Photos by Addi Cohen-Ziv
My husband Herb and I decided to rent a studio apartment in Tel Aviv for one week. We were quite lucky since the landlady called us before the appointed date of arrival to inform us that the studio was not available so she was giving us two rooms for the same price. We were very pleased with the comfort of the place and the central location.
Wednesday was check in day. After unpacking we visited the supermarket for provisions for the week.
Without wasting a minute we walked to the Helena Rubenstein Pavilion where there was an interesting photography exhibit called "Biblical Stories". After that was a visit to the Bauhaus Center to enjoy an exhibition of paintings of Tel Aviv by Ruth Stein. That evening our daughter and son-in-law joined us for a delicious dinner at Gefen, a Turkish restaurant.
We were up bright and early to walk to the Carmel Market for some fruit and bread. The line wasn't too long at the Mann Auditorium to purchase tickets to a concert. A visit to the Tel Aviv main library afforded us the use of their computers. Our grandson and his girlfriend met us at the Bar Giyora Bar for a full dinner.
Friday morning we walked along the famous Shenkin Street where we found a cute outdoor place called The Love Café for a great breakfast. We loved it! With full bellies, we continued to the Nahalat Binyamin arts and crafts fair to browse around all the beautiful items for sale. People-watching was almost as much fun. Since walking is something we enjoy, the promenade along the beach served us well. Our next good meal was Friday eve at the Café Noir, a popular place. Our friends who made the reservations were told we could only stay for two hours since there were many who would be waiting to take our table.
Shabbat was relaxing and found us in the playground area at Gan Meir, visiting with some cousins and their young son. A wonderful lunch awaited us at a friend's penthouse apartment and we ate sitting on the veranda.
Sunday morning was good strolling all the way up Dizengoff Street and window shopping as we passed the exquisite shops with designer clothing. We reached the new port and strolled up and down looking at all the restaurants but settled on one on the Yermiyahu Street called Yami Yami and it was yummy. The lunch included a glass of wine, many kinds of salads, grilled fish and warm vegetables. We would definitely recommend the eatery. Later in the afternoon we entered two wonderful art galleries, the Stern Gallery and the Engel Gallery. Both owners were friendly and helpful. At the Cinema Hotel at 6pm they show old silent movies and give you a bag of popcorn. We watched a Laurel and Hardy oldie and munched away.
On Monday we met friends at the Tel Aviv Museum where we found a 45 minute video on the life and art of Mark Rothko. This was a great help in understanding the paintings in his exhibition. His work is abstract and not the easiest to comprehend but we found it interesting. Lunch followed at the Brassierie restaurant which had been highly recommended but was very disappointing. It was crowded and noisy and hard to hear ourselves talk. The food was too rich for me. The evening, on the other hand, was very special. The concert at the Mann Auditorium was even better that we had expected. The first two pieces were composed by Carlos Chavez and Silvestre Revueltas, two Mexican composers unknown to us. The works were very different and exciting. After the intermission, Masha Brueggergosman, a soprano from Canada, sang Gershwin songs from "Porgy and Bess". This was immediately followed by a short piece by Leonard Bernstein. For the last numbers Brueggergosman returned to sing several show tunes by Gershwin. The talents of the Israeli Philharmonic orchestra and the soprano made this an outstanding evening.
We could not believe it when Tuesday, our last full day in the "White City" arrived. We returned to the Carmel market to buy some T-shirts. We met friends and walked from the center up the promenade to the Neve Tzedek and looked around at all the new building and renovations. We stopped for an Italian lunch at Belline, close to the Suzanne Delal Center, which was very satisfying. Our last evening was spent at the Havana Restaurant, around the corner from the apartment, where we ordered tapas and beer and stayed for the live music. The guitarist was excellent.
On Wednesday before packing our belongings we decided to indulge in one more delicious Israeli breakfast in the London Café on the beach. Our last walk on the promenade was too the Opera Tower for browsing. We loved every moment of our Tel Aviv adventure, promising ourselves to repeat it next year. It was to eat our way through Tel Aviv, making it a splendid vacation.