Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Love T.A.

It's Saturday afternoon. The kids are sitting at the dining room table and bso is helping bdo with her math. I tried, but I had to stop before I tore out what remaining hair I have. We have just listened to the new rock opera, "The Hazards of Love" by The Decemberists. It's a lot rockier than most of their previous work, but it got two thumbs up from all the family. Now, being a big one for routine, I will follow the last two Saturday's and subject my three readers to a photo essay. You can click on any picture to make it larger.

This morning I went into Tel Aviv with the wife. She headed off to her meeting, I took the camera and went for a long, long walk. She dropped me off of on Alozorov near Dizengoff. The tree lined streets were pretty quiet after a hard night on the town . I made my way to the sea near the Hilton Hotel. It was a perfect spring day. My goal was Jaffa, visible in the distance . A little past the Hilton on Hayarkon Street is one of my favorite TA buildings .

Some 80% for you. When I first moved to Israel, I used to help my uncle out from time to time, sitting in his store in Kikar Atarim. This is what it looks like today . It's a shame as this is prime beachfront property.

I hit the promenade behind the big hotels. I had heard about the "professional" matkot (beach-bat) court, but this was the first time I had ever seen it live. These guys globe the ball at each other at a tremendous pace. Its terrifying to watch. I hate matkot. I think it's time we took back our beaches. Maybe I'll start a movement.

I passed another of my favorite buildings on the tayelet (promenade). The paint work is by Agam. Who in his spare time also put together the fire sprouting fountain in Dizengoff Square.

Onward I walked, towards Jaffa. I passed the Dolphinarium, the site of the horrendous terrorist attack in June 2001. Where 21 teenagers were killed outside a discotheque around midnight on a Saturday night. There is a simple memorial with their names . The pain and blood that this country stands on is never far away.

There are always weird and wonderful people in Tel Aviv. As I approached the footbridge over the sewer drainage ditch between TA and Jaffa. A rather large bride pedaled up on her rather small bicycle. She stopped to rest . Then a little further down the path, I came upon one of the more unusual of the many street musicians. I had never seen anyone busk with a snare drum and mike, but I'm cool. He was crooning "Strgggaaaangers In Zee Night" .

By now I was in Jaffa and the view of the Tel Aviv shoreline to the south were spectacular on this beautiful blue day . The port of Jaffa is home to all sorts of floating detritus (I like that word). The working fishing boats are colorful and I had to beat off a pack of Italian tourists to get close enough to this painter to take this picture. . Ironically enough, the most rusted and beaten up boat of all is called "HaAtid" (The Future). Besides a busy fish restaurant, the port of Jaffa sports a weekend craft market . I heaved a sigh of relief and said a quick "Baruch Hashem" that bwo was at her meeting.

I walked back through the main square in Jaffa. On the way down the hill I stopped at Abulafia for a hot sesame bagele. I would have taken pictures, but I was so in awe of the fresh, slightly sweet, perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy soft on the inside bagele, that I forgot all about it. You understand don't you.

Finally I made my way to the clock square . Then back along HaYarkon to the US Embassy where bwo picked me up. 14000 steps, two hours, 70 pictures. I love T.A.


Luis Portugal said...

It has a nice blog.
Sorry not write more, but my English is bad writing.
A hug from my country, Portugal

blackpetero said...

Agradece ao gajo. Nós visitamos Portugal o ano passado e amamo-lo. Nós permanecemos em Cascais. Um país bonito com povos excelentes.

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jozie said...

Excellent photos. How come the bride had to go to the beach by bicycle? I need to know.

mart said...

Great post BPO. Loved the pictures.
Have you noticed that you seem to attract the weirdos? (And I'm not talking about your family here) What is the chance of you meeting that bride on the 1 day a year that you walk around TA with a camera? I can just picture the groom who you missed by 2 minutes pedaling like mad to get away from that.

I will readily join your anti-matkot movement. At least those guys are playing away from the beach. I noticed in your picture of Jaffa in the distance, there are a couple of offenders on the beach.

mart said...

BTW, from your description of the Abulafia breads, no 80% there.

Shawn said...

I love the photo essays.

Camille said...

I feel like I walked with you. My boys and I walked about Tel Aviv and Jaffa a lot when we came for a visit. I passed many of the same sights. We stayed at the Isrotel and walked north and south up and down the coastline. I loved Jaffa.

We also found a marvelous pizza place and gelato place in what I called the "funky" part of town with all the shops. You have brought back so many wonderful memories. Thanks for the tour!