Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | October 30, 2005

Ode to a City

Who’d have guessed it? I’ve fallen in love, and it feels so good! The sights, the sounds, the people (well, obviously not all the people, and certainly not in an individual, sexual sort of way! Get your minds out of the gutter, people!)! That’s right, I’ve fallen in love with Tel Aviv! I know what you’re saying. You think it’s too soon. I’ve been on the new job for less than a week. You’re thinking that I’m still in the honeymoon period, that chinks in the armor will start to show soon enough. Okay, I’ll grant you that it’s certainly a possibility, but only as something in the vague, distant future. Not something that’s going to happen today, tomorrow, next week, etc. For now, this is it. The real deal. The tingly feeling (or is that a Fimbley Feeling? Too many hours spent viewing the kiddie shows on BBC Prime, no doubt…) I get when crossing the bridge from the train station, the adrenaline rush as I power walk through the streets towards my office (which may very well be connected to the caffeine buzz I pick up while inhaling the large, low-fat cappuccino I grab each morning at Ilan’s Café). Oh, and did I mention the magnificent vistas from the 7th floor patio of our office, with sweeping views of Tel Aviv? I know it sounds so cliché, but on a clear day, I can even see the sea! Oooh! It’s just so lovely!

Of course, with all due respect to those of you who actually live in the city, I’m not sure that I could live there, as attractive as it seems at times. I like my quiet and I like my space, both of which are at a premium in Tel Aviv. Still, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time there of late, and find that I’m sometimes envious of those who don’t have to tramp back to the suburbs at night, those who can step out of their homes directly into the hustle and bustle, with restaurants and shops at every turn. I mean, shit! How exciting must that be?! Don’t get me wrong, I love where I live. However, you can’t really walk anywhere, and the public transport is less than stellar. And despite the fact that we’ve got a number of shops open on Saturdays, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I sometimes wish for something more. I mean, not that I’m expecting a food festival or love parade, all I’m saying is that it might be nice if things were a bit livelier.

And Tel Aviv is definitely a happening place. Why, in my own little adopted corner of it, there are a veritable plethora of restaurants to suit all sorts of tastes, at least one excellent coffee place (as mentioned above), an assortment of shops and bakeries, and, for those of you who might be interested (though there’s certainly no need whatsoever to bring your interest to my attention), there’s even a selection of strip clubs. A most diverse area indeed. I haven’t had much of a chance to explore (and there are a few establishments that will most likely not make it to the list), but I do know that the British Council has an office around the corner, with a quaint little café that provides a range of current British newspapers, English news on the telly, a small library and a bank of computers connected to the Internet. Even the name of the café was quaintly British, though it escapes me now.

Just being in this exciting city makes me feel good, like I’ve suddenly been presented with a gift of endless possibilities, all mine for the taking. I can make plans with my Tel Aviv-based friends to meet up for lunch or a drink, or attend a stimulating lecture. I can go to the theatre or a concert, or catch a movie at any one of the many cinemas that the city has to offer. I can sit in a café for hours on end, nursing lattes and writing, while the world of Tel Aviv passes by. Aaaah, bliss.

I’m not quite sure how to end this, but it seems that the decision has been taken out of my hands, as the train will shortly be pulling into my stop, and given that it’s Sunday and the path to the door is an obstacle course of people, bags and weapons (many soldiers with rifles casually slung over their shoulders), it’s best that I start now, otherwise, I’ll never make it off the train, and will miss my morning coffee (shudder).



  1. Ssssssshh! Now you’ve given away my no-longer-secret love affair. Having long ago satisfied my temporary need for space and quiet, Tel Aviv is my sanctuary of dynamic variety.

  2. Sorry, savtadotty! I couldn’t help myself. When one is in love, isn’t it natural to want to share it with the whole world, shouting it out from the rooftops? I won’t tell anyone else though, I promise. Our little secret! 😉

  3. Welcome to the Lovers of Tel Aviv Club! Next up: you, me, coffee, giggles.

  4. It’s a date! 🙂 Am always up for coffee and giggles (not to mention the occasional guffaw, when done tastefully, of course!)…

  5. “Even the name of the café was quaintly British”

    Quaintly British???! Don’t start, She.

    And yes, I’m back – and have even posted a new one. Go look.

    Glad you’re enjoying yourself in the big city.. does that make you a sheep? i also watch too much kids TV, except young Troll prefers Cartoon Network to BBC Prime. I prefer BBC Prime, though…

    Trollmamma xxx

  6. Hey Trollmama,

    Was just commenting on your blog, then came back to find your comment here. What are the chances? Kismet, clearly.

    If I can come up with the name of said quaintly-named café, I’ll be sure to share, just to prove it! 🙂

    With regard to children’s programming, for now, Little One seems taken with the Fimbles (though he calls them “Bembles”), and some of Tikkabilla, and that’s good enough for me. We’ll cross the Cartoon Network bridge when we come to it, I’m sure.

  7. She! You’ve just described (sans the 7th floor balcony with a view of the sea) my whirl-wind romance with NYC when I arrived after a 2-year gig at a town EVEN SMALLER THAN THE ONE WE GREW UP IN! (You’d think there couldn’t be anything smaller or more provincial would you?!)

    Enjoy the cosmopolitan luxuries!

  8. Zahava, if you want one smaller, you have to cross the river, head north east past some cows and hit my home town…

    BBC Prime.. ah I miss the days… they have taken it off the line up here in Oslo… I am distressed. The little viking girl is happy, though, as disney show has KimPossible, which she now categorizes as quality programing… how I miss Ballamory…

    She, do you have photos of Tel Aviv, I don’t even get a picture in my head…no reference point…

  9. NRG, I don’t know where you grew up so I can not say that SHE and I grew up in a smaller town. BUT if the definition is crossing the river and walking by some cow I DO know that you could’ve ended up at my house!

    And unless I am off-the mark, I think that SHE was in my brother’s graduating class, so I am fairly certain I can attest to the one-horse-town aspect of our hometown….

  10. Zahava,

    Knowing NRG as I do, suffice it to say that she did indeed grow up in a smaller town than we did. And, without giving away to much personal information about myself, mentally follow the path that she suggested (over the river, go north a bit), and you will reach her one-horse town. 🙂

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