Monday, August 20, 2012

the vibe of tel aviv

White washed houses. Narrow streets. Sky scrapers. Beach scene. And a place for good coffee on every corner. This is our first day relatively free of jet lag (it helped that we slept until NOON!) and we are exploring our immediate environs. We are staying in a place called Neve Tzedek, which is the oldest neighborhood in Tel Aviv proper--the first built outside the initial settlement of Jaffo. Like many cool neighborhoods, it started out prosperous, than descended into slumminess as the heart of Tel Aviv in the east began to develop, and in the last 15 years, it has become trendy again, with wonderful shops on every corner. This morning, we sat outside in the shade and shared Israeli honey and yogurt and a dish called shatshuka, a dish with eggs and tomato, that you sop up with incredible flat bread, accompanied by a salad with terrific tomatoes, radishes and tahini. The heat is a little difficult; we walked for an hour or so, then headed back to the apartment to cool off. The afternoon plan is to explore the local market, Rothschild boulevard (another trendy neighborhood) then end the day at the beach and a walk toward the old port. I am struggling a bit internally, because there are so many sites to see, but my impulse, and my husband's, is also just to wander and not get into the checking the sites off the list mode.

Yesterday, we experienced a bit of the beach culture. Two very hot Israeli guys set us up with an umbrella and lounges--"You're from NYC?" one asked. "You're not afraid we're going to get bombed by Iran? Good for you!" and we read and swam in the very, VERY warm mediterranean. Afterward, we had a wonderful dinner at the beach at a hip place called Manta Ray, where we shared mezze and calamari and cocktails as the sun set...

BTW, we are staying in a lovely apartment in Neve Tzedek--3 bedrooms with a roof deck and a friendly black cat named...Shatsuka. Below, you'll see a photo of her getting friendly with Randy, plus a few neighborhood views...


  1. I must admit, I'm a little home sick after reading your blog... enjoy your time there!

  2. Ahhh, have a wonderful trip! I'm jealous.

    My (Saveur contributor) pal Leah Koenig's ridiculously easy and delish shakshuka recipe, for when you get home:’s-tsimmes