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Living in Tel Aviv, Where East Meets West

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014

Living in Tel Aviv, Where East Meets West

Tel Aviv is a city of wonderful diversity and beautiful contrasts. It is the city where East meets West, old become new, and sandbanks become urban centers. The City is a composite of people of multi-ethnic backgrounds, liberal attitudes and variance of architecture which makes up the unique fabric of Tel Aviv.

They say that Istanbul connects the East with the West, but its Ottoman imprint is totally different from the Arabic / Jewish exoticisms of Tel Aviv. Ahead of you the colorful Mediterranean and behind you, the romantic Middle East. Israel as a whole is the full embodiment of Europe and Asia and has been so for centuries. In ancient times the world consisted of two great land masses Eurasia (Europe and Asia) and Africa. It was impossible to travel from Eurasia to Africa without passing through the Holy Land. Therefore, every conqueror, every civilization that passed from one continent to the other, had to pass through the Holy Land and come in contact with its people. The Land of Israel thus interacted with virtually every great civilization and its past is in a unique way connected with its present.

Where the old molds with the new

Here you find quiet streets, lined with trees, decorated with beautiful neo – classical buildings covered with pink bougainvillea. On another side you will find the futuristic Bauhaus architecture from the 1930´s. These clean cut, white and cubic buildings have earned a designation for Tel Aviv as the “White City”. Around another corner you have bustling streets lined with palm trees and projecting skyscrapers.

Tel Aviv, where the old molds with the new

 

Just as there is no precise description of who is Israeli, Tel Aviv encompasses all sorts of cultures and ethnic backgrounds and crossovers. Street markets offer an overflow of spices, fruits, nuts and pastries reminding the visitor of a Near Eastern bazaar. Modern shopping hubs offer exclusive products inspired by Paris and worthy of a New York boutique space. Trendy cafes, bars and restaurants line the fashionable and romantic streets of Rothschild Boulevard.

Ben Gurion Boulevard - one of the many beautiful boulevards of Tel Aviv

 

One of my favorite areas in Tel Aviv is the beautiful and historic compound of Sarona. Teutonic Templars founded it in 1871 on the western banks of Ayalon River. Today it is a center for cultural, shopping and leisure with a rich history. As you walk along the historical esplanade lined with plants, trees and ponds you can enjoy the performance of an operetta from Paganini. Housed in the Bavarian style buildings you find exclusive shops, cafeterias, restaurants and wineries. A walk in an exotic Bavarien “Garten”. 

A Teutonic Templer building in Sarona, Tel Aviv

 

The City for the “über kool”

Tel Aviv is a young, bold, and assertive cosmopolitan. It is innovative and generative, traditional yet ready to adopt anything new. On the streets almost anything can happen: People crowd market stalls, horns honk, police sirens scream, colorful Eritrean wedding are celebrated, a mosque call believers to prayer, a rabbi walks by with his side curls, fringes and Frisbee hat.

As sunset draws close many choose to resort to the beachside for a rest on the sand as they anticipate the awakening of Tel Aviv nightlife.

As sunset draws close many choose to resort to the beachside for a rest on the sand as they anticipate the awakening of Tel Aviv nightlife.  Music from the lounges of the beach bars soon fills the cool air with a atmosphere of relaxation. The night sky starts to glow with luminous lights, pointing in one way to the historical old City of Jaffa and in the other way to the beautiful and romantic Rothschild Boulevard. This is the time for drinks and  mezes, the Jewish equivalent for tapas. Yes, Tel Aviv lives up to its reputation as the city that never sleeps.

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