Fifty-Two Frames: Cityscape

I don’t have a lot of access to cities. Shocking, I know. And even though last week I found myself in four different municipalities, I couldn’t get my act together to get a good cityscape.

So Tzur Hadassah’s other half, Har Kitron, will have to do.

Week 42: Cityscape

A drop of civilization hidden in the hillside…

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Yeah, it’s a plane.

Israeli crop duster plane? probably?Universe, if you know how liable I am to get distracted, why would you send low-flying planes buzzing past my window, across the street from my house… for two hours?!

First, I was all, go go go WARPLANE!

Then I was all, go go go FIREPLANE!

Finally, I concluded, it’s really probably just go go go crop duster.

Still, it’s fun to get really close up views of bright, loud airplanes right outside your window. When they’re not bombing you, of course.

Hey, remember when they were WARPLANES?!

Tzur Hadassah update: New pool, new bus, new neighborhood, new park, and… Swiper.

It’s been a while! Plenty to update on Tzur Hadassah. In no particular order, except for saving the weirdest for last… five bits of small town news:

1. THE Tzur Hadassah Pool

You’re not a true Tzur Hadassian if you’re not already putting on your floaties in impatient anticipation for the new pool, possibly making its debut next summer and supposedly being completed by December 2014.

Tzur Hadassah's new pool: December 2014

Here’s where they’re doing the construction; not sure exactly where the pool will be housed, because this entire area will also include a recreational area and more.

2. New bus line and tremp stations

Last month the Illit bus company (that runs from Beitar Illit) established a new Bet Shemesh line, the 138. It’s an express line to the Bet Shemesh train station, stops at the entrances to Tzur Hadassah, and the line is public, so seating is mixed.

By the way, months back, we had an upgrade in our two ‘trempiadia’ stations at either gate.

Tremp stations in tzur Hadassah

There’s also been a project of putting up new signage throughout the town, now that we have more local ‘attractions.’

3. New neighborhood

Remember this? They’ve been carving out the space for the new monster apartment complex to go up behind the Mavo area. It seems from the look of it that this new neighborhood will be even closer to the security fence.

New neighborhood construction in Tzur Hadassah

4. Park Yuval

Yuval Yohanan was a teenage born and bred in Tzur Hadassah, who died of cancer earlier in the year. Her family decided to create this serene park space in her memory, in the ‘valley’ between main Tzur and Har Kitron. It’s nearly finished.

Park Yuval in Tzur Hadassah

The plan is actually to ‘activate’ that entire valley space with different sections of park and fields. There is a sign outlining the plan, but it isn’t all that clear. I hope it remains as beautiful and quiet as it does today… I like to walk there sometimes and rarely see anyone else around. Go deep enough, and shock – there is no trace of litter anywhere.

5. Swiper

The story I’ve heard goes like this: the head of the va’ad was given a Swiper the Fox keychain (of Dora fame) by one of his nieces… or a daughter? He thought, ‘this here is a fine creature to have sculpted for the grassy area across from the school…’ and so it was done.

Swiper statue in Tzur Hadassah

At least we’ve got character!

P.S. The pizza place closed, and Cafe Cafe opened… at the shopping center/gas station outside the machsom. Havaleh, the farm cafe inside Tzur Hadassah, is still going.

The innocent on Memorial Day.

I told Koala he could come with me to the Yom HaZicaron ceremony if he likes. I told him it’s a time where we remember all the soldiers and all the good things they do for us.

“And if you want, during the siren, you can think about your uncle who is a chayal, or zayde who was a long time ago.”

“I want to think about them and all the chayalim.”

After the siren, I asked him if he had thought about the chayalim. He told me he  forgot, he was “thinking about other things.”

That’s ok. He’s four.

Here’s to innocence.

Yom HaZicaron in Tzur Hadassah

My first dog run.

My run this morning got a little messy – but way more fun – when my running partner joined.

If you live in Tzur Hadassah and this is your dog, man, you are lucky. I hope you’re a runner too! It’s such a thrill running with a dog (even if it was just for a kilometer or so).

I fall in love with dogs way too easily. Doggie affairs? It’s actually not the first time I’ve ‘hung out’ with a random dog who decided to follow me for a while.

One day.

Koala update: Tale of the horse prince.

Koala has been going through some stuff at gan lately.

Boy stuff, school stuff, three stuff, soon-to-be four stuff (stuff Dr. Seuss didn’t write about this one so it looks like I may do the job for him).

Anyway, on Friday I took him for a mother-son ‘adventure’ (his word, not mine) through the valley that splits Tzur Hadassah. It’s my favorite place in our area; it looks small and insignificant on the outside, but it’s an illusion… When you’re in it, it’s suddenly this untouched world of rare grass, thick bushes, climbable rocks, blue mountains in the backdrop. A unicorn might bound past you at any moment.

Quiet, serene, and the perfect place to let a boy think out loud.

We chatted about some of his gan troubles, and held a quick hippie therapy session:

“When this kid tries to hit L, she says to him, אל תרביץ לי!”
“That’s a great thing to yell. Let’s do that.”
“Yell, don’t hit me! Just the way L does. Go, do it.”

He stares at me.

“I’ll do it with you. Ready?”

We stop walking, I look at him, and together we yell at the forest: אל תרביץ לי!!!

Koala took my hand and we climbed up rocks, took in the view, sought out flowers, discussed trees, and my little boy even broached the subject (once again) of why girls don’t have penises.

Our moods were good – his troubles off his chest for a bit, and I was finally getting some fresh air after a long depressing week.

We walked deeper into the valley, along the muddy road, which had frozen horse tracks in soft ground leftover from the week before.

‎”Hey, Koala! Check it out! those are the footprints of a horse – horse prints!”
“Yeah! I see so many!”

We live next to a horse farm, but Koala hadn’t put the two together. To him, this was magical.

“Let’s count. Wow. Horse prints everywhere.”

…15 minutes later…

“So Ima, where is it?”
“This horse prince…”