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!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Israel, Tel Aviv and Sweet Gay Lovin

Photo Credit: Noveciento
 It's important to keep in mind that while the rest of the world might see Israel as some conservative, racist war-zone, the amount of gay lovin that goes on here has got to prove them wrong.  At least to some extent.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tel Aviv Project Palazzo Takes Street Art Indoors

"Think back to your high school note book. Now imagine all of the cool, crazy, almost psychedelic doodles that filled your loose leaf margins covering the walls, ceilings and floors of your apartment. Take the doors off their hinges, add a splash of color and cool lighting, and ....you have Project Palazzo.

Project Palazzo is the work of two young artists and one sociology major who moved into a crumbling Tel Aviv apartment. Over the course of three months they started painting, drawing and doodling all over the walls, documenting the process using still photograpy and video.

The three happened upon an exhibition space waiting to be materialized when they were thrown out of their apartment and scrounging around for somewhere to live. One of their mothers had just bought an old house in Tel Aviv, just along Park HaYarkon and, seeing the boys were desperate, offered the dingy house to them, temporarily. That's when the idea hit them, and they decided to go for it.

The exhibit opened on Friday Feb 4th with a fantastic turn out despite the wet weather. Champaigne, wine, cola, bisli and bamba greeted visitors who entered the front door with eyes wide open. Spectators walk into a fantasty house, with strange creaturs scrawles along the plaster walls and spray-painted monsters haunting the shower." -Omanoot notes on facebook.

The exhibit continued every day last week from 6pm-10pm. If you missed it, I put together a short clip for Omanoot.com. Check it out!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The McFalafel Has Arrived in Israel. Seriously.

Photo Source: jonathanmtsai.wordpress.com

I can barely believe it myself: the Mc Falafel has arrived in Israel. It's been on the menu in Egypt and other arab countries for a while, but I was almost shocked to hear that it would be invading the McDonalds chains in Israel.  And what's more shocking than it's introduction to the McIsrael menu is the not half-bad review the new Americanized Israeli fast food got in Haaretz today. 

Writer Tracy Levy approaches the newest McDonalds invention the same way I do.  With extreme skepticism. I mean, McDonalds is generally gross. Aside from the excitement that comes with knowing you are eating complete junk that is unbelievably bad for you, there isn't that much appeal to Mc Donalds. And, let's be honest- their newer inventions that stray from the fries, burgers, chicken nuggets and colas, really aren't anything to write home about.  They are simply a fast-food convenience.

In America, at least, McDonalds is cheap.  So you have the cheap, convenient, and greasy food appeal. But in Israel, McDonalds is actually expensive.  Seriously.  Expensive.  For the quality and quantity of food you are served, the price is almost absurd.

McFalafel: NIS 16.90. With fries and a drink, NIS 34.
Street Falafel: NIS 10-12.  Usually comes with fries inside the pita.  Drink typically costs 6 shekels max for a total of 18-20 maximum.

So, how in the world did the McFalafel get a somewhat decent review?
Well, #1 because it doesn't taste like complete garbage. Apparently, despite the fact that it looks different and tastes slightly different than a regular falafel,(The McFalafel is sold either inside Iraqi pita bread, in a box containing three to five pieces, or as a meal with fries or green salad and a drink) it doesn't taste like garbage.

#2, it sounds like Tracy decided to compare this McFalafel with the worst street falafel in all of Israel.  And she ordered it without hummus or techina, which is pretty much unheard of. 

Either Tracy is completely unfamiliar with the falafel eating culture, has no interest in interacting with the people making her food, or she was in a massive rush... because when anyone orders a falafel in Israel, the entire process is interactive.  You usually tell the 'falafel maker' what salads, spreads, spices etc you want inside, and he usually gives his opinions freely about what you do and do not choose.  If you don't tell them, and don't interact with them, then they do what they want. 
Anyway, I apologize to you readers out there, but I am not going to review the McFalafel.  I have no desire to try even one bite. The entire idea of a McFalafel in Israel verges on the perposterous.  If you want a falafel, get a falafel at a falafel stand. I personally support local fast food hole-in-the-walls and would prefer not to give my money to McDonalds.  They cost you less, and it can even be a cultural experience.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Natalie Portman's Favorite Curse Word

After my excitingly successful post about Israeli slang, I started tossing around the idea of doing a post on my top ten favorite Israeli curse words. That is, until I saw this tweet from my friend Benji Lovitt this week:

Of course I had to click on the link in his tweet to a short clip from her appearance on "Inside the Actor's Studio"...and, low and behold, Natalie Portman's favorite curse word is in Hebrew!

Well, not exactly Hebrew, she explains timidly in the clip. It's Arabic that's used in Hebrew.

Then she goes and articulates this curse word to the crowd as if she's talking about rainbows an butterflies:
(The video embedding code has been disabled, so checkout the video on youtube for a closer look)
"Koos Emek" she says batting her eyes.
"It means your mother's vagina" she continues with a smile.
She then remarks:  "A curse word that is also humorous...", she pauses, pointing her finger knowingly at the crowd, "That is priceless."

Now, don't get me wrong. I love this curse word too.  But, not because it's humorous. The thing I like most about Koos Emek is that it can really sound like you're slicing someone in two with words if you really emphasize the consonants and drag out emek, hitting the final "k" really hard in your throat when you shout it at someone. A dismissant and curt hand motion to go with is also a nice touch.

The thing is, Natalie, you go around saying "Koos Emek" in Israel or in any Arab speaking country, and no one is gonna think it's funny.
No one.

You want a funny curse word, and you can shout out "Koos Soda" (Soda's vagina) or "Ya Kaki" (You turd), but the only thing funny about "Koos Emek" in Hebrew or Arabic is how it sounds when you translate it to English.

Sorry, Natalie.  You're cute and all, and you look super hot when you make out with Mila Kunis in that ballerina movie about psycho dancers, but when it comes to Hebrew curse words, you've got lots to learn.

What do you guys think?

Powered by mp3skull.com