Header Photo Credit

*The stunning photo in the header of my blog is all thanks to Ron Shoshani. Visit his facebook page for more of his amazing photographs of Tel Aviv!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Carmel Market in Tel Aviv

Some shots I dug up of the Carmel Market in the springtime. I always loved the juxtaposition of fresh produce, with the trash on the floor and the cigarette smoke fuming from the mouths of the fruit and vegetable vendors. It seems to me the perfect embodiment of Tel Aviv- a mess of beauty and freshness with ugly disrepair and bad habits.

Lettuce Stand
The marketplace culture in Israel is one of the things I really cherish.  The food is fresh and cheap, there is marketplace banter with locals, you find yourself connecting with vendors and returning to them each week, and the smell is a mix of spices, fresh juice, body odor, smoke and sunshine.

Picking Peppers 
 You're on your own in the market.  You push your way through throngs of people pulling carts behind them, ask for prices, and you can bargain, although not all do.
Sometimes you can find beauty in decomposition
 Watch your step especially at the end of the day.  The floor of the marketplace is bound to be covered in mounds of rotting produce, cardboard boxes, plastic bags, and cigarette stubs.  In the Tikvah Market, a massive bulldozer comes through the long pathway at the end of the street to clean out the trash every evening at 8pm.
Vegetable Vendor

Written across the box: "Choice Tomatoes" 
Rays of light brighten every item, but they don't need to be sold.  The produce in Israel is among the tastiest I've ever tasted.  I will never forget when I came to visit Israel with my family when I was 12.  The tomatoes! Oh they were so sweet and juicy. Perfectly firm, and just the right size. When we returned home, I couldn't bring myself to take one bite of those giant colorless tomatoes that find their way into nearly every "house salad".

Sweet Potatoes
 I never likes sweet potatoes till I moved here.  Now I love them. Maybe its maturity.  Maybe its just that they taste better here.  Oh- and no one cooks them with marshmallows. Yeah- whoever thought that that would be a good idea should be shot.

An oil painting of mine inspired by Israel

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