Sometimes, As local telavivians we get fed up with how expensive this city has become, and the fact is you need to sell your left leg in order to buy a 2 bedroom apartment in the city. We also are fed up with the politics and the issues of the middle east and just a few weeks ago had alarms and rockets over our head to remind us that we are still at a kind of war.
So, Why are we here? Why do we stay? Why not pack and leave this city?
Well to us it’s obvious, We just cant….. I mean, how can we? this city has it all – Cafes, bars and clubs opened 24/7, Crazy fun people on every corner and a long hot summers on the beach.
Most of all, this city changes all the time and the recent change is the fact that we have new strength coming in, And that strength is the tourists and people that make Aliya and change our city by joining it. In the last 3 years no matter where you go you can hear French, English and Spanish, and to us locals it just makes a great feeling to know that even when it’s tough and crazy out here, there is still something special enough to attract new people to come over – we are still sexy! (in a very strange way)
After we asked around for a bit we felt that there many reasons for new people to be out here, some wanted a great vacation in a vibrant city in the sun, for some it was a life long dream to come back to the holy-land and since they are still human (and humans need to party), tel Aviv was the obvious choice for them.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is Thank You!
Thank you for the English and french we hear on the street, Thank you for the new shops and cafes you opened, thanks for reminding us how cool this city truly is and that if we want to feel better about being in it, We just need to pretend a little that we are also..tourists.
Israel technology is being feted after the events of last week. The Iron Dome was able to successfully protect Israeli citizens by shooting down many of the rockets that were raining down on them.
There is no doubt that Israel is one of the technological capitals of the world. A recent study just ranked it as the number two startup ecosystem by Startup Genome.
Just behind Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv out-trumped bigger hubs such as Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, London and Sydney.
This is no secret – Israel is known at the Start-Up Nation. Start ups such as Waze, Kaltura, Mobli, StartApp, Rounds, Onavo and Gigya have established that Israeli punches above its weight.
In its own right, Tel Aviv is a beautiful city. It sits on the Mediterranean Sea. If you want a cosmopolitan lifestyle that takes the best of all elements, Tel Aviv would be the city for you. Some of the hotels in Tel Aviv are some of the best in the world. It has some incredible restaurants that showcase every cuisine in the world.
For those who like the outdoors, there are parks and walks. There are lots of tracks for cyclists and those who love being on the water will love the surfing and sailing.
Like New York, London, Paris and other great cities of the world, there is a sense of energy in Tel Aviv that something is always happening. It has a great vibe to it.
There is something about the Israeli mentality that sees it really identify with the concept of the Start Up. It is about being creative and having the desire to do something better and in a more innovative fashion.
There is actually a connection between the army and the Start-Up culture. Many Israeli start-ups have risen from relationships forged in the army. Soldiers who have served together have then worked together in civilian life.
The values they had in the army translate very well in the business world. This could be a reason why Israeli start-ups have an advantage. Elsewhere in the world, when people join a company they may just see it a job. They don’t identify with the core values or objectives of it. They arrive at 9, leave at 5 and that’s it.
But the Israeli start-ups may not roll like that. Like in the army, people are constantly striving to improve and do better. There is an emphasis of clear, direct lines of communication and a real sense of teamwork. This urgency allows them to succeed.
Sun to your left – This pleasant, calm path is easy riding for a humid late-afternoon in the summer – tropic weather under light influence of anise.
Starting point – The Carleton Hotel going North.
Timing – Begin between 6:00-6:30PM, finish whenever you like.
Riding speed – Between slow and very slow.
Path– Carleton Hotel, Carleton Hotel Beach, Voyeurs’ Beach (Hof M’tzitzim), the Tel Aviv Port, Gandhi Bridge and the Redding Power Station, Sunset Lookout, Tel Baruch Beaches, back to Gandhi Bridge and Redding, turn east towards Yarkon River, turn to Yirmiyahu St., go down to Voyeurs Beach (Hof M’tzitzim), go back to the Carleton Hotel.
Equipment – One bottle filled with 1/3 quality anise + grapefruit juice + fresh mint leaves, all mixed well, that spent a night in the fridge together. Make sure you wear a helmet, and have the following: something to lie down on, a bike-lock, mineral water, suntan lotion, iPod (or the like), and a camera.
Going from the Carleton Hotel towards the Tel Aviv port:
You begin pedaling north, with the sun to your left, on the marked bike path.
The riding is accompanied by the sounds of the ocean, music from the beach, and a lot of cool ocean breeze.
You’ll be able to see the surfers out by HiltonBeach riding the waves and the group of wind surfers also starting to head out.
The Ocean Port by the Carleton Hotel has light boats and yachts that really enhance the panoramic view of the sea.
Under the Hilton Hotel you’ll see TopSea that is a restaurant, surfing center, and all-around great place to watch the boats anchoring and get a great view of the surfers. In the hot summer nights, they move the tables out of the area to make room for Dub and Reggae concerts.
A lot of the Tel Aviv residents’ sports activities take place on the riding path going north like running, power walking, bike riding, but also sometimes vehicles are permitted on certain parts, so you don’t want to taste the anise until you get to the outlook stop later on.
Voyeurs’ Beach (Hof M’tzitzim) is one of the nicest and sportiest beaches in the area. In the 70’s, a movie was filmed here that became a cult classic, it is shown every Independence Day, and its leading actors underwent extreme changes like becoming completely religious or social isolationists. The beach has changed a lot since then; it has become more family-oriented and more commercial. There is a beach restaurant and bar with Moroccan-style hang-out spots.
But what gets me excited about this beach is the name – M’tzitzim means voyeurs– you really get a good look at the most beautiful Israeli women in their tiny bikinis that come to tan on the beach! Amazing!
The entrance to the Tel Aviv Port area:
The entrance is seen from an impressive view point. The port area is a truly incredible commercial area that is one of the most unique out of the entire country. It operates around-the-clock most days of the year.
The port (which has been active since 1965) is made out of California-style wood parquet boards that are great for bike riding.
Great view to the ocean - Tel-Aviv Port
There are a lot of businesses in the port like event halls, yoga centers, bars, clubs, seafood restaurants, cafes, designer clothing and shoe stores, an international performance center, and activity centers for kids. There’s also an incredible Farmer’s Market that’s open all week long with an extended version on Fridays.
There is a west-facing lookout point towards the old anchoring point for boats that is no longer active; it’s a good place to rest and wipe off some of the moisture from your skin and take some pictures of the area. There is also an ice-cream shop right next door which can help cool you down in the summer – definitely recommended.
The bridge that connects the port to tel-barouch beach
It’s very easy to get out of the port area and continue riding north towards Tel Baruch beach. Just look up for the giant smoke stacks from the Redding power station that are visible for the entire length of the trip. Next to the station, there is a small bridge called Gandhi Bridge that crosses the Yarkon River from south to north. After crossing, take a left on the tree-lined path towards the breathtaking lookout by the Yarkon River Estuary.
The time has come to take out the blanket, spread it out on the grass, open the bottle of homemade anise cocktail, and enjoy the view and the tranquility. Enjoy some rest in one of the most pastoral areas in all of Tel Aviv. After sunset, I recommend to continue about 20 minutes north towards the more isolated beaches atTel Baruch and to enjoy the breeze and the colors of the sunset. This is an easy, straight ride along the landing strip of the local Tel Aviv airport.
While all the cars are not gone from Tel Aviv, the new public access “rent-a-bikes” have inspired us to write about some great bike routes right here in Tel Aviv. I’ll give you the scoop on a great beachside bike route that’ll take you through afternoon straight to the sunset complete with a light meal before we go crazy in the bars on Rothschild! And yeah, there’s also a night route for anyone who wants to do the route backwards… and it’s highly recommended! Riding drunk, downhill… don’t worry, there’s a nearby hospital.
tied to every tree in the city - tel-aviv bicycle
Before we talk about the riding, here’s a couple of interesting factoids about using the city’s bikes and bike routes/lanes that might tempt you veteran night owls to join the healthy, drunk riding on Tel Aviv’s streets.
To date, one hundred kilometers of illuminated bike paths have been paved throughout the city.
During the 2011-2012 year, the city is planning to pave tens more kilometers of paths as part of a 100-million shekel project paid for by taxpayers. There is some criticism about the dangers present on some of the bike paths, especially near bus stops, so be careful!
bikes for free - hotel on yarkon street
So, I ask myself why I am awake all night and sleeping during the day, while I can be managing the execution of an engineering project in the field of municipal planning?! I have 8 years of real experience biking on all the existing bike paths in the city, and riding on many of the paths before they were even paved, before any municipal engineer said, “Ah, these cute kids are riding here already, let’s pave them a real path”.
In April of 2011, the municipality, together with a private company, established a computerized system of bike rentals throughout the city that would even put the Iranian nuclear program to shame! The idea for the project was imported from big cities in Europe and has since gained a lot of momentum. Today, you’ll find firefighters, lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, bartenders (and any other psycho, regardless of profession, who’s willing to ride in 30 (86) degree heat) is using this service.
use your visa - take a bike - enjoy!
The city’s rental system has a number of sign-up options. You can rent for a day or longer and the prices range between 14 and 240 shekels.
The bike use is limited to 30 minutes, and after this period you have to return the bike to one of the rental stops around the city and wait 10 minutes (don’t ask me why), and only then are you able to keep using the bike. Any use in excess of 30 minutes (without returning to a rental station) will cost money – a lot of money – so keep your eye on your watch.
For a second I thought there wasn’t a capitalist motive for this project, but the truth of the matter is, like with many thoughts lately, I was wrong. Perhaps my true calling in life is just to go to the beach in the evening, drink at night, eat well, and if I’m really energetic, perhaps even to be loved by a young maiden, though as it says on the instructions of my medication, “it is very rare.”
The use of municipal bikes is timely, and it’s easy to get from point A to point B. The purpose is to reduce the use of automobiles among city residents, and also to provide transportation for those with less means. I don’t know if it’s particularly comfortable for tourists who are going along some sort of planned tourist path. For planned tourist paths, I will suggest specific recommended stores later on.