Tel Aviv Time!

by 5:11 PM 0 comments
After a very busy trip with the Frank Fellowship, I had a few days to relax in Tel Aviv at my sister-in-law Neta Gafni's house. Tel Aviv is not a beautiful city, as Tuvia Tenenbaum writes, "actually, it's quite ugly." The buildings are mostly concrete, super-utilitarian jobs crammed together on city blocks. The charm isn't the architecture, it's the cafe culture. When people describe Paris in the 1960s: the artists and intellectuals all crammed together and hunched over their espressos, that's how Tel Aviv feels today. The clothes are trendy, the bookstores abound, and everyone has a dog. What could be better? 

The other thing that makes Tel Aviv great is the inventive businesses. There's a coffee shop where everything costs $1.25, including snacks. There are tons of vegan restaurants. There's a juice bar franchise that's a million times better than Jamba Juice, and it's only $5 for a medium smoothie. We went to a concept bar called Vicky-Christina based on the movie Vicky Christina Barcelona. One side is fun and one side is serious, just like Vicky was fun and Christina was serious (or was it the other way around?) It sounds like a half-baked notion, but it worked really well! Israel is the start-up nation, and Tel Aviv is the capital. 

Cofix, the coffee bar where everything costs $1.25. Yes!

During the days, I was just walking, writing, thinking, and people-watching. Here are some pics from wandering:

Book store!



Feral cats!


Free spirits!

The Carmel Market is walking distance from Neta's house, and it is one long row of sights and smells:

All the tomatoes.

All the candy and Turkish delight.

All the baklava.

All the olives.

The world IS flat! Touché, Thomas Friedman.

And, of course, I had to patronize some of the restaurants and cafes:

Buddha Burger

Conventional bakery

Vegan bakery

My favorite hang-out inside Dizengoff Shopping Center: Greg.

Having some time to walk around and reflect was perfect, and Tel Aviv is a very walkable city. I occassionally remembered to take a selfie to document the occasion:

Beach selfie.

In addition to walking around a lot, I also visited the Haganah Museum and the Tel Aviv Art Museum. More on that in the next post!

Marina Gafni

Marina Gafni is a 28-year-old speech pathology student. She lives with her husband in San Jose, CA.


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