Tel Aviv was never my favorite city. It’s big – huge, by Israeli standards.
It has lots of people.
It’s full of cigarettes, and therefore, it stinks to high heaven.
It’s full of high-rise, modern buildings.
In short, it’s a modern metropolis. If I liked modern, metropolitan cities, I would live in New York, Los Angeles, or Toronto. I happen to dislike big, grey, modern cities.
I also happen to think that even though Tel Aviv has a character all its own, a unique stripe of Israeli society, it doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the country’s unique style.
Sometimes, I think that Tel Aviv is a New York-wannabe. Or maybe a London-wannabe. And in my opinion, that’s a shame.
Israel is unique in so many ways, and there is no reason to copy another country’s culture. I like Israel, for all its identity issues,; anything that is SomethingElse-Wannabe, is not something that I’m going to fall in love with.
Navigating Tel Aviv isn’t easy, either. Even native Israelis get lost in that metropolitan maze (except, of course, those born and bred in Tel Aviv and its environs).
There is one Tel Aviv train station (I don’t remember which one) that, if you leave it to the left, you end up in one city, and if you leave it to the right, you end up in another.
Another train station, Tel Aviv HaHagana, has a similar issue. If you leave one way, you end up on a busy street near government offices. If you leave the other way, you end up in a mall. And if you mess up, you’re stuck. Unless, of course, you want to pay for a cab.
While we were in Tel Aviv, I took out my camera and started taking pictures. It slowed us down somewhat, but Yitzchak managed to put up with it.
One thing you can definitely say is that the Tel Aviv municipality has worked hard to make this area pleasant for pedestrians and pleasing to the eye.
There are enough benches here for a class picnic,
but no shade. It looks like the municipality is trying to change that, though, since in this kikar, there are
lots of trees, each with a bench underneath. They’re young trees right now, but it makes you wonder what will be in ten years.
Following what I said about modern cities, this unique building gives you the feeling that if you could only climb up onto that bottom step, you’d be able to take the stairs to the top.
Just outside the courthouse is a long row of motorbikes.
Every time I passed by, I wondered if this was a general parking lot, or if these motorbikes belonged to all the courthouse workers.
The city did make sure to gives us some shade, after all. A long block of sidewalk was lined with trees in a small dirt “garden”, so that we wouldn’t forget what nature looks like.
Cutting down on traffic, exercising, and keeping the air clean seem to be values to be encouraged. The city has created a bike rental stand. Pay, take a bike, and return it later.
Of course, there is the ever-present line of bus stops, a must-have for all large cities in Israel.
And to end off the post, we can’t forget a picture of the skyline – any skyline.
Since taking these photos, I have learned how to compensate for over- and under-exposure. There are more Tel Aviv photos, though, so check back soon.
What do you think? Does Tel Aviv sound like – and look like – a place you’d want to visit or live in? Or are you like me, and prefer smaller, quieter, cities and towns?