Friday, March 16, 2012

A day in Tel Aviv

Fabric store, Tel Aviv
Fabric store on Nachalat Binyamin, Tel Aviv

Grandma flew home early Wednesday morning and the family is in a funk. Even with the rain and snow and leaky guest room we managed to have a pretty great time. I'll try to get some pics up from our travels over the next few days.  I don't know if it's because I'm new here but I just find I can't get enough of the view. The gritty cities. The rugged hills. The markets. The cafes. The graffiti. The museums. The shops. (The museum shops). I just find it all overwhelmingly inspiring. On Tuesday last week my mother-in-law babysat for the kids in the afternoon allowing us to spend the whole day in Tel Aviv (with the baby). We started out at Nachalat Binyamin, an open-air craft market downtown. Then we had lunch at HaMitbachon (the little kitchen) which specializes in home-cooking. We had the beef cous cous and eggplant spread on fresh baked bread. Yum. Then we walked a few blocks to a particularly charming neighborhood called Neve Tzedek, one of the first neighborhoods in Tel Aviv which is currently enjoying a renaissance. Boutiques, cafes and restaurants o'plenty. And the buildings, home to the rich and famous of Israel in many cases, have all been beautifully rennovated. And since it was the day before Purim, many locals were out in their scary/silly/skanky best. Here are a few of my favorite corners. I'll be back soon with some shots of Jerusalem too.

Tel Aviv
Purim party posters

Paper mâché bowls, Tel Aviv
Merav Danny, Nachalat Binyamin

Pottery, Nachalat Binyamin
Daniela Dori, Nachalat Binyamin

Painting by ossha, Tel Aviv
Osnat Shavit, Nachalat Binyamin

Ribbon store, Tel Aviv
Ribbon store, Tel Aviv

Hamsas, Neve Tzedek

Ginger, Neve Tzedek
Ginger, Neve Tzedek

Tel Aviv grit
Gritty corner of Tel Aviv

Ayala Bar
Ayala Bar Shop, Neve Tzedek

Friday, March 9, 2012

Purim in Israel

Purim in Tel Aviv

My mom and I have been busy touring about the country and spending time with the kids. We survived the week of rain and snow and now we're thawing out to temperatures in the seventies. Feels good to get some vitamin D. The kids have been on vacation the last few days for Purim, our drunken version of April Fools. It's just a one day holiday celebrating the Jewish victory over the Persians circa 400 b.c.e  but I feel like it's been going on for months. It started with pajama day last Friday at school and then make-up day and then dress up like a street sign day and then wear your costume to school day and then three days off of school, only one of which is the actual holiday. We have plenty of eight day holidays, what with Hanukkah and Passover and Sukkot. How about keeping the one day holidays to one day and give all the parents a break. Between the costumes and making the kids' mishloah manot (goodie packages to swap with friends at school) and baking hamentaschen, and the parades and the carnivals, I am wiped out. Because I am the Purim Bitch. That's me in the sign. Just kidding. That's a sign for some rave in Tel Aviv where incredibly stylish people with no kids party all night. No, I was not in attendance.

I will say that I have rather enjoyed seeing everyone dressed up over these last few days. I saw a little religious boy from one sect of Orthodoxy dressed as a grown man from another sect. Pretty funny. Today, in Ein Kerem, coming out of the Church of John the Baptist, I saw a young man dressed as Jesus, cross and all. He was the spitting image. He said he'd been growing his hair for two years for this costume. People go balls out for Purim. The scouts troupe in our town built a carnival that was unbelievable including actual rides they made out of wood and rope. Two-story rides built from scratch! Only in Israel. In America you'd have to sign a waiver to let your kids ride on one of these things. But the kids had a great time and no one died.

And now I shall hang up my pirate costume until next year. Ahoy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


A few cozy homies at a ceramics co-op on Yoel Salomon Street, Jerusalem

It has been a festive few weeks with visitors and celebrations. Right now we're especially delirious to have GRANDMA visiting all the way from California during what is possibly the rainiest week ever in the history of Israel dating back to the time of King Herrod. Sorry Grandma. But we managed to get in a few jaunts to favorite nearby cafes, ceramic co-ops and jewelry shops before the real deluge began. Grandma is here for another two weeks so my presence here will be sporadic, not to be confused with the presence of spores in our bathroom from all of the rain. Nice. Love rentals.

But before I go I have a favor to ask. My old friend and Inner Toddler enthusiast Mona has nominated me in the Best Family Blog category of the Homies on Apartment Therapy. I love Apartment Therapy and would love a Homie to go next to my Tony and my Oscar. Here's the catch: voting ends March 2 EST (Ack! That's tomorrow!) and you have to sign in to vote. Bummer. But don't let that discourage you!  It only takes a minute. Maybe less. Okay homies? Tell everyone you know! Let's start a revolution!