post

An Evening Of Un-Attractions

Tel Aviv isn’t one of those classic tourist attraction cities like Jerusalem or Rome. That’s great actually – there’s no to do list so you can finally relax and have a blast. There are, however, some quirky un-attractions scattered around town. Here’s a suggested walk perfect for exploring the city on a cool evening in a strange mood.

Start off at Rabin Square in the heart of town. Tel Aviv doesn’t have much open space, so appreciate it while you can. We’re here for the Tel Aviv City Hall though. Big and communist looking, it was built in 1966 in Brutalist style. Yes, that’s correct, stare at it and feel its concrete totalitarian brutality!

TLVCityHallByNight

Head to small & sleazy Masarik Square right around the corner to check out the duck statue. It was unveiled in 2009 in honor of satirical author and cartoonist Dudu Geva. The duck was his staple character, a symbol for optimism and silliness (it says “always an optimist” at the bottom of the statue). He, and I mean the duck, was made an honorary citizen of Tel Aviv in 2008 with another duck sitting on top of City Hall to commemorate the event. Grab a coffee or beer in one of the nearby cafes or just relax on a bench next to the ugly fountain with locals and their pups.

Walking on along King George st., take a right on Zamenhof right to Dizingof Square. On your right you’ll see Cinema Hotel Tel Aviv, a cinema converted to a hotel as the name suggests, but the main event is Yakov Agam’s Water & Fire kinetic fountain. It was built in 1986, neglected for years, and finally renovated a year ago.

This fountain may appear in your guide book, but it is a definite un-attraction. It puts on a “show” with orchestrated water squirting to the sound of classical music and…fire. Fire! Fire! The flame thrown from this colorful neo-kitschy fountain comes as a big surprise . Watch it and have a laugh with the punks and hobos who frequent the square. Showtimes are daily at 11:00, 13:00, 19:00, and 21:00.

Venture on through Pinsker and take a left on Trumpeldor right through Meir Garden. It may look fishy in the dark, but it’s totally safe. Take a right on King George and stop after several blocks when you see the mighty obelisks at Simta Plonit.

This alley, and the one parallel next to it, were built by millionaire businessman Shapira Getzel back in 1922. Walk to the end of the alley where you’ll see the palace Shapira built for his love, Sonya, including a lion-in-Zion statue at the front to protect the property. It used to have red glowing eyes back in the day, wish they would restore that! If you’re hungry and lazy, try Sonia Getzel on the parrallel Simta Almonit, an awesome cafe with a huge secret backdoor garden.

Go up to Allenby and take a left. Take another left on Balfour street and enjoy a detour of attractive architecture. Go right on Melchet up to the small King Albert Square where you will see the Pagoda House. Take a seat on a bench and enjoy this weirdly awesome structure. It was built back in 1924, a time of aesthetics long before the Israeli concrete box was invented. Look closely and notice the eclectic styles – Doric columns meeting Islamic arches topped with a crazy Asian pagoda.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These days the Pagoda House is owned by Robert Weil, a Swedish Jewish billionaire, though I’ve never seen him or anyone inside the house. He has replaced the Synagogue that used to be on the first floor with a swimming pool + sauna combo. Typical. This is one of the most expensive properties in Tel Aviv and Israel.

Ending our tour with a surprise, walk on Montifiore, take a right on Nahalat Binyamin, and left on Gruzenberg right to Gruzenberg Parking Lot. Stroll right in and head up to the top floor for an urban view of the city. It’s open 24/7, so you should always be able to get in and out, worst case through the car entrance. If you fancy a drink to take it all in, try one of the bars back on Nahalat Binyamin. Take some random turns and find your own un-attractions. The city is full of them.

post

Tel Aviv Vintage Digger’s Guide – Part 2.

