it quite pleasant to stroll around. Dinner and a movie and it was off to slumberland.

It was cool and foggy when we got up this morning. We planned a walking tour, with some input from our friendly receptionist yesterday. Programmed the GPS, ate breakfast, showered, and hit the road. Figured we would start out with the Museum of Art since it was a bit chilly out - it would be good to be inside.

Sabbath is a great day to be out on the streets. It is absolutely barren in the morning. No cars, no people, nothing. No problems getting to the museum - and we got a 50% senior discount. One perk to getting older. It is a fairly new structure and quite sprawling. Could not make heads or tails out of the floor plan that was provided. In fact, we got lost trying to get out of the place.

There was a floor of Israeli art as well as a floor for European art. Many interesting mixed media displays. One that really struck a chord was called While Dictators Rage:
Michal Helfman’s installation-cum-musical-performance, While Dictators Rage (2013, 2015), featuring large kites painted with faces pulling a range of expressions—from angry to solemn to shocked—hovering above a broken wall, while an exuberant score plays eerily. In a short talk, Helfman described the project’s inspiration as German-Jewish Surrealist Felix Nussbaum’s last painting, The Triumph of Death (1944), which he completed while hiding in Belgium several months before he was killed in Auschwitz. After some research, Helfman discovered that a piece of sheet music painted into Nussbaum’s composition represented The Lambeth Walk, a song from a highly popular 1937 musical “Me and My Girl,” used as a rallying cry by the British against the Germans during the onset of the Second World War.
We had the place pretty much to ourselves but when we finally finished, I guess Shul let out because all of a sudden we surrounded. Time to hit the road. We walked down to the Mann Auditorium and Habima Theater complex. Lots going on here. Kids show, people all over. One thing about Tel Aviv, people just walk around - everywhere! Many, many, little kids and many, many pregnant women - I guess they are securing the next generation. People seem genuinely happy and you get a sense that they really enjoy life. Everyone knows everyone else, so there is all this hugging and kissing going on whenever they meet. It's a bit hectic but it truly is a feel-good city.

Walking down the famous Rothchild Boulevard, we detoured a bit to go by the Great Synagogue. Completed in 1926, it is now only in use for a few and only on high holy days. It is in heavy disrepair. Continuing down the boulevard, we took in some of the buildings of the White City:
The White City (Hebrewהעיר הלבנה‎, Ha-Ir HaLevana) refers to a collection of over 4,000 buildings built in a unique form of the Bauhaus or International Style in Tel Aviv from the 1930s by German Jewish architects who immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine after the rise of the Nazis. Tel Aviv has the largest number of buildings in the Bauhaus/International Style of any city in the world. Preservation, documentation, and exhibitions have brought attention to Tel Aviv's collection of 1930s architecture. In 2003, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed Tel Aviv's White City a World Cultural Heritage site, as "an outstanding example of new town planning and architecture in the early 20th century." The citation recognized the unique adaptation of modern international architectural trends to the cultural, climatic, and local traditions of the city.
Time for lunch. For a Sabbath day when nothing is supposed to be open, everything was jumping and packed to the gills at this end of town. We stumbled upon Moses cafe - took a table outside, and was pleasantly rewarded with several delicious vegan options. Ordered the Missouri vegan burger - which was to die for! Finally a meal without humus! Finished lunch and continued our stroll to the Neve Tzedek district:
Neve Tzedek (Hebrewנְוֵה צֶדֶקlit. Abode of Justice) is a neighborhood located in southwestern Tel AvivIsrael. It was the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside the old city of the ancient port ofJaffa. For years, the neighborhood prospered as Tel Aviv, the first modern Hebrew city, grew up around it. Years of neglect and disrepair followed, but since the early 1980s, Neve Tzedek has become one of Tel Aviv's latest fashionable and expensive districts, with a village-like atmosphere. Literally, Neve Tzedek means Abode of Justice, but it is also one of the names for God (Jeremiah 50:7).
Walked through the narrow streets past the trendy shops and cafes and made our way down to the beach. Things are getting quite familiar now. We thought about getting bikes to get back but decided it wasn't that far - so we kept walking. At one point, we took a seat -- another thing about Tel Aviv, you are never at a loss for a place to sit or even stretch out -- there are chairs, chaises, benches, etc all over the place. So we sat and people watched until it was time to return to the apartment.

Well, Shabbos is now officially over, so the traffic is starting up and tomorrow morning, I guess the construction will be back as well. Tomorrow is another big question mark. At some point, we will change apartments, other than that, who knows. Maybe the beach??  We walked so much today, it would be good to chill for a day.

Next time.... Chillin'

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM: Israel - Tel Aviv - Day 3

No comments:

Post a Comment