The freedom to be as stubborn as we want in our own land

Israelis are nothing if not… persistent. That’s how we ended up here after thousands of years, and it’s how we became Startup Nation. So when we planned to go to the beach weeks ago for Yom Haatzmaut, you can bet the forecast be damned and we were going to the &@!$% beach.

Even if there were 35mph winds, wintery temperatures, and not a single other soul but our party in view.

City feature: Namal Tel Aviv

The area of the Tel Aviv port – נמל תל אביב – (right before Beach Mezizim) is one of those situations where ugly warehouses went for cheap rent, so trendy designers and cafes opened shop and now all the trendy wendys go out there a beautiful day to shop, eat, chat, ponder life, and whatever else a trendy wendy does. At least, that’s my theory, anyway.

One Friday we sort of walked into it by accident, but after strolling around we realized it would be the perfect place to take our ‘posher’ friends next time they come visit.

Warehouses can be beautiful.

Tel Aviv Port

Sip cappuccino with this view.

A shady view.

The streets are paved with gold tiles.

Aroma for kids

I’m not sure when it’s ok for kids to start drinking coffee, but the Aroma at the port has it’s own kids section with Aroma play house. Never to early to start working a cash register.

City feature: Ashkelon

It’s not hard to imagine immense burnout after a vacation-less summer, so this past weekend we ditched Jerusalem and ventured to Ashkelon.

For a lot of people, the coastal city of Ashkelon is not the first place they’d go for a break. But for us, it was a great idea: relaxing, quiet, sunny and plenty of beach. A home away from home, if you will, considering the neighborhood we live in.

It’s also a popular spot for visiting French tourists, and we were actually the only Anglos around for miles (vacation enough for me). The residents of Ashkelon tend to be either Mizrachi or Russian. It’s sandwiched between Gaza to the south and Ashdod to the north. Its beaches are quieter and cleaner than Tel Aviv’s, since it’s a less populated city.

 

City feature: Yafo

This is Yafo or Jaffa, the second half of the area known as Tel Aviv-Yafo. Historically it’s always been a port city and today you can see the ancient ports as well as the modern docks. Its residents are both Arabs and Jews and has a healthy list of places to see and things to do, though it certainly does not get the kind of attention its other half across the beach enjoys. Its known for its gardens, art studios and galleries, fishing harbor, and of course – Jaffa oranges.

Jaffa mosque

Jaffa beach sunset

jaffa streets

I only have three photos which, alone, probably don’t do the place justice.