Next vintage lover’s must visit spot is nothing else but Jaffa Flea Market, or how we kindly call it Pishpeshuk. We’ve already gave you advice where to shop for treasures in the city center in our Part 1 of Tel Aviv Vintage Digger’s Guide, so this time we are going down to Old Jaffa. To catch some through-time inspiration and endless fun, save the whole day for this la-la-land adventure, and I’d advice you to visit shuk-ha-pishpeshim during the week, if only you are not a fan of crowded places.  Call me budget fashion adept, sales hunter, dusty retro-chic stuff digger. I adore flea markets and totally recommend this entertainment as a must when you travel, the local atmosphere is amazing, besides it’s never boring, and don’t forget – deeper you look – greater pieces you can find!

Generally, you can find here anything starting from cheap old books, someone’s old family photos, old fashioned furniture your grandparents might still have, some unique stuff like old street name signboards, stunning retro jewelry pieces and so. Besides cheap trash and some really weird items on the shelves of open market, this Pishpeshuk area is fully stuffed with trendy lil cafes and designer jewelry studios. Anyway, it’s impossible to keep your head concentrated in that mad old junk jumble without big green salad and cold limonana. Go to Puah (Rabi Yohanan str.3) to have your lunch – second hand furniture, retro dishes and beautiful atmosphere provided. Italkiya on the corner of Oley Zion is also pretty good, handmade pasta and red checkered table clothes can’t be bad:) Have fun and let us know about your findings!:)

flea1

flea7

flea6

flea5

flea2

flea10

flea3

flea11

 

 

post

Effi Sabich – Tel Aviv’s finest Sabich

“Effi Sabich” – Tel Aviv’s finest “Sabich”- is located at 2 Tshernichovsky st. (on the intersection of Tshernichovsky and Alenbi, opposite “The Carmel Market”).

Effi doesn’t simply make his famous “Sabich”. His work involves engineering and constructing the dish while using the “Tehina” in the same way a painter uses his palette. Standing bent, quiet and focused, Effi handles every order as if it was his first, planning how to reach the perfect balance between its ingredients.

After admiring Effi’s never-ending devotion, comes the tasting and the inevitable addiction.

“Effi’s Sabich” – start memorising.

Ingredients: Pita, fried eggplants, an egg (usually a brown one), Humus, Tehina, vegetables, purple cabbage, “Amba” (mango sauce), “Schuge” (hot sauce), pickles, cooked potato, fresh chopped parsley, fresh chopped onion, “Sumak” (Rhus coriaria sauce) and lemon sauce.

EFI-SABICH

Tips to the newcomer’s:

A. If you are into spicy foods then treat yourself to extra “Schuge” (no extra charge).
B. The Humus and Tehina can be replaced with cheese.
C. Whole-Wheat Pita is also available.
D. Good old times’ “Gazoz” is highly recommended.

Enjoy!

post

Tel Aviv Vintage digger’s guide – Part 1.

We’re excited to announce a brand new posts line – specially for you, fashion lovers. We all know mainstream is not a trendy thing, that is why we are ready to provide you with some fashionable (and budget-friendly!) places to shop for unique pieces for your wardrobes and keep it telavivian way. First stop – Vintage and Second hand market on Dizengof square, that opens it’s doors for gold vintage diggers every Tuesday from 12:00 till 23:00 and Friday from 7:00 till 17:00.

IMG_7026

   If you’re searching for retro styled dresses, vintage accessories, Adidas sweatshirts or Levi’s denim  – I mean all those things that only get better with years – that’s the right place to find them for some really affordable prices. Take a look at stands/suitcases full with reduced to 10-50 shekels pieces – you can find adorable treasures there too. If you get lucky and your flea market digging skills are high, you can even find some designer’s shoes for ridiculous price among the stands.

IMG_7050

IMG_7054

IMG_7047

IMG_7045

   From the other side of the square you’re invited to a wonderful world of flea market treasures – israeli old stamps, postcards, old coins, home decorations, retro street signs, to sum up – everything that your traveller’s soul could consider as keeping a local secret inside great souvenir. The prices on some pieces can reach sky high, so don’t hesitate to bargain – it’s a flea market fun time!:)

IMG_7059

IMG_7065

IMG_7067