Museums In Tel Aviv, Israel


Museums In Tel Aviv

“We used to build temples, and museums are about as close as secular society dares to go in facing up to the idea that a good building can change your life (and a bad one ruin it).” Alain de Botton

Tel Aviv is an outdoor city with beautiful soft sandy beaches, flea markets, food and craft markets and alfresco dining most of the year.

This time I was there in January and February. The first ten days were particularly cold and rainy so I spent some time exploring a few museums.

I’ve written about the Tel Aviv Museum Of Art designed by Preston Scott Cohen before. If you are into architecture as I am you will love the building.

It is located in central Tel Aviv within a Cultural Complex inside a beautiful park.

My god-daughter lives nearby. In a city where everything closes on Saturday, this museum is open.

We walk passed the families in the playground and through the skateboarders to the entrance. The temporary exhibits are always interesting. The one I wanted to see was called Total Red which was photography from early twentieth century Soviet Photographers. Pastel, the museum’s restaurant i is beautiful and delicious.

Visiting Eretz Israel Museum in the rain is probably not the best way to see it. It is a collection of several pavilions and excavations spread out all over.

The focus is on culture and history. When I travel and do large museums, I usually just pick a few exhibits to see, Otherwise it is too overwhelming.

I love photography so I went to those exhibits.

There was one about life in the internment camps in Cyprus where the Holocaust survivor were kept until Israel became a nation.

And another about the Italian ship captain that brought refugees to Israel.

I also watched a film on how Baron de Rothschild helped Israel grow. The restaurant is delicious and the gift store is one of the best in Tel Aviv for art and crafts.

Exodus was one of my favorite TV movies when I was very young.  Paul Newman played Ari Ben Canaan who was the head of the Haganah. I was always interested in them. The Haganah was the military organization that protected the Jewish settlements in Palestine.

It was the predecessor to the Israeli Defense Forces.

The Haganah Museum is located on beautiful Rothschild Blvd in the house of one of the Haganah founders.

It traces the story from the earliest watchtowers to the struggle for independence to the development of the modern army.

You will see many troops of Israeli soldiers being brought there on field trips.

Fly safe,






The Street Is Your Gallery – Urban Art In Tel Aviv


The Street Is Your Gallery – Urban Art In Tel Aviv

“The words  of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls” Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel


The gentrified  Florentin neighborhood is the area to go to find amazing street art and graffiti in Tel Aviv. 

The crumbling walls of Florentin will soon turn into high rises so go before that happens.

The person to go with is Guy Sharett who does an urban street tour.  You can sign up on his website Streetwise Hebrew  It’s very popular.  I’ve tried to get on this tour twice before so book in advance. The tour is in English and my  group of twelve was international. He weaves some Hebrew, history, humor and insight into the one and half hour tour.

There is a major difference between Guy’s tour and other street art tours. He focuses on the street words to teach Hebrew and Israeli Culture.

We begin with a piece by Muriel Street Art.

We see a few of her pieces throughout the tour. Muriel Street Art wants us to think.

SENED creates Figures known as “kufsonim” (mini boxes) They are ready-made stencils that are spread all over the city. The characters were developed from an abstract of a cube.

missK is an eastern european artist who lives in Israel. Apparently some of the local artists do not like the growing number of graffiti tourists. 

We see a lot of her work in Florentin.

Ometz (Hebrew for bravery) writes street poetry. He is a religious scholar by day and street artist by night.

Dede is one of Israel’s most prominent street artists and the only one I knew of so I was glad to see pieces of his.

Solomon Souza is a British Israeli artist who is best known for painting faces on the shutters in the Mahane Yehudi market in Jerusalem.

It is only visible on Saturdays when the market is closed.

Frenemy creates colorful characters in chaotic environments.

Tiny Tiny Gallery on Florentin 18 shows slut machine until August 6.

 The “27 club” is a group of influential rock musicians that died at the young age of 27 of drug and alcohol abuse. Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse  are part of this group. Some say the blank face is the artist Kis-Lev.

.In Hebrew you can decipher each letter from the bottom.

In Arabic you can do it from the top. This word is a combination of toda and shukraan. It means thank you in both languages. The message is clear.

Tel Aviv is the most liberal city in the Middle East and attracts both local and worldwide street artists. There weren’t as many large-scale polished murals in Florentin as in other areas but smaller and rougher with different styles and materials.

  You will see amazing street art through out the city. Yes President Trump, Israel is the Middle East.

Fly safe,



The White City Of Tel Aviv, Israel

The White City Of Tel Aviv, Israel

“Less is more.” Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe

Over 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings were constructed in Tel Aviv between 1920 and 1940, by German-Jewish architects who immigrated to the region after the rise of the Nazis.


The Bauhaus  Movement was started by Walter Gropius in Germany in 1919 as an architectural style that would represent the machine age. It is characterized by simple and sensible lines. “Form follows function.”“Bauhaus” is an inversion of the German term “hausbau,” which means “building house”. It is also called the Modern or International style.


The majority of Tel Aviv’s examples can be found in the central White City – a UNESCO World Heritage Site protected as “an outstanding example of new town planning and architecture in the early 20th century”. it is the world’s largest Bauhaus settlement.


The Bauhaus Center Tel Aviv was founded in the area in 2000 to increase awareness of the heritage and encourage preservation works. It hosts a library, a shop and a gallery for exhibitions. They offer architectural tours for visitors and enthusiasts on Friday mornings at 10AM. They  also offer a self-guided audio tour and private tours in Hebrew, English, Russian, German, French and Italian.


The tour was crowded. First we were given an overview and background of the Bauhaus movement in Israel at the Center, We walked around the streets and  boulevards and our tour guide pointed out facades and details of the many white modern buildings. My friends thought it was interesting to take a tour of their neighborhood as they live in a protected building and hadn’t seen it this way before.


A little known fact was that in the early years before World War Two, the immigrants to Israel were allowed to take their money out if they bought German products with it. Some of the buildings are made with German materials.


Germany is now  committed to help Israel keep an architectural legacy that recalls Jewish design pioneers who fled the Nazi regime in the 1930s. They will invest $3.2 million over the coming nine years to help save these Bauhaus-style buildings  .


The tour is an interesting introduction to the city of Tel Aviv and a sharp contrast to the Ottoman inspired and ancient buildings of Jaffa nearby. I highly recommend this tour for anyone who is interesting in architecture or history. I’m a Bauhaus fan and learned  a lot here and saw more Bauhaus architecture than in Berlin.


Fly safe,

Things I Have Learned In Tel Aviv, Israel

Things I Have Learned In Tel Aviv, Israel

“The only thing chicken about Israel is their soup.”  Bob Hope

Tel Aviv is called “the city that never sleeps”

Tel Aviv is Israel’s second largest city in Israel.The city is the center of economy, culture and the media of Israel.

The Tel Aviv Museum Of Art designed by Preston Scott Cohen is all beautiful light and angles.


I loved the exhibition by David Tartakover.


He is a famous Israeli artist who took on the county’s political history with his minimalist poster designs.


There are over one hundred sushi restaurants in Tel Aviv…making it the city with  the  most sushi restaurants per capita after Tokyo and New York. I did not eat sushi there. It was very hot out and I was not feeling the raw fish thing. 

Jaffa is the old port city in the southern part of Tel Aviv.


It is a big tourist attraction with Jews, Arabs, artists, galleries, a flea market (Shuk Hapishpishim), restaurants and bars all coexist in the historic buildings.


Jaffa’s ancient past is still being excavated.Part of the fun of old Jaffa is exploring its winding streets and alleyways down to the port. 


The port has been gentrified but  you can  see fishermen throw out their nets and  hear the call to prayer.


It takes a little less than an hour to drive between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (43 miles).

Tel Aviv is also known as the “white city”, for some old zones of Tel Aviv, with more than 4,000 structures associated with he Bauhaus style of architecture.


Every Tuesday and Friday, hundreds of residents and visitors make their way to the  Nahalat Binyamin Arts And Crafts Fair. 


 Since 1987, this street fair has more than two hundred artists and craftspeople selling ceramics, jewelry, toys, wood art, blown glass, wearable art and recycled creations. There’s a committee selection process to ensure quality.


The Carmel Market, known in Hebrew as the Shuk HaKarmel, is one of the must-sees in Tel Aviv. They sell everything from cds and clothes to fresh fruit and produce. It is one of the best places to try street food in Tel Aviv.


Friday (when I was there) is the most crowded time to visit the market.


Every one hundred meters in Tel Aviv there is a juice stand. They all somehow manage to make a living. In the last decade the city exploded with juice stalls. Pomegranate juice is my favorite.


The city has thirteen official beaches.


You will find in every declared beach, free changing rooms, toilets, lifeguard supervision and rescue station, chairs, umbrellas and sun beds for rent.


Rescuers’ working hours are 7am -7pm.


Tel Aviv’s climate could almost be interchangeable with Miami. Heat and humidity rule for most of the year and winters are mild.


Eighteen out of Israel’s thirty five  performing arts centers are located in Tel Aviv.

The emblem of Tel Aviv was designed by artist Nahum Guttman in the 1950s and features seven stars to represent the seven-hour working day that Zionist thinker Theodor Herzl held to be the ideal work day.


.Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel’s cafe culture.  Many of the cafes founded before Israel became a state in 1948 are still popular today.


טיולים בטוחים,


Sunday Is Monday – Shopping In Israel

Sunday Is Monday – Shopping In Israel

“When practiced, Sabbath-keeping is an active protest against a culture that is always on, always available and always looking for something else to do.” Stephen W. Smith

Tel Aviv appears to be a cosmopolitan, secular city. My time in Israel  included two Sabbaths (Friday afternoon through Saturday evening). I awoke the first Saturday morning and anticipated  the beautiful breakfast  I had  eaten the morning before at the hotel. To my surprise, there was no cappuccino and no one was making eggs. There was dry cereal, pastries, hardboiled eggs,smoked fish, salads  and instant coffee – not the Saturday morning brunch at a hotel that I was used to.

After a walk along the beautiful beachfront to Jaffa and back, I was preparing to do some shopping.


 I was told that everything was closed and there was no public transportation. Coming from a consumer driven society, I didn’t really believe that. This was a tourist area, some stores must be open.  I don’t often have culture shock visiting a country. I expect things to be different. I know all toilets are not created equal. I try to remember to take my shoes off in Asian countries when visiting someone’s home or a temple.  Preparing to be a Sabbath violator, I went out in search of shopping. There were some restaurants and cafes open and a mini market and that was it.   


In the afternoon we went to the old beautiful city of Jaffa. Jaffa is a mix of Arabs and Jews so I was hopeful.


We looked at the beautiful old architecture and walked the maze of alleys to the port.


We had a beautiful sunset  lunch/dinner but no shopping there either.  “Sunday is Monday” said my friend.


 I was thinking about it.  Does a day of rest strengthen a country and a family? There were a lot of families in the park. The beach was packed with people. Families were strolling around the city. For us Saturday is a day of housework, soccer tournaments, ballet classes, sporting events, matinees, movies and shopping sprees.


In America Sundays used to be a day of rest. We didn’t have a national religion but all stores and businesses were closed on Sundays so we did have a national day of rest. Some people went to church, visited their grandparents, had a big family meal, went to the beach or the park or for a drive. One day a week we did something different. Our day wasn’t defined by consumption or production. We had fewer choices of what we could do. It was a day to be lazy and read. It was a peaceful ordinary Sunday, a common day of rest which for us  ended in Chinese or Italian food.  As we now search for inner peace through mindfulness and meditation, it is interesting to see  what disappeared when America lost that.

Fly safe,


Things I Have Learned In Israel

Things I Have Learned In Israel

“Israel is slightly smaller than New Jersey. Moses in effect led the tribes of Israel out of the District of Columbia, parted Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, and wandered for forty years in Delaware.” P. J. O’Rourke

Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship in the world. It has the highest rate of entrepreneurship among women and people over 55 in the world.

Israelis love to surf.


The first antivirus software for computers was created in Israel in 1979.

Eilat is a southern Israeli port and resort town on the Red Sea, near Jordan.


Its beaches are noted for their calm waters, like Dolphin Reef. Eilat is known for snorkeling and diving.


In regards to its population, Israel has the highest ratio of college degrees, museums and start-up companies.

Since 1951 all homes, residential buildings and industrial buildings in Israel are required to have bomb shelters. The shelters are the architecture of an existing threat and come in all shapes and sizes. You must enter a shelter as soon as you hear a siren.


If you are in Israel the week of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashonah) everyone from the taxi driver to the salespeople and the pilot will wish you Shana Tova. It means good year. Israeli Arabs and Barack Obama will wish you Shana Tova.

The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth. Period. People can easily float in the Dead Sea due to its unusually high salt concentration. It’s almost impossible to dive into it.


Motorola developed the cell phone in Israel.

Voicemail technology was developed in Israel.

Israeli banknotes have braille markings on them.

Rosh Hanikra or Hanikra (Hebrew: ראש הנקרה, Arabic: رأس الناقورة, Ras an-Nakura) is a geologic formation in Israel, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in the Western Galilee.


It is on the northwest border of Israel and is a few meters  away from Lebanon.


A white chalk cliff face opens up into spectacular grottos.


The cable car down is one of the steepest in the world. I’m glad I did not know that before i went.

Israel has two official languages: Hebrew and Arabic.

Israel published more books translated from other languages than any other nation in the world.

The food in Israel is a combination of North African, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Eastern European. Foods you have to try include Falafel, Hummus, Schwarma, Shakshouka  and Labneh.

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Ice cream is everywhere and pistachio seems to be a favorite flavor.


Israeli breakfast is one of the best things about Israel. It is usually served buffet style with an array of European, Israeli and Mediterranean dishes.


It is the biggest breakfast buffet I have ever seen. There are fresh, seasonal, usually dairy, healthy and unhealthy choices.


During the early days of Israel, it was common on the kibbutz  to have a light snack and work in the field and then have a large mid morning meal.


In the nineteen fifties, the Israeli hotels decided to incorporate this tradition in a hotel stay. You can eat like you work on a kibbutz all day long without leaving the comfort of your hotel.


Israel was the first country to ban underweight models.


Stores , businesses and public transportation close in Israel from Friday afternoon till Saturday evening for the Sabbath.

Israel is one of two countries that started the twenty-first century with an increase in trees.


The Sea of Galilee — located .212 km below sea level — is the lowest freshwater lake in the world (and the largest in Israel)

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-5-31-16-pmFly safe,


Things People Like To Do In Tel Aviv, Israel With A Little Help From My Friends

Things People Like To Do In Tel Aviv With A Little Help from My Friends

“In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles” David Ben-Gurion

I like TA for the reasons I like any big city. I like to start at one end and just walk around and walk and get lost and learn a new neighborhood with each turn. TA is as varied as they come. And last time I was there, I got introduced to NAMAL, the sports center which now house restaurants and pubs,tons of music each and overnight of the week and has enough for little kids to do as well. They host an oneg shabbat apparently that gets thousands of people each Friday night. And you can spend time there, walk down the beach, through the gay area, down past the fancy hotels, where you might find Israeli Dancing and then keep on walking through ice cream spots for tourists and down right into Jaffa. A mass of odd delights and history. MA

Go to this gallery:
Stay at the Hotel Diagalev if you can. Go to a concert or ballet at the big performing arts center. IT”S AMAZING THERE. SH

Shopping in Neve Tzedek.  Cute trendy stores.  I bought great sandals there.
Also there are fabulous museums.  The Palmach Museum is interactive.  Don’t know how far it is from Tel Aviv. JL

Though Tel Aviv has a number of attractions, sitting in an outdoor restaurant at the seaside eating fresh fish is one favorite. Also going to the flea markets and seeing what treasures I can find. HM

Falafel falafel falafel oh and hummus. it never tastes the same anywhere else. JZ

Tel Aviv is the most special city! I did a Bauhaus walking tour. I think it started from the Bauhaus center/bookstore/museum on Dizengoff Street. I also liked walking around Jaffa and visiting the different markets. Of course, the beach.RA

The Hacarmel market is a large lively market selling fresh produce, fish, meat, cheese, flowers and souvenirs. It gets very crowded with locals and tourists so go early.Its fun to pick up food and head over to Hayarkon Park for a picnic lunch. GP

I loved going to HaTachanah, the Ottoman Train Station. It is a delightful place to spend a day. I loved walking on the promenade at the beach at sunset/twilight.There are very cool restaurants like Hazaken v’Hayam for a great lunch (dinner, too, but we loved lunch there). Messa and Deca are both very hip and very cool spots! LOB

Tel Aviv has amazing beaches. There are more relaxed local beaches to the South and fancier beaches near the five-star hotels. SL

I love old Jaffa. There are artist’s workshops gardens,
restaurants, cool stores and flea markets. Tel Aviv is one of the best party cities in the world. There are so many clubs, bars and restaurants to try. EC

Fly safe